batik


batik
/beuh teek", bat"ik/, n.
1. a technique of hand-dyeing fabrics by using wax as a dye repellent to cover parts of a design, dyeing the uncovered fabric with a color or colors, and dissolving the wax in boiling water.
2. the fabric so decorated.
v.t.
3. to hand-dye (material) using the technique of batik.
Also, battik.
[1875-80; < Javanese batik]

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Method of dyeing textiles, principally cottons, in which patterned areas are covered with wax so that they will not receive colour.

Multicoloured effects are achieved by repeating the dyeing process several times, the initial pattern of wax being boiled off and another design applied before redyeing. Wax was applied with bamboo strips in Indonesia, where the technique originated. A small copper pot with a handle and narrow applicator spout for applying the wax came into use in Java by the mid 18th century; a wood-block wax applicator was developed in the 19th century. Dutch traders imported the cloth and the technique to Europe. Today machines for applying wax in traditional Javanese patterns reproduce the same effects as the hand-dyeing process.

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▪ dyeing method
      method of dyeing in which patterned areas are covered with wax so they will not receive the colour. The method is used mainly on cottons and in the traditional colours of blue, brown, and red. Multicoloured and blended effects are obtained by repeating the dyeing process several times, with the initial pattern of wax boiled off and another design applied before redyeing. The basic technique, originated at an unknown time, was apparently practiced widely in Southeast Asia with local variations, as in Celebes Island, where the wax was applied with bamboo strips. In Java, by the mid-18th century, a small copper crucible with a handle and narrow applicator spout for applying the wax came into use, producing a much more elaborately patterned cloth; a further Javanese innovation was the wood-block wax applicator introduced in the 19th century. The Dutch imported both the cloth and the technique to Europe. Present machines for applying wax in traditional Javanese patterns may reproduce such effects of the hand process as the staining caused by fissures in the wax. See also resist printing.

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Universalium. 2010.

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