Batik

The Batik Guild > What is Batik?

What is Batik?

Batik is both an art and a craft, which is becoming more popular and well known in the West as a wonderfully creative medium. The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practised for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot.

To make a batik, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs. After the final dyeing the wax is removed and the cloth is ready for wearing or showing.

Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics.

Batik is historically the most expressive and subtle of the resist methods. The ever widening range of techniques available offers the artist the opportunity to explore a unique process in a flexible and exciting way.

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Beverley Art Gallery Open Exhibition
25 Nov 2016 to 28 Jan 2017

Art Alert: Where the Mood Takes Us
17 Dec 2016 to 22 Jan 2017

New Year Open Exhibition
21 Jan to 25 Feb 2017

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, Open Art Exhibition
21 Jan to 12 Mar 2017

YUZEN and RōZOME Workshop with Rita Trefois (Belgium)
26 to 27 Jan 2017

Workshops at Halecat House
30 Jan 2017

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