What is Batik?

Batik is an artform , which is becoming more popular and well known in the West as a creative fiberart medium. The art of designing cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practiced for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot.

To make a batik, you start by blocking out areas of your fabric  by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, after this process, the cloth is dyed or painted. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. You can then recoat areas with wax and dye again. This process of waxing and dyeing is repeated over and over to create intricatly designed fabrics or paintings. After the final dyeing the wax is removed and you fabric is ready for wearing or showing.

Contemporary batik, is very different from the more traditional and formal styles, however many traditional methods are still used. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics.

Batik is historically the most eloquent and delicate of all the resist dying methods. The growing scope of ways to create batik, offers today's artist the possibility to explore a unique process in a indefinite and passionate way.