About Batik Fabrics - What is a Batik?

Batiking is the process of waxing and dyeing cloth. The word batik is thought to be derived from the word 'ambatik' which translated means 'a cloth with little dots'. The suffix 'tik' means little dot, drop, point or to make dots. Batik may also originate from the Javanese word 'tritik' which describes a resist process for dying where the patterns are reserved on the textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie dye techniques.

Tulis Batiks - The Finest in Batik Cloth Craftmanship

Indonesian woman creating a fine, handcrafted, batik clothHand drawn batiks, known as tulis batiks, are examples of the finest batik work. Their designs are drawn or painted in wax by hand with a tool known as the canting. The canting consists of a small copper cup with a spout through which melted wax can flow out onto the cloth. The cup is mounted on a wooden or rattan handle. The size of the spout and the number of spouts may vary for different functions. To begin making a tulis batik, beeswax is melted in a small metal pot with a flame underneath. The design is drawn on the cotton fabric with a pencil. The cloth is tacked onto a wooden frame. Then taking the canting tool, the artist dips into the melted wax and begins applying it to the cloth.

Once they have outlined the design, they pour on the first dye. Then the artist applies the second coat of wax, painting with wax the areas to be saved. They start with the lightest colors working toward the darkest colors waxing the front and back and the front again for each new dye color used. When they are finished with this process, they put the fabric in boiling water and melt the wax off.

Origins of Batik Cloth - A Brief History

Map of IndonesiaBatiks originated centuries ago with the villagers and tribesmen of remote, tropical regions in what are now the countries of Maylasia and Indonesia. The promotion of the village arts is a way of keeping alive an important part of a vibrant and beautiful culture. Many of our batik paintings are imported directly from the Javanese village artists. They use 100% cotton cloth and all dyes used are colorfast.

Batik Art Panels - Utilizing Ancient Art for Contemporary Use

The batik art panels provide quilters, craft and home sewers, and interior designers with an opportunity to combine an ancient art form with a contemporary use. Since each batik piece is individually handmade, the colors and designs may vary.

For More Information

Need More Information? For more information about the history and design process of batiks, visit Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates.