Northern Society of Costume and Textiles
AGM and Batik
Rodley Ecumenical Church Hall, Wesley Terrace, Rodley, Leeds

 Saturday, April 21st. 2012
AGM & Chandra Law:
`Malaysian Batik'

The Ecumenical Church Hall, Wesley Terrace/Street, Rodley, Leeds LS13 1LJ

With the brief formality of our Annual General Meeting over,  Kevin Almond from the Fashion and Textile Department opf Huddersfield University  led a short discussion on Yorkshire Fashion and Textiles and encouraged thosepresent to complete a short questionnaire and return it to him.  [For a copy of this questionnaire see the item " Fashion and Textiles in Yorkshire" in the News and Other Events section of this website.]


The first  job by John as our new Chairman was to introduce Chandra Law our speaker for the afternoon.  Chandra Law came to speak to us about Malaysian Batik.  As a young Malaysian girl Chandra had to learn Batik in school. It was a compulsory element to her education. From 14 they learnt the traditional methods of wax resist dyeing and painting. Chandra explained all girls had to learn for 3 years and take an exam in Batik at 17 years old. The learning process of batik for young girls in Malaysia was hard, and with a minimum of instruction the girls were expected to prepare boiling wax, use delicate instruments to paint, then fix with chemical solutions. Not something any school in the western world would allow.
Chandra’s talk was very clear, entertaining and funny she had us all laughing at her first encounters with English weather and way of life. Hailstones do look just like sago pudding falling from the sky. Chandra explained how colour and design are so significant in Malaysian Batik and how important it is to keep to those traditional designs. The colours and designs have names like Paddifield, Fishing Village and rubber plant. Chandra’s husband Richard demonstrated the techniques of batik showing the group how to use a canting to apply hot wax on to silk and fill in areas with paint. The session finished with an opportunity to ask Chandra any questions and make purchases of her work.
Chandra once described herself as a frog under a coconut shell, but she is now an artist in traditional Malaysian Batik and an accomplished speaker.

The image below is an example of Chandra Law's stunning work.

For further examples of her work, go to