A collection of batik cloth made of woven silk. Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practised 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 here. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colors are desired.
The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot. Batik is historically the most expressive and subtle of the resist methods. The ever widening range of techniques available offers the artist the opportunity to explore a unique process in a flexible and exciting way. But the most traditional type of batik, called batik tulis (written batik), is drawn using only the canting. The cloth need to be drawn on both sides and dipped in a dye bath three to four times. The whole process may take up to a year.