Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique originated from Indonesia. The artist uses wax to prevent dye from penetrating the cloth, leaving “blank” areas in the dyed fabric. The process, wax resist then dye, can be repeated over and over to create complex multicolored designs.
Indians are known to use resist method of printing designs on cotton fabrics, which can be traced back 2000 years. Initially, wax and even rice starch were used for printing on fabrics. Contemporary batik making in India is also done by the Deaf women of Delhi, these women are fluent in Indian Sign Language and also work in other vocational programs.
The Technique : Firstly, a cloth is washed, soaked and beaten with a large mallet. Patterns are drawn with pencil and later redrawn using hot wax, usually made from a mixture of paraffin or beeswax, sometimes mixed with plant resins, which functions as a dye-resist. The wax can be applied with a variety of tools. A pen-like instrument called a canting . A canting is made from a small copper reservoir with a spout on a wooden handle. The reservoir holds the resist which flows through the spout, creating dots and lines as it moves. For larger patterns, a stiff brush may be used.