This is one of my highlights of the trip, because I love studying and preserving art. Batik is the most famous art in Indonesia, where it is fully integrated into daily fashion. Even at the schools, students are required to wear a school batik once a week.
Batik is a method of articulating a design with wax on a piece of fabric. It is layered on with a canting tool, which is a wood handle tool with a metal funnel. The funnel then has a 2 cm nib that controls the flow of the wax. The wax is drawn onto both sides of the fabric. Then the fabric is dyed, and the resisting wax is removed to reveal the drawn pattern. It could then be repeated with a differently drawn design and color dye. It was extremely hard to control the nib, as it could let out an unsightly blob of wax, ruining a more delicately sketched design.
Now I am on the hunt for the most perfect batik. I am looking for an intricate, geometrically designed piece. I worry I will not have an eye for high quality work, as there are different qualities of batik, depending on the intricacies and complexities of the design.