The way we make batik in the studio of Art Fabrik is essentially the same as it was done centuries ago.
A mixture of paraffin, beeswax and recycled wax is melted in a double boiler. The wax should be smooth and flow like honey. It is important that the wax stays at an even temperature during the work process. It is dangerous to heat wax directly on a heating element or flame as it could easily flame up. A brush or classic batik «tjanting» tool is repeatedly dipped into the hot wax and applied or painted onto the fabric. When the waxed design is complete the art piece is ready to dye. The wax acts as a resist, and the areas that are decorated with wax do not accept the dye colour. The waxing and dyeing is repeated for each new colour.
We make batik using only natural fibres which can be dyed with cold water dyes. This way the wax will not melt during the dyeing process. To get the wax out of the fabric we dip the fabric into a big pot of boiling water and then plunge it into cold water. It is a labour intensive job to dip it in and out of hot - cold - hot - cold - hot - cold until all the wax is melted out and the fabric is smooth and clean like it was at the start of the batik process. Wax is like grease and will float on the surface of the water. This wax is scooped off (like degreasing a soup) and recycled to use again.