Elaborately decorated fabrics and patterns can be seen almost everywhere in the world today. Batiking is a type of decorated fabric, which usually depicts motifs of flowers, birds, butterflies and other natural objects, or simple geometric forms. These designs are rich in symbolic heritage and variety; to date there are over three thousand recorded batik patterns. To perform the art of batiking, one must know a little about its origin, the necessary materials, and the method of creating a batik.
The technique of "batik" itself is Indonesian in origin; the word "batik" is an Indonesian-Malay word that means "to dot." The art of batiking is more than a millennium old. There are evidences that cloth decorated through a form of resistant technique was used early AD in West African, Middle-Eastern, and Asian communities. Over the past two or three centuries, batik has become one of the best means of expression, spiritually and culturally, in the values of Southeast Asia. This means of coloring and decorating textiles has even reached a higher degree of excellence in the island of Java. From Java, batik cloth has been exported to many other islands, spreading the batiking art around, which is how it is so well known, as are most of the items used to create it.
A number of different materials are used when creating a batik. The primary requirements are cloth, wax, various colored dyes and an electric skillet (to melt the wax). The best type of wax to use is a combination of beeswax and paraffin, because paraffin alone crackles too much. Other materials used while dyeing the fabric are, measuring cups and spoons, rubber gloves, and bucket(s) to hold the dye. Paintbrushes are of use once the wax has melted in the electric skillet, as are cookie sheets or tinfoil to place under the batik while working. After the fabric has been dyed, newspaper, an iron, and unprinted paper are used to remove the wax. Once all the materials are collected, starting the process...
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