The Kaleidoscope of Color

The word "batik" is Indonesian in origin, even if the concept was known by Egyptians and South Asians. It is known to be more than a millennium old, and there are evidences that cloth decorated through some form of resist technique was in use in the early centuries AD in several West African, Middle-Eastern and Asian communities.

The word Batik is originally an Indonesian-Malay word and means to dot. Batik is generally thought of as the most quintessentially Sri Lankan textile. Motifs of flowers, twinning plants, leaves buds, flowers, birds, butterflies, fish, insects and Cultural events are rich in symbolic association and variety; there are about three thousand recorded batik patterns. The patterns to be dyed into the cloth are drawn with a canting, a wooden 'pen' fitted with a reservoir for hot and liquid wax. In batik workshops, circles of women sit working at clothes draped over frames, and periodically replenish their supply of wax by dipping their canting into a central vat. Some draw directly on the cloth from memory; others wax over faint charcoal lines.

The beauty of Batik is a tribute to the patience, creativity of the woman, Credit should be also given to men who prepare the cloth and handle the dyeing and finishing process.

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