Batik

(Glossary Term)

A resist-dyeing process used for decorating woven cloth. The resisting agents used include damar tree sap or rice paste, but more frequently involves beeswax applied on the cloth using a canting (pen) or a cap (stamp) before dyeing. The wax is later removed by soaking the cloth in hot water, leaving the resisted area in the cloth’s original colour in contrast with the dyed area. The batik process reached its fullest expression in java, where repeated resist and dyeing steps are used to make complex, multi-coloured designs on finely woven cotton cloth.