If you’ve ever wondered why Batik Fabrics are so unique and special, it's because of the extraordinary technique by which they are produced. Batiking is the centuries-old process of waxing and dyeing cloth using a process similar to screen-printing. Artists produce beautiful Batik fabrics using several or few colors. The more colors the finished Batik is to have, the more involved the process becomes to produce that color palette.
Below is a brief example of how Indonesian artists create Batik fabrics.
First the artist dyes the entire fabric, usually a length of between 10 and 20 yards. In this example the fabric was dyed a light purple (the vine color) and then hung to dry.
Next, the artist uses hand-made copper stamps (see flower stamp example below), which he or she dips into beeswax and then imprints onto the fabric to create the motif. In the example, above, the vine pattern stamp was dipped in wax and stamped onto the light purple fabric. The wax prevents any additional color from penetrating the fabric.
After the wax has dried, the artist again dyes the fabric; in this example they dried it a darker purple. Again, the fabric was allowed to dry. Choosing only to use a 2-color process, the artist is now ready for the last step, which is to immerse the dyed fabric into boiling water to melt and remove the wax.
The result is a vibrant and colorful Batik fabric ready to become whatever the recipient dreams up!
**See our "What are Batiks?" section to see how Batik Paintings are made!