The Making of Batik

Batik is colored cloth which made by drawing and waxing and being processed with certain unique ways. Batik has long history until it is acculturating and being famous in Java, Indonesia. Although the history of batik making is found in many countries, the Indonesian batik is considered the best. It is because Indonesian batik has unique color and pattern which usually taken from nature. Besides, making processes of batik also make it unique and have good quality. Below are steps of making batik.

Khetel or Boiling

Batik is made from Mori cloth which is white woven. Kheteling is when Mori cloth being boiled for days along with many kinds of plants. The result will be dried and it is called Primisima cloth. Primisima is the number one material to use for batik making. Although, there are other clothes called Prima which the quality is lower than Primisima.

Drawing pattern

After choosing cloth, batik makers will put their inspiration into it. They will draw the pattern first whether directly drawn on the cloth or in the paper. Usually the drawing only contains the pattern’s border.

Nyanting or waxing

After the pattern is drawn on the cloth, which usually using pencil, it will be waxed using canting. Canting is a tool that used to put wax. Usually batik will be colored into certain colors, so the waxing process is useful to avoid the pattern is not colored and it can be sprayed with other color later. Commonly, there will be 2 waxing process in making batik, the front and the back.

Walling up

If there are other parts of cloth that will be given different colors from basic, then it will be walled up with wax. The wailing up process usually use bigger hole of canting to make it fast. 


The cloth will be given the basic color by dyeing. Every region has its own dyeing technique. Commonly, the mori cloth will be dipped many times into large container dye. The dye usually use the brighter color, if the makers want darker batik, they just dip the batik repeatedly.

Ngerok or shedding

The wax will be shed from the cloth. There are 2 methods, by using shedding tools or by boiling the cloth. After the wax is shed, then the waxed part will be colored by repeating the process above, waxing the unwanted part, dyeing then shedding the wax again. It will be repeated until batik is full colored as the makers want.   

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