To Create a Beautiful batik… the hand, heart and mind must become one

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Hand waxing with canting tool

Seated on a low stool, the batiker dips her small copper cup or canting
(chan’ ting) into the hot, melted wax, and blows lightly on the tip of the spout. With smooth, sure movements, she guides the tip along the lines of the intricate pattern on the cloth. As the wax cools, she dips her canting again … and then again … in a day filled with a meditative rhythm.

Indonesian women have been making these beautiful cloths, in just this same way – for centuries. It is this tradition that Batik Winotosastro is committed to preserving. A cultural and artistic legacy that goes far beyond cloth as a mere commodity to be bought and sold in the marketplace, though the importance of that marketplace cannot be denied as well.

WHAT IS BATIK – a Brief Introduction

source : compilation from some sources

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You’ll discover the story behind batik in this section. Then be treated to several examples of these elegant handmade cloths filled with symbolic meaning.

The word batik comes from the term titik, a dot, point or drop, referring to the wax dots that make up the pattern. The word itself has three distinct meanings.

Firstly, batik refers to the actual process of applying melted wax to cloth (or other surfaces) by hand, then dyeing the cloth. The wax acts as a resist to the dye colors.

Batik tulis – hand writing batik using canting as a pen

Batik cap – Batik Stamp

Batik combination  – Using stamp and canting to fill in the empty space
  • Batik tulis, meaning writing, is waxed completely by hand using the canting tool. This is the most expensive batik due to the long process and high level of skill needed. You’ll see slight differences in the thickness of the wax line, and the details show variation in size or shape.
  • Batik cap (chop) or stamp  is waxed with the copper stamp called a cap. This also takes skill to create an even pattern on the cloth, but it’s much faster to make than batik tulis. You’ll notice a set thickness to the lines because they’re all the same from the width of the copper strips. Also, if you open the cloth and let your eye blur slightly, you can sometimes notice the shape of the stamp is separated a bit from the one next to it. Batik cap is the least expensive of hand-processed batiks.
  • Batik kombinasi or Combination which is combines both techniques on one cloth. First the main design is waxed with a cap, then the batiker adds details with the canting. Batik kombinasi is priced in the mid-range.

Secondly, the word applies to the finished product itself – a batik cloth.

Thirdly, the word has come to mean the patterns themselves. So some would say a cloth that has been screen printed to look like batik, but was not made with wax or dyes, is batik also.

Unfortunately, these screen-printed cloths have become so widespread, that most people cannot tell the difference between hand made, wax processed batiks and screen-printing. With new technology, the quality of these screen-printed fabrics can be extremely difficult to distinguish between them and original batiks. One indication is their low price since no hand work is involved.

Lately, people or public tends to know

Other types that people classified into batik, even though is not follow the Batiking process are:

1. Printing batik, this is actually is not ‘real batik’; it is fabric with Batik  Pattern only.

2. Fractal batik, this is also just a kind of innovation how to modify the batik pattern using computer program.

3. Two faces of Batik, it is a kind of printing batik, both side are printed with different color or different pattern.


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