Batik Printing -Magnificent Art of Wax Printing

Batik printing is a textile piece of art that is used for decorating with wax and dyeing it. Batik means wax writing and it is more than a handicraft. Batik printing has been passed through different generations and it is the main source of income for people living in Kutch, Mudra and Gujarat. Three prints represent the three-dimensional look with traditional motifs, nature elements such as birds, flowers, bees, leaves and geometrical designs. These prints give an impression as they imbibe universal colors and patterns of nature.

The word Batik comes from the Indonesian word – Ambatik in Javanese words – Amba means to write and titik means dot or print. Amba means cloth with little dots or wax writing. Batik painting is derived from Medhiya art which is derived from the word -Wax. This is inspired by women in earlier days who used to adorn bindi which feature the usage of wax.

Usage –

Batik prints are used for stitching different apparel like salwars, kurtas, sarees, scarves and many more. Among the masses, batik-printed cotton and silk sarees are widely popular all around the country. The cloth from Batik prints is used and incorporated into western clothing. The colors are used which is vivid and designs are stunning and it is hard to believe that it is made with wax and dye.

Significance –

 This kind of printing is not only practiced in various regions of country but also different parts of the world. Batik printing is popular among masses which contribute it to its designs and significance in modern times. Batik significance can be tied to its interesting technique and crackled effects.
It is very durable and has more color fastness than printed fabric.

Contemporary patterns are included in Batik prints to maintain their popularity and significance. One can witness the different and colourful designs which could enhance the beauty and appearance.  It was common to see the mass production of batik with machines. Batik technique started as decoration for royals. Designers have recently started incorporating batik into everyday clothing in Asian markets.

Batik prints Comprise Prints in a Different Colour-




These prints have designs with dots, dotted flowers, or geometrical patterns. Other designs also include lions, flowers, fish and a moon in one print.  These prints are heavily influenced by culture and folk tales. Initially, the artisans use only natural dyes in the early days. But due to chemical dyes introduced in the market, the artisans explore different colors. Recently, due to the growing demand for skin-friendly and eco-friendly colors, many artisans find themselves shifting to natural dyes.

Challenges –

Batik is time consuming process and meticulous technique of decorating fabric by hand. This required tremendous amount of practice and patience.  This also includes increase of raw materials and wastage of water. There are attempts being made to make this process eco-friendly and sustainable. There are improved facilities for waxing, bleaching and washing the fabric. The techniques have been adapted to led to process becoming less cumbersome and easy to learn. Due to influx of new prints, clothes and machines, it didn’t weaken the strong art. It is still going strong.

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