According to some, the ancient textile art called batik, for which Java is particularly famous, developed in the middle East and introducted to Indonesia from India. Others claim China as it’s birthplace. Whatever the truth may be, there can be no doubut that the technical and artistic excellence of Javanese batik has never been surpassed.
Batik is, fundamentally, a ‘resist-dye ‘ technique. The mothod involves creating a pattern on a plain cloth with molten wax which, when hardened, becomes dye-resistant. Only the unwaxed part of the cloth is affected when the material is dyed, the patterned areas remaining the original colour. The hardened, wax is then scraped or boiled off and a fresh pattern can be applied. This process can be continued indefinitely, allowing for enormous complexity in design and subtlety of colour.