Although it is originally from java (the world ‘batik’ is a short word for rambating titik or connecting dots), batik can be found in almost every province of Indonesia. Batik is a method of creating patterns on fabric by applying warm beeswax (malam), mixed with paraffin,resins and fat (to repel the dey). The cloth is usually cotton but can be silk. When the cloth is dipped into the dye, the waxed parts are left uncolored. The wax is then removed by gently washing the cloth in warm water using chemicals. The cloth is re-waxed and dipped into a different dye, so that more and more colors can be applied later.
Batik is generally categorized by the method of creation. The first is Batik Tulis (hand painted batik). The maker of batik tulis draws a pattern on the fabric using a special pen with a bamboo handle called canting ( invented by Javanese people in the 17th or 18th century) using warm wax as ink. The melted wax is poured into the pot at the end of the canting and carefully released out of its nozzle bit by bit on to the white cotton/silk. It takes at least two weeks to complete a simple drawing on a two-meter long fabric.
The second is Batik Cap (printed batik). The method is using a batik stamp made of copper on the prepared whited fabric. The key of making this kind of batik is how to stamp precisely. A batik maker should place the edge of the stamp on the cloth first to make sure that the position is correct. Then she/he presses it firmly on the textile to leave the wax imprint and repeats the process until the whole cloth is covered. When making a piece of cloth, a batik maker usually uses more than one stamp.