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2004/147/1 Textile, kain panjang (long cloth), handwoven silk with supplementary weft, batik, Bin House, Java (possibly Cirebon), Indonesia, 2001. Click to enlarge.

Kain panjang (long cloth) from Java

Bin House is a batik design house established by Josephine Komara and Yusman Siswandi, first in Jakarta in about 1978 and more recently with shops, offices and exhibition spaces in Indonesia, Singapore, particularly Japan and also the Netherlands. Using traditional design and a cottage-industry approach, it caters to an exclusive and lucrative domestic and tourist market, particularly Japanese customers. It aims to use traditional designs and reinvigorate them.

Batik is a method of dyeing …


Object No.


Object Statement

Textile, kain panjang (long cloth), handwoven silk with supplementary weft, batik, Bin House, Java (possibly Cirebon), Indonesia, 2001

Physical Description

Rectangular shaped silk cloth with a hexagonal ground woven pattern and an intricate batik pattern worked in vivid green, dark blue and yellow. Pattern consists of a border pattern and five alternating bands (three floral patterns and two patchwork patterns) incorporating the 'tambal' (patchwork) motif and the 'tumpal' (triangular) motifs.


no marks



91 mm



This was possibly made in a workshop in Cirebon, a coastal town in Java where there is a Chinese community and batik has been produced for hundreds of years. Other Bin House workshops are located in the outskirts of Jakarta, Solo and Pekalongen. When the curator, Louise Mitchell, visited the Bin House workshop in Cirebon in 1995, it was organised along gender lines with two young men seated at 'frames' drawing onto the cloth with the batik tool. The infill was done by groups of women seated on low stools around a pot of wax. The workshop was supervised by a couple who answered direct to Josephine Komara in Jakarta. Josephine Komara pointed out to the curator that stamps were not used and that the men at the frames were drawing the pattern directly onto the cloth.

(About 1860 metal stamps began to be used to apply the wax thereby making the process much faster and batiks could be produced on a commercial scale. A large proportion of the cloth dyed in Java is now waxed by the stamp method, or by a combination of stamped and batik work.)



These pieces of cloth were donated to the Powerhouse Museum by Josephine Komara through the office of Robyn Maxwell, currently Senior curator, Asian Art at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and Senior lecturer in art history at the Australian National University. Negotiations about commissioning some Batik clothing from Bin House had been suggested earlier than this, but nothing eventuated. In an email dated 16 January 2002 from Robyn Maxwell to Melanie Eastburn at the Powerhouse Museum, Robyn Maxwell writes: 'Perhaps a year, maybe more, ago one of them visited Bin House, one of Indonesia's leading textile design companies - small but very innovative in terms of weaving and dyeing, revivals of and rethinking uses of lost or very old techniques ... When I was in Jakarta before Christmas and called in, Bin and Ronnie were very keen to fulfil a promise Bin had made to give one of her textiles to the Powerhouse Museum ... had to sit around for hours drinking the best lemon tea I have ever had and looking through possible gifts from the current range. You can imagine how difficult that was - in their beautiful antique filled air conditioned old house cum showroom! We decided on one which combines techniques in a youthful sort of style.'

More research is needed for this acquisition, before it can be completed. Attempts to contact both Bin House and Robyn Maxwell for more information have proved unsuccessful. (These can be found in the file.)


Credit Line

Gift of Josephine Komara, Bin House, Indonesia, 2004

Acquisition Date

27 October 2004

Cite this Object


Kain panjang (long cloth) from Java 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 30 May 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Kain panjang (long cloth) from Java |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=30 May 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}