Where Art and Culture Meet

Batik or wax resist dyeing is done by drawing dots or lines with a resist tool called a Canting. The Canting contains a melted wax which is applied by the artist to any areas of the cloth that he or she wants to resist dye. When the cloth has been coloured in the desired dye (minus the resist applied areas), the artisan will remove the dye by emersing the fabric in boiling water. Then the process is repeated for different colours as many times as required.

This process is time consuming and requires attention to detail, patience and dedication to the art. Traditional Batik making can be found in many countries like, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Singapore. The best known Batik however is the Indonesian Batik made on the island of Java. The patterns are influenced by a variety of cultures and it is the most developed of its kind in Pattern, Technique and the Quality of Workmanship.

Batik somewhat declined in demand during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia but has made a strong comeback in the 21st century. It is now a fashion statement in many parts of Indonesia with even high ranking officials wearing clothing made from the fabric. Batik is also featured in the National Airline Uniforms of Malaysian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Singapore airlines.