Flowers bloom across this 3/4-sleeve cotton shirt. Artisans in Denpasar, the capital of Bali and part of the Sundaland biogeographic region, use traditional batik techniques to create the soft outlines. They apply the design to cotton, using copper stamps and melted wax. When the fabric is dyed navy blue, the wax-impregnated areas remain white. The shirt is then washed and dried in the sun. The undyed areas are hand-colored, and hand-beaded accents are added.
Made in Indonesia of 100% cotton. Women’s sizes S (4-6), M (8-10), L (12-14), XL (16-18).
The wax-resist dyeing technique of batik has been found from Egypt to Mali and from India to Malaysia, as early as 2,000 years ago. The most exquisite batik comes from Indonesia, where the technique has evolved into high art over the past few centuries.
The most traditional form of batik begins with a needle-like object called a canting, through which melted wax flows as the artists uses it to draw a design or pattern on fabric. When the fabric is placed in a dye vat, the color will not permeate the areas that have been permeated with wax. For more complex patterns, this wax and dye process can be repeated with any number of dye colors. After the final dip into the dye vat, the fabric is hung to dry and the wax is dissolved in a solvent or melted away with a hot iron, revealing the previous layers of protected fabric as well as the crackling lines that are the hallmark of batik.
In the 20th century, Javanese batik artists developed a process by which batik could be executed more quickly, but still by hand. Now, a copper block is often used to transfer wax in a predetermined pattern over a larger area. While still most frequently found on fabric, batik can be done on paper, wood, or even ceramic.