The technique of dyeing fabric using wax to create patterns and designs is known as Batik. Batik Indonesia has been voted to be the best across the world for its originality and unique style of patterns. It is not only practiced in this region, but also in other countries in different continents.
A popular and highly regarded design in the region is the Javanese Batik. The designs are mostly based on culture and religion of the region. Dark brown, indigo and white are the main colors used for the prints. These colors are commonly used because most natural dyes were found in this color during the old days.
Cotton or silk are natural materials that are used for this technique. The materials are used to absorb the wax applied in the dye resisting process. To maintain the designed patterns, the materials should be densely woven. The material is washed and boiled several times to eliminate any kind of lime and chalk before applying any wax. This method was used in order to keep the dark colors of the dye for a long period.
The form of art was difficult, but the tools used were simple. Some of the tools used are canting, wajan, cap and wax. Canting or wax pen was used to draw designs on fabric using wax. The melted wax was preserved in the wajan as the designer continued with his work. For patterns a cap was used. The wax used was in different types and qualities depending on the cloth used.
In ancient days, the fabric designs were handmade. Men and women assisted each other in different ways. The creativity of women made the fabric beautiful and attractive. The duty of the men in this procedure was to prepare the cloth and handle the dye and finishing process. This has changed due to the development of technology. The designs are printed on the fabric using different forms of technology.
The process is not easy because the motifs should have a characteristic and meaning. It has two factors to consider, the coloring techniques and choice of the motifs. Motifs of flowers, plants, animals, land marks and geometric patterns are used for symbolic expression. The patterns are used to relate to the different cultures in the region. More than three thousand patterns recorded for this technique.
The social standing of an individual is also ranked using the patterns on the fabric. It is considered to be a traditional outfit among the Indonesian people. The cloth is usually worn in formal occasions in the country. Students and employees also wear this traditional outfit in certain days of the week like Friday.
Batik Indonesia has been voted as a masterpiece all over the world because of its originality and unique designs. The fabric designs that have been worn for many Indonesian generations has preserved it origin and culture to present day. These unique cloths can be purchased from stores worldwide and also online. One can also buy from Indonesia via the Internet, or on a visit to the country.