Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique used on textiles. Batik is considered as national art in Indonesia. Javanese batik, especially from Jogjakarta, has special meanings which is rooted to the Javanese idea of the universe. Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown and white, which represents the three major Hindu Gods. And certain patterns can only be worn by royals. Patterns similar to Javanese batik are also found in several countries of West Africa, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda and Mali, and in Asia, such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iran, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma, which displays the influence of the Indonesian batik internationally. Other regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns.
In traditional batik, wax (a combination of beeswax and paraffin) is applied (with a tjanting tool) to specific areas of the fabric, and the fabric is then placed in a light colored dye bath. Wax or paste: melted wax or some form of paste is applied to cloth before being dipped in dye. Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate. Sometimes several colors are used, with a series of dyeing, drying and waxing steps. The wax may also be applied to another piece of cloth to make a stencil, which is then placed over the cloth, and dye applied to the assembly; this is known as resist printing. Paper stencils may also be used; another type of resist printing. The same method is used in art in printmaking, in one form of screenprinting. Mechanical: the cloth is tied, stitched, or clamped using clothespegs or wooden blocks to shield areas of the fabric. Chemical: a modern textile printing method, commonly achieved using two different classes of fiber reactive dyes, one of which must be of the vinyl sulfone type. A chemical-resisting agent is combined with dye Type A, and printed using the screenprint method and allowed to dry. A second dye, Type B, is then printed overtop. The resist agent in Type A chemically prevents Type B from reacting with the fabric, resulting in a crisp pattern/ground relationship.
Batik is an ancient art that has been handed down for thousands of years. Batik is a wax resist dye process that dates back at least two thousand years
It is wide spread as the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Philippines and India. It is most common on the island of Java, Indonesia.
It is known when the art of batik was first practiced in Java, batik belonged only to royalty and families of wealth and position. It was a hobby for the royal woman. Aristocrats and royalty had certain designs identifying a family, social status or geographical location on the island. Many of these designs have survived to this day. Today it is believed that certain patterns have special meanings and are thought to bring the wearer good luck, wealth, prosperity, health, etc.
There are thousands of different batik designs, particular designs have traditionally been associated with traditional festivals and specific religious ceremonies. Previously, it was thought that certain cloth had mystical power to ward off ill fortune, while other pieces could bring good luck. Certain batik designs are reserved for brides and bridegrooms as well as their families. Other design are reserved for the Sultan and his family or their attendants. A person's rank could be determined by the pattern of the batik he/she wore. In general, there are two categories of batik design: geometric motifs (which tend to be the earlier designs) and free form designs, which are based on stylized pattern of natural forms or imitation of a woven texture.
geometric motifs (which tend to be the earlier designs)
and free form designs, which are based on stylized pattern of natural forms or imitation of a woven texture.
Kawung is a very old design consisting of intersecting circles, known in Java since at least the thirteenth century. This design has appeared carved into the walls of many temples throughout Java such as Prambanan near Jogjakarta and Kediri in East Java. For many years, this pattern was reserved for the royal court of the Sultan of Jogjakarta. The circles are sometimes embellished inside with two or more small crosses or other ornaments such as intersecting lines or doors. It has been suggested that the ovals might represent flora such as the fruit of the kapok (silk cotton) tree or the aren (sugar palm)
Ceplok is general name for a whole series of geometric design based on squares, rhombs, circles, stars, etc. Although fundamentally geometric, ceplok can also represent abstractions and stylization of flowers, buds, seeds and even animals. Variations in color intensity can create illusions of depth and the overall effects are not unlike medallion patterns seen on Turkish tribal rugs. The Indonesian population is largely Muslim, a religion that forbids the portrayal of animal and human forms in a realistic manner. To get around this prohibition, the batik worker does not attempt to express this matter in a realistic form. A single element of the form is chosen and then that element is repeated again and again in the pattern.
Parang was once used exclusively by the royal courts of Central Java. It has several suggested meaning such as 'rugged rock', 'knife pattern' or 'broken blade'. The Parang design consists of slanting rows of thick knife-like segments running in parallel diagonal bands. Parang usually alternated with narrower bands in a darker contrasting color. These darker bands contain another design element, a line of lozenge-shaped motif call mlijon. There are many variations of this basic striped pattern with its elegant sweeping lines, with over forty parang designs recorded. The most famous is the 'Parang Rusak' which in its most classical form consisting of rows of softly folded parang. This motif also appears in media other than batik, including wood carving and as ornamentation on gamelan mucisal instruments.
Lay out waxed paper (wax-side up) over your work area. Lay the paper you're going to batik out on the work surface. Draw your design on the paper using an unlit candle, a crayon, or paraffin wax. Each gives a different effect.
Crumple up the paper into a ball once the design is drawn.
Uncrumple the paper, and float it in a shallow tray or pan filled with ink or dye until the paper has completely absorbed the color. Use clothespins to hang the paper on a string over an old, thick towel or rug. It will drip, so be sure to use something you don't mind getting stained. Allow the paper to dry. Remove the wax by scraping, or dip the paper in mineral spirits. Repeat the whole process again with another light-colored ink if you had used a light-colored ink at first.