Batik is an ancient art which uses wax and dyes to create a visual magic on fabrics. It is believed that the term is a derivation from the word Ambatik, which when translated literally stands for a piece of cloth with small dots or writing with wax, or drawing in broken lines. A Batik creation involves three basic steps – waxing, dyeing, and scraping or removing. In the first step, wax is used to create designs on certain predefined areas on the fabric.
After this, the fabric is dyed and the wax is removed by scraping, or by boiling the cloth so that the wax peels off. Today, there is no one single community involved in the production of Batik clothes. While the techniques used have evolved over time and the screen printing method is used to create beautiful designs, there are still many clusters where Batik is still a manual painstaking craft which results in unconventional and lovely patterns. Across India, Batik is produced in many different areas, with each state bringing its own cultural influences.
There are artisans in various regions who are trained in Batik work. Of course, given the diversity of culture in India, the artisans bring to the fore designs which have some influence or the other of elements of their respective states.