Solo or Sukurara located in Central Java was once home to the largest batik market in the world. Sadly it burnt down in 2014 and stocks of old batiks were destroyed as well as livelihoods and businesses. But the craft of batik making lives on and Solo produces an amazing mix of traditional and contemporary batik.
Combination of wax screen print and batik tulis
Wax Screen Print is where the design is created by screen printing the wax onto the cloth
Tulis is the premium style of batik where the entire design is applied by hand using a tool called a canting (pronounced chanting). It is a pen-like instrument made from a small copper reservoir with a spout on a wooden handle. The reservoir holds the hot wax which flows through the spout.
The cloth is then dipped in dye or the colour is painted on. After the cloth is dry the wax is removed by boiling the cloth. The areas treated with wax keep their original colour. This process is repeated as many times depending how many colours are desired. The process can take days or even weeks for more complex designs and colours.