Batik Manufacturing Workers

  • Retno W. SoebaryoEmail author
  • Windy Keumala Budianti
Living reference work entry


Batik is an intangible cultural heritage from Indonesia, designated by UNESCO in 2009. Batik has been both an art and craft for centuries. Especially for some parts of Indonesia, batik is not only a popular decorated textile but has a deeper philosophy. The production process is complicated, and the drawing process of the liquid wax needs a special tool called “canting.” Most of batik production is an informal or home industry, and the workers had low to medium education level. Batik workers are usually loyal to the job and will be passed down the skill unformally among generations. Batik process needs some supplies that could act as irritant and/or allergens and could have an impact on personal health and environment.

Results of several studies revealed that most workers had more than 10 years duration of work, and the first step of batik process is done by women, between 20 and 50 years of age, at their own home, and the following steps are mostly done by men. Glove is usually the only personal protective equipment (PPE) used by the workers. The proportion between dermatitis and non-dermatitis skin impairment is about 18.2% by 65.5%. There is a positive correlation between the use of PPE and handwashing with the occurrence of contact dermatitis. The most frequent non-dermatitis found was callus, probably cause by repeated friction. Irritant contact dermatitis is more common than allergic contact dermatitis that mostly caused by colorant and wet environment.

Health and environment improvement programs had been implemented with the key point in education.


Batik Canting Natural dyes Synthetic dyes Indigo Naphthol Dermatitis Irritant contact dermatitis Allergic contact dermatitis Callus Personal protective equipment/PPE Waste disposal 



High appreciation to Mutiara Ramadhiani, MD for her assistance in preparing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Dermatology and VenereologyUniversitas IndonesiaJakartaIndonesia

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