Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has urged Malaysians to wear batik garments on Saturdays and special occasions in a bid to promote the local industry.

Speaking at the launch of the Batik Extravaganza in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, the prime minister said the garments, which are hand-dyed and hand-stamped using a combination of traditional and modern techniques, had "great potential" for export.

"(Batik) is typically Malaysian and can be marketed globally," he said.

"This is a mission we must support because it can help the batik makers and producers as a source of new and better wealth.

"We are giving a strong push for the batik industry to move forward and expand in terms of innovation."

He said wearing of the garments would likely place them in higher sales demand.