In batik making, there are two ways of applying wax to the cloth: hand-drawn using a tool called “canting” or “tjanting” and block chops (“cap” or “tjap“) made from copper. In this blog, we shall talk about the canting, essentially a small copper pot or well, in which the artisan would have scooped the melted wax into, and transferred the wax through a tiny funnel or spout onto the fabric, tracing an underlying pencilled-in design. In order to do this well, the ratio combination of wax-paraffin and resin must suit the fabric and the final effect required. The wax mixture is heated to the correct temperature that would allow the wax to flow out smoothly through the canting; like Goldilocks, the batik artist must be sure that it the wax is neither too hot nor too cool.
Batik is a fabric to which design is applied using the wax-resist method and then colored by tub-dyeing or hand-painting. You will find batik used as textile for apparel and furnishings as well as art. Batik is as much an expression of cultural identity as it is of artistry, displaying the expertise of artisans from Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean islands for the most, but additionally the numerous individual artists worldwide who have adopted this method to produce art and fabric.