The simplest definition of BATIK is, "A wax resist technique for producing designs on a white or light coloured fabric." It is one of the most widely known techniques of fabric decoration extensively used in Indonesia, Java, China, Japan, central and eastern Asia and Africa.
The origin of the word "BATIK" is not clear but popular belief is that it relates to the word "TITIK" which is an Indonesian word for 'paint', 'dot' or 'drop'. An important distinction is made between "TULIS" and "TJAP" BATIK.
"TJAP" describes batik where the wax is applied by a cooper stamp called Tjap while "Tulis" designates the type of batik where the Tjanting is used to apply wax to fabric. Unlike the copper stamp the Tjanting allows the artist the freedom of drawing by hand producing a more personal, unique and expressive piece of work.
The Tjanting is a Javanese invention. It is a small vessel made of thin copper with one or more capillary spouts and handle shaped from wood. The size of the spouts varies from vessel to vessel making drawing with the Tjanting a processes which requires immense skill.