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batik (bətēkˈ), method of decorating fabrics practiced for centuries by the natives of Indonesia. It consists of applying a design to the surface of the cloth by using melted wax. The material is then dipped in cool vegetable dye; the portions protected by the wax do not receive the dye, and when the wax is removed in hot water the previously covered areas display a light pattern on the colored ground. Remains of clothing found in Java indicate that the same or similar patterns have been in use for about 1,000 years and are handed down in families. Certain designs were traditionally reserved for royalty and high officials. Motifs are geometric or are based on conventionalized natural objects. Cotton cloth is generally used, and some silk. Batik was first brought into Europe by Dutch traders. In the 19th cent., Western artisans adopted the art.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Malay), a painting technique; also a multicolored fabric decorated by batik. Batik is based on a design applied to the fabric with a composition impervious to dyes. (If the “hot” method is employed, heated wax is used; if the “cold,” rubber glue.) After this, the fabric is dyed in a vat or with the aid of tampons. Other colors are applied by dyeing the fabric again, after parts of the wax outline are removed. The “hot” batik method has long been known to the peoples of Indonesia (especially on the island of Java), India, and others. The basic colors of Indonesian batik are indigo blue and brown; the traditional designs are very varied and often have a symbolic meaning. Batik began to be used in Europe on decorative textiles at the beginning of the 20th century. Batik painting became a popular art form in the Soviet Union in the early 1930’s, primarily on silk kerchiefs and mufflers and later, on decorative panels.


Koriukin, V. N. Batik: Khudozhestvennoe oformlenie tkanei. Leningrad, 1968.
Fiegert, J. Die Kunst des Batikens. Dresden, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A method of dyeing fabric in which parts of the cloth not intended to be dyed are covered with removable wax.
The print so produced.
The dyed cloth.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
'We hope that Pertamina's participation in the exhibition can improve the quality and competitiveness of the Patronage Partners' creative economic products, especially Batik and Weaving.
'Some of the modern styles include, Adire and batik jackets, hoodies, shirts, shorts, joggers, jackets, gowns, skirts, scarfs amongst others.'
'My first time to wear and own a hand-painted Batik scarf.
Duncan's large-scale abstract batik paintings are filled with circular forms.
Muhammad Bakhtiar also said that from now on, batik will be used at all official functions in the ministry, adding that all other ministries and government agencies must also enhance the dignity of Malaysian batik.
6, the 'Southeast Asian Textile and Batik Forum' was held, including a workshop, batik exhibition, and batik dress up.
'With my two legs and feet, I can still work in making batik that is in great demand by the public,' she said in Boyolali, on Thursday (8/13).
By giving stimulus towards creativity and innovative for batik Industry make the government have an important role as a regulator.
A two-day Batik workshop was held at the Fatima Jinnah Women University in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy.
Deny Tri Basuki Counselor of Indonesian Embassy said that the workshop was aimed to introducing about Batik techniques and organized to promote the art, culture and entertainment industry of Indonesia in Pakistan.
FJWU organized two days Batik Workshop in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy.