Batiks • Batik Dyeing • Batik Prints
True batiks are the product of a traditional, labor intensive process that originated in Indonesia and can be thought of as hand made prints. Although designs of all sorts can be given this kind of treatment, many of the batiks available for sale in this country show a strong Javanese influence. Javanese style batik designs, because of their popularity, have been copied by fabric converters in other countries and, in particular, by Indian firms. Their batik prints are produced through conventional, commercial printing.
The batiks are created through a dyeing process called resist dyeing. This process involves covering a pattern on the fabric with wax. When the fabric is dyed, only the areas not covered by wax take the dye color. After dyeing, the wax is removed from the fabric. This can be done with a solvent or through boiling or ironing. If another color is desired, these steps must be repeated.
In recent years, batiks have enjoyed exceptional popularity. Although the largest market is quilters, batik prints are also routinely used for apparel. Quilters use cotton batiks almost exclusively while apparel sewers may use either cotton or rayon batiks. Batik prints, at least the hand made variety, are never made with synthetic fabrics.