History of Batik
Batik is generally thought of as the original Indonesian textile. Motifs of batik are close to nature such as flowers, twinning plants, leaves buds, flowers, birds, butterflies, fish, insects and geometric forms are rich in symbolic association and variety.
It would be impossible to visit or live in Indonesia with out to be exposed to batik. In a batik store or factory you will undoubtedly experience an overwhelming stimulation of the senses - due to the many colors, patterns and the actual smell of batik. The word batik is come from the word 'ambatik' which means 'a cloth with little dots'. The suffix 'tik' means little dot, drop, point or to make dots. Batik may also originate from the Javanese word 'tritik' or 'titik' which describes a resist process for dying where the patterns are reserved on the textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie dye techniques.
The patterns to be dyed into the clothe are drawn with a canting, a wooden 'pen' fitted with a reservoir for hot, liquid wax. In batik workshops, circles of women sit working at clothes draped over frames, and periodically replenish their supply of wax by dipping their canting into a central vat. Some draw directly on the cloth from memory; others wax over faint charcoal lines.
This method of drawing patterns in wax on fine machine-woven cotton was practiced as a form of meditation by the female courtiers of Central Java; traditionally, batik tulis (tulis means 'write' in Indonesian) is produced by women.
But as a time goes and economics' reason, the application of waxed patterns with a large copper stamp or cap appeared in the batik industry to answer competition with cheap printed European cloth.
Batik has its own prestige in Bali. Using high class batik, like hand made (batik tulis) can show social status. Its beautiful designs, inspired by religious mythologies to everyday encounters, spread throughout the world. Originally stimulated by Javanese motifs, dominated by nature and other mythological characters. Modern batik artists express themselves through various subjects.
Today batik is not limit for traditional or ritual wearing in Bali. Some designers promote Bali Batik as elegant fabric that can be used to make casual or formal cloth. And its motif become richer then before from objects of nature such as birds or fish to daily activities such as cremation (ngaben) procession or tourist attractions as well as religious and mythological stories, accompanied by modern interpretation.