BATIK, A SHORT INTRODUCTION�
Simply, batik is an amazing and ancient method of color dyeing. Technically, batik is the process of applying dyes to porous surfaces. Historically, batik has been around for many hundreds of years. Esthetically, batik produces some of the most beautiful art in the world. However, batik is not easy and involves a very labor intensive and complex process with many hours of back breaking hard work. The first step in Batik is to design a pattern and have an idea of what you would like to create. In Indonesia where many believe to be the cradle of batik, the pattern is either stenciled with a special tool called a "Tulis". Wax is then placed in specific areas on the fabric using a "Canting" tool. Wax acts like a barrier to the color dyes and allows a color to remain while the remaining non-waxed fabric absorbs the dye. This method of batik is sometimes called �Resist Dyeing�. After the dying process, the wax is removed by soaking the fabric in hot water. Occasionally some wax will remain on the fabric and is easily removed in a warm wash cycle. The process of dyeing and waxing repeats. The wax can be removed and re-applied several times to make beautiful and intricate designs. Repeating until all the desired colors and patterns are obtained. The process of batik is practiced around the world. New methods and techniques are continually evolving. Indonesian batik artists are well known through out the world as the best batikers. From the beautiful islands of Bali and Java young Indonesians start in their villages learning from the elders. We are happy to share with you batik from Indonesia and around the world.�SHORT HISTORY OF BATIK�
Batiks origins can be traced back to Asia, India and Africa. Some say the word is of Malay roots and translates "to write" or "to dot". Batik is an art medium and methodology for creating design, usually on cloth, by applying wax to portions of the material and then dyeing it, then removing the wax. This can be done to make vibrant colors and incredible designs. Batik is said to be an ancient art that has been handed down for thousands of years. It is said to be wide spread as the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Philippines, India and more! Although the exact origins of batik are unknown, it is most common on the island of Java, Indonesia. It is known when the art of batik was first practiced in Java, batik belonged only to royalty and families of wealth and position. It was a hobby for the royal woman. Aristocrats and royalty had certain designs identifying a family, social status or geographical location on the island. Many of these designs have survived to this day. Today it is believed that certain patterns have special meanings and are thought to bring the wearer good luck, wealth, prosperity, health, etc. We hope it brings you good luck and prosperity when you wear your sarong from 1 World Sarongs. Currently, batik art has spread to India, China, Malaysia, Europe and Africa. It has become a skill and art of many great cultures. Today it is worn world wide by men and women, and can be seen almost anywhere. Artists typically decorate their batik fabrics in any way they are inspired. Because the art is becoming more and more popular there are lots more resources for the artists. This is yielding many types of designs, colors, and patterns.
Nobody knows exactly when or where batik originated, some claim it to be thousands of years old. Many believe the island of Java Indonesia to be the cradle of batik. Java is well known around the world for its batik artistry. It's believed that as in many cultures, religion and royalty played a big part in influencing the designs of batik. Through the centuries there has been an intermingling of cultures that have influenced batik. Indonesia is a land of many cultures and religions. With over 17,000 islands, 300 plus languages and roughly 240 million people, it's a wonder how that they keep it all together, but that's another story. Hindu, Islam and other religions, influenced traditional batik art. On our website you'll see some examples of this. For instance in our "Traditional Cotton" collection you'll see the repetitive patterns of Islamic influence. You'll also find sarongs with "Ganesha" and "Shiva" which are Hindu deities. Other influences include the Dutch who arrived in the 17th century bringing more colors. The Chinese brought more symbols like dragons, lions and the Phoenix. As a result of cultural influences many styles have developed and now there�s a wide array of batik designs across Indonesia. Batik continues to be well known and loved around the world. It is truly a beautiful and exotic art form with infinite possibilities that has endured for many centuries.