What is Batik?

Updated 3/30/2022

Batik comes from the Javanese words "amba" and "nitik" which means to write and to dot. Batik is an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. Batik is traditionally done on tightly woven cotton and that is why it is highly recommended to use as face masks by The New York Times, New York Magazine and NBC News. This technique originated from Java, Indonesia and has been around since the 13th century.

To make batik fabric, the artisans start with a white tightly woven cotton fabric often called "kain mori" or mori fabric.  Afterwards, the artisans will apply hot wax on the fabric. There are two ways of applying hot wax on the fabric:

First is by applying hot wax with a spouted tool called a canting. See this video on how our artisans applying hot wax using canting on our Chips batik face mask.

A second method is by printing the wax with a copper block stamp called "cap":

After the wax has dried, they can then dye the fabric:
After dyeing, the artisans then boil the fabric in hot water to melt the wax away. The pattern that has wax on it will stay white in color, while the background will turn to a color that was used to dye.  
At Kasih Co-op, we offer hand-stamped and hand-drawn batik as well as batik prints that are handsewn by artisans:
Take a look at our latest collection Gili & Lombok batik face masks with nose wire, adjustable ear and pocket for filter. As well as our original rectangle face masks that are made with batik prints.

Featured Batik Robes & Accessories

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published