The term "BATIK" came from the Indonesian word "ambatik" meaning "write and design". An ancestral art previously reserved for the ladies of the Indonesian Aristocracy who wore clothes made from Batik cloth, which they had designed and made themselves.

Batik is a technique, which is the reverse of traditional painting, since one starts by selecting the areas which one wishes to keep in their original state. This process is then repeated for each colour from the lightest till the darkest. The colours merge, and for instance, if the first colour is yellow and the second red, it becomes orange.

To do this, a natural cloth or material is stretched on a wooden frame. One then makes the design with a "tjanting" filled with hot liquid wax. The areas of the work which should remain in the natural colour are thus covered with wax.

The material is dyed and kept moving for 45 minutes in a bath giving colour to the areas with the lightest colour. The material is then rinsed and dried. This process is repeated for each colour from the lightest till the darkest.

Following these various dye baths, the material becomes stiff with wax and grey in colour. There is no apparent design visible. It is then placed between sheets of absorbant paper, and the wax is slowly melted with a warm iron. As the wax dissolves, the design slowly appears with all its nuances of colours.

BATIK requires long and patient work...