Batik is a traditional art form found throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, but it is believed that the highest quality batik is made on the island of Java, Indonesia. The most notable sources of batik work on the island include Surakarata (called Solo by the locals) and the island of Madura. The technique of batik includes multiple phases of coloring and designs either stamped and/or drawn with a canting (liquid wax pen). Wax is cracked to achieve a marble effect or it is immediately removed in boiling water and/or by scraping. Dense, high thread count cloth (typically cotton) is used to ensure desirable absorption of the dye. Traditionally natural dyes (ie. indigo, tinggi tree sap and soga tree) were used; today however, a combination of natural and chemical dyes is used. Designs, including geometric and free form patterns, are initially sketched with charcoal or drawn free hand with the canting. Traditionally batik was simple with few colors, but today it reflects cultural influences, particularly those of the Dutch.
Care instructions: batik fabric may be machine-washed with soap for sensitive fabrics, line dry, prevent over-exposure to sunlight as batik fabric is susceptible to fading (as with any other vibrant colored fabric)