Flower Design for Batik: Motifs & Easy DIY Project

Have you ever seen a piece of fabric so beautiful that it just takes your breath away? Have you ever admired how artfully intricate and vibrant the colors seem as if they jumped right off the pattern and into real life?

Flowers are a beautiful, natural way to add color and life to any batik design. When used correctly, they can make a piece pop.

flower batik design

But how do you incorporate flowers into a batik design? Let’s take a look at a few different ways.

The Many Ways to Incorporate Flower Design for Batik

batik design paper
Credit: canva

Use Them as Negative Space

One popular way to incorporate flowers into batik designs is using them as negative space. This means that the flowers themselves are not filled in with wax or dye, but rather the background around them is.

This can create a striking effect, especially if the background is dark.

Incorporate into Patterns

Another way to use flowers in batik designs is by incorporating them into patterns. This is often done by using a flower template to trace around and then filling in the traced shape with wax or dye.

Depending on the colors, this can create a bold or subtle effect.

Accents in Batik Designs

Finally, flowers can also be used as accents in batik designs. This means that they are added after the main structure is complete.

This can be done by painting, drawing flowers onto the fabric, or attaching real flowers with glue or thread.

Traditional Batik Motifs with Flower Design

Traditional truntum motif. Credit: canva


Truntum is a traditional batik motif that originated from Central Java.

Whether you are a romanticist or not, the Batik Truntum pattern is an unmatched choice. This captivating design symbolizes the love that develops over time and grows stronger with each passing moment – making it perfect for any special occasion!

This type of batik, heavily influenced by floral patterns, pays homage to the notion that love must be nurtured and cared for to remain alive and vibrant over time. It is much like a flower – without proper care, it will eventually wither away.

Buketan motif. Credit: canva


Buketan is a famous Batik Pesisir (coastal batik) motif from Pekalongan, West Java.

The European style of a bouquet and butterflies inspires this motif. Even the name, Buketan, originates from a French word, Bouquet.

Initially, this floral motif is drawn based on the wearer’s status.

Unmarried women often adorn themselves with beautiful spring flower patterns, such as the Japanese sakura. Married ladies tend to opt for summer flower motifs.

And older women favor autumnal designs like that of a chrysanthemum- an iconic symbol of strength, longevity, joyfulness, good luck, and prosperity in old age.

This traditional pattern worn by older ladies, known as an encim, inspired the name ‘Batik Encim.’ Not only is this style favored among local Chinese communities, but it’s also popular with Straits Chinese women in Malaya, Malaysia, and Singapore.

malay batik
Malaysian batik. Credit: canva

Malaysian Batik

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Malaysian batik is the use of bright, vibrant colors.

Malaysian batik is known for its bold, eye-catching colors, often achieved through natural dyes derived from plants, flowers, and other natural sources.

To adhere to the Islamic doctrine of Malaysia, batik often displays plant and flower designs instead of human or animal images. Despite this, butterfly motifs are an accepted exception that can be found regularly in these works.

nnamdi batik2
Applying wax to the design. Credit: canva

Easy DIY Project

There are a few different techniques you can use to create a flower design for batik, and the specific method you choose will depend on your skill level and the tools and materials you have available.

Here is a general overview of the steps you can follow:

  1. Gather your materials: You will need batik fabric, a canting (a small copper tool used to apply wax), a wax pen or a brush, some beeswax, dye, a brush, and a dyeing pot.
  2. Draw your design: Begin by sketching your flower design onto the fabric using a pencil or fabric marker. If you are new to batik, you may want to start with a simple design, such as a single flower or a small bouquet.
  3. Apply the wax: Use the canting or wax pen to apply the beeswax to the areas of the fabric where you want to resist the dye. Be sure to follow the lines of your design carefully and apply a thin, even layer of wax.
  4. Dye the fabric: Once the wax has been applied, it’s time to dye it. Follow the instructions for your specific dye to mix up a batch, and then soak the fabric in the dye for the recommended amount of time.
  5. Paint the fabric: Alternatively, you can paint the design using batik dye. Dip your brush in water and mix with batik dye; paint the batik using different colors, mix, and spread.
  6. Remove the wax: Once the fabric has been dyed, it’s time to remove it. You can do this by carefully heating the fabric with iron or using a special wax-removing solution.
  7. Set the dye: Once the wax has been removed, you can use it by rinsing the fabric in cold water and then washing it in warm water with a mild detergent.
  8. Dry and press the fabric: Hang the fabric to dry, then press it with a warm iron to set the design.
batik design flower
Paint the batik design using batik dye. Credit: canva

Remember to be patient and take time when creating a batik design, as the process can be quite time-consuming.

With practice and experimentation, you can create beautiful, intricate designs and patterns that showcase your creativity and skill.

Batik Painting – Flower


Can I use any fabric for batik?

Not all fabrics are suitable for batik. Cotton, linen, and silk are good choices for batik, as they are strong, absorbent fabrics that can withstand dyeing.

How do I remove the wax from the fabric after dyeing?

You can heat the fabric with an iron, which will melt the wax and allow it to be absorbed into the fabric.

Another option is to use a special wax-removing solution, which can be applied to the fabric and then rinsed off to remove the wax.

How do I set the dye after dyeing the fabric?

You will need to rinse the fabric in cold water and then wash it in warm water with mild detergent. This will help remove any excess dye and ensure the color stays bright and vibrant.

After washing, hang the fabric to dry, and then press it with a warm iron to set the design.

Can I create multiple colors in a single batik design?

Yes, creating multiple colors in a single batik design is possible by using a layering technique. You will need to apply the wax in multiple layers, dyeing the fabric between each layer to create different colors.

This can be time-consuming, but it allows you to create complex, multi-colored designs that showcase your creativity and skill.

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