The term batik generally refers to cloth that has been decorated by a wax resist technique. This means that where the wax is applied to the cloth, the dye cannot go, it is resisted by the wax. Layers of color and pattern are built up on the cloth with layers wax and dye.
No one knows exactly where batik originated, but it is known to have existed for thousands of years and has been found and practiced in China, Japan, India, Thailand, East Turkestan, Europe and Africa.
By far the undisputed Masters of the Universe of batik are found in Indonesia on the island of Java.
On Java, batik is considered a medium of expression with deep cultural and spiritual significance. In the past the designs and motifs had special meaning and were worn on specific and special occasions, and some patterns could only be worn by royalty.
I had the good fortune to learn the batik process from a Javanese Master Batiker, Widya Harsano, on the Island of Bali. I also travelled throughout Indonesia and Malaysia and visited numerous other batik studios and factories.
I had custom batik stamps (called tjaps) made with Western designs such as bleeding hearts flowers, columbine flowers, sweet pea flowers, birch leaf, and snow flake. I used these along with the tjanting tool to create my batiks.