Batik refers to a unique style of dying fabric using the natural colors of indigo and brown as well as white. The dye is applied to the fabric using a manual wax resist method. The patterns vary from wide stripes, wavy lines along with flowers, leaves and animals. Originally certain patterns could only be worn by royalty with wider stripes or wavy lines indicating a higher rank. The more intricate patterns of leaves, flowers and vines are created by using a canting tool.
It is not clear where the first batik process was developed, but it predates written records in Java, Indonesia. The technique was mentioned in Europe for the first time in Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles’ book the History of Java, published in 1817.
batik fabrics are now popular worldwide in many applications including clothing, household furnishing fabrics and even artistic wall hangings. Batik is a common name given to any fabric displaying the batik pattern.
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