Batik Interesting Introduction

      Fall has fallen, and winter is on its way, yet another season seems to be prominent due to batik springing up everywhere! This ancient printing craft originated in Java, and has been practiced there for centuries. Batik is generally observed as an indigenous Indonesian (Java) textile, Fashions and furnishings are utilizing batik prints in increasing numbers, causing their industries to acknowledge the beauty and artistry of this brilliant 2,000 year-old tradition.

     Performing the batik technique can be done in a factory for mass production, or in smaller quantities per yard; this is done by hand, which is the traditional way to batik print.  The factory method was put in place c.1850 in order to compete with a burgeoning European fashion market.  This method uses a metal stamp, called a “cap,” to apply the hot wax; the stamp is heated, dipped in the hot wax, and the surface of the cap is then pressed on to the cloth.  The traditional method, done by hand, utilizes a wooden, pen-like “canting” filled with the hot, liquid wax that is drawn on to the fabric’s surface.....       

     Batik prints are generally composed of flower motifs, twinning plants, leaves and buds, birds, butterflies, fish, geometric forms and patterns, small animals and insects.  The innovations in batik patterns are endless, as there are nearly 3,000 varieties on record.  The word “batik” is in Indonesian in origin, and occurs as “ambatik” in Javanese; it means “drawing” and “writing.”  These two words describe what it means to print batik: to draw patterns and designs free hand with hot wax, Then the fabric is re-waxed, cloth dyed, and boiled.       

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