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What is Batik?

L. S. Wynn
By L. S. Wynn
Updated May 16, 2024
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Batik (pronounced 'Bah-Teak') is a technique used to dye fabrics. Batiking is a relatively straightforward process that often produces beautiful results.

First, melted wax is applied to the fabric in the areas that are to be free of dye. There are various methods used to apply the liquid wax, but brushing or directly pouring the wax are the most common. Once the molten wax cools, it hardens and penetrates into the fabric. Next the fabric is soaked in dye. The wax prevents dye from penetrating onto the fabric and therefore keeps those areas of fabric in their original color.

To remove the wax after the dyeing process, a solvent can be used. Alternatively, the hardened wax can be pressed out with an iron; the hot surface melts the wax it is pressed through the fabric. If a multiple-colored design is desired, the process is repeated for each color.

Many fabrics can be used for batiking, but plain, light colored cotton seems to work best. Cracks in the wax allow thin lines of dye to penetrate through to the fabric which gives batik its characteristic appearance.

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Discussion Comments
By anon289580 — On Sep 04, 2012

I think the statement which said that batik is the technique of dyeing fabric may be right, but also batiks are one of the most traditional types of clothing from Indonesia. Thanks for sharing information about what batik is. It was really helpful.

By anon134118 — On Dec 13, 2010

I think that the definition is great but i do think that it can elaborate more. It does not give enough detail. (Batik is a technique used to dye fabrics) that is all it gives us. Thanks for the simple definition, but i need the details and facts. thanks

By anon120628 — On Oct 21, 2010

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Batik? I have to do this in my gcse coursework, and i am really struggling to find information on Batik. Please help. Thanks.

By anon60456 — On Jan 13, 2010

There are other methods for creating batik as well. Wax is the most difficult of the resists to use, because of the cleanup.

Batik is generally done on 100 percent cotton, but any natural fiber that will absorb the dye can be transformed into a batik.

By anon51667 — On Nov 08, 2009

what is batik? i still want to know what kind of material it is.

By anon11920 — On Apr 26, 2008

It was very interesting and gave you great information about batik. I think that if your interested in batik you should read this as an introduction to batik.

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