The batik tulis technique bears the longest history for batik-making techniques in Indonesia. It requires the use of a “canting” a traditional too that is made up of a wooden handgle and a metal cup with a spout for wax to be applied onto a length of fabric.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how batik is created by the “tulis” method:
A fabric, commonly made from cotton or silk is throughly washed by kneading and boiling. After being dried, a paste from cooked tapioca flour with water is coated onto the plain fabric to ease the process of removing the wax at the later stage.
The fabric is now ready to be patterned. A drafts-person will trace the out a pattern with pencil onto the fabric by using a special glass table with a light source coming from beneath. Once the pencil patterns are completed, wax is applied in accordance to it. The wax (malam in Javanese) is traditionally beeswax. prevents the waxed areas of the fabric from being colored in the dying process.
The next stage involves the coloring of the fabric already patterned with wax. Traditionally natural dyes (warna alam) are used and is obtained from the leaves, roots or bark of various plants. The dyed fabric is then hung out to dry, avoiding direct sunlight. This
process of coloring and drying is repeated from about 20 to 30 times, to achieve the opaqueness and richness of the natural color.
In order for the colors on the fabric to stay, it is soaked in a bath of fixing agent. Depending on the fixing agents used, the outcome of the color can become different.
After several rounds of coloring, waxing and drying, with the steps reapeateddepending on the number of different colors planned for the fabric and for the desired design to be complete,
The steps of waxing, coloring and drying is being repeated, depending on the number of different colors planned for the batik piece. After the desired designed is achieved and completed, the fabric is boiled to remove remaining wax. The completed batik is hung out to dry and then traditionally hammered (not ironed) to take away the creases.