About Batik Art

What is Batik Art?

Batik art is an artform using wax and dye to create designs on textiles.  It has been practiced for over 2000 years and examples have been found in many different countries, the Far East, Middle East, Central Asia, India and on silk screens as far back as (AD 581-618) i.e the Sui Dynasty in China. In Java and Bali temple ruins contained figures whose garments are patterned in what looks like batik.

Wax is used to block out areas of the material, and the material is dyed.  The areas with the wax, resist the dye and stay the original colour, this process is repeated and after the final dyeing, the wax is removed and the material is ready. There are 2 main processes for Batik, hand-painted and block printed.

The traditional technique involves hand applying melted wax onto cloth before dipping it in dye. Different tools are used to apply the hot wax such as a canting or tjanting (pronounced chanting) or paint brushes, the tool is placed in the hot wax and applied to the material to go through both sides. 

Block printing is usually done for very elaborate designs, the design is carved into a tool, the tool is dipped into the wax and pressed into the material, this is a much faster process and used for large pieces with repeating patterns.

At Irish Rock Art Batik Jacqui uses the traditional hand-painted method and as such each piece is unique.

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