What is Batik Printing?
Batik printing is a traditional textile printing technique that originated in Indonesia. The term “Batik” is an Indonesian-Malay word. Batik is a process of decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and undyed areas gives the pattern. One of the significant features of this art is that it is very simple and can be done by anyone. Colorful batik prints grace the home furnishings with elegance and style. Beautiful bags, household linens, murals and wall paintings with striking batik works enjoy a great demand in the domestic and international market. The batik wall hangings accentuate the walls with their bright colors and motifs. Batik has also made its mark as impressive textile products. Batik printed kurtis, saris and wrappers are the preferred choices of the fashion crazy populace.
Batik printing is one of the oldest forms known to man. It originated in Java. Portions of the fabric are coated with wax so that only un-waxed areas will take on the dye matter. The operation may be repeated several times and several colors may used for the bizarre effects. Motifs show a mélange, mottled or streaked effect, imitated in machine printing.
Much of the popularity of Batik can be tied to the fact that the batik technique offers immense possibilities for artistic freedom as patterns are applied by actual drawing rather than by weaving with thread.
Another factor in its popularity is the fact that it is so durable. The colors in Batik are much more resistant to wear than those of painted or printed fabrics because the cloth is completely immersed in dye and the areas not protected by resist are allowed to absorb hues to the extent that the colors will not easily fade.
Because of the popularity of batik designs, many batik patterns are used in a wide variety of fabrics. Many fabrics are called batik although they were not made in the resist method. Most purists believe that such cloth has a batik like design but is not true batik which is confined to fabrics made through the application of the originally conceived Javanese methods of resist dyeing.
Modern designers in Indonesia, Malaysia and to a lesser extent Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere often use batik design elements and often the actual batik clothe in their clothing and accessories.
Batik Printing Technique:
The art of batik is a three-stage process of waxing, dyeing and dewaxing (removing the wax). There are also several sub-processes like preparing the cloth, tracing the designs, stretching the cloth on the frame, waxing the area of the cloth that does not need dyeing, preparing the dye, dipping the cloth in dye, boiling the cloth to remove wax and washing the cloth in soap. The characteristic effects of the batik are the fine cracks that appears in the wax, which allow small amounts of the dye to seep in. Batik wax exercises an important function in the process of batik printing. Proper usage of wax results into an impeccable batik work. 30% beeswax and 70% paraffin wax are generally applied. During application wax should not be overheated or it will catch fire. The common batik fabrics that make for excellent batik prints are cambric, poplin, voiles, and pure silk are used. Natural colors derived from barks of trees, leaves, flowers and minerals were used.
Today, tapping with a copper block is also used to meet the demand of the customers.
The resulting fabric can be used to create clothing, home decor, and other textile products. Batik printing is a time-consuming process, but it produces beautiful and unique designs.
Batik printing has a rich history and cultural significance in Indonesia. But now it is practiced in other parts of the world, and has become a popular textile printing technique in the fashion industry.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.