What Does Batik Fabric Look Like? (Colors, Texture, Patterns)

Do you love checking out different fabrics and materials to determine how they might look great in your wardrobe? And how do you know which fabric is batik fabric?

You can tell what batik fabric looks like by looking at the colors, textures, patterns, reverse side, and ‘organic’ appearance.

Batik fabric has always been an interesting choice for fashion statement pieces or eclectic home designs, but what makes it so special?

Let’s explore this wonderful material and find out exactly what batik fabric looks like.

What Does Batik Fabric Look Like?

batik frame 2
Batik Pekalongan with vibrant colors. Credit: canva


The most popular colors used in batik fabric are black, blue, brown, and white. These colors are often used because they contrast well with each other and create a beautiful design.

One of the most striking things about batik fabric is its vibrant colors. The traditional batik method involves using a wax resist to dye the fabric, which results in a fabric with multiple colors.

The colors can be very bold and bright, or they can be more subdued and subtle. Either way, the colors are always eye-catching.


Truntum pattern. Credit: canva

Batik patterns can vary depending on the design. The most common designs are flowers, leaves, geometric shapes, and animals. Batik fabric is often used to create clothing such as dresses, shirts, sarongs, and scarves.

The patterns on batik fabrics are also unique. Traditional batik patterns often feature geometric shapes or nature-inspired designs.

These days, however, you can find different patterns on batik fabrics, from abstract designs to florals to realistic prints. No matter your taste, there’s likely a batik fabric out there that will suit your needs.


batik fabric
Credit: canva

Batik fabric has a unique texture caused by the wax-resist dyeing technique. The most common textures are smooth, glossy, and matte.

The wax resists also create a raised design on the fabric, adding visual interest and tactile appeal.

Additionally, the fact that batik fabrics are often made from natural fibers such as cotton or silk gives them softness and luxuriousness that you don’t find in other fabrics.

Reverse Side

An easy way to discern if a fabric is hand-dyed batik tulis or printed batik? Flip it over and take a peek! The reverse side of the material will be visible with faded coloring on printed fabrics, as they are only dyed on one side.

In contrast, batik tulis is a technique where wax is applied to the fabric’s front and back. This process ensures that each side of the fabric will have an equal distribution of color when it’s dyed by hand in a vat. The result? Vibrant colors on both sides!

‘Organic’ Appearance

batikt tablecloth
Batik tablecloth. Credit: canva

Each stroke in a batik tulis is skillfully created by hand with an incredibly unique copper-bowled instrument known as a canting, producing picturesque motifs that appear warm and organic.

Additionally, a batik tulis may contain some special smudges or other errors since the process is manual. Even though it might appear untidy when contrasted to printed batik designs, this gorgeous imperfection elevates the value of batik tulis.

About Batik Fabric

batik sidomukti
Batik Sidomukti. Credit: canva

The art of Batik, originating in Indonesia, is a centuries-old technique that utilizes wax resistance. Hot wax is applied to the fabric and then dyed; the areas covered by the wax-resist substance will retain their original hue while pigment penetrates the uncovered cloth portions.

Derived from the Javanese word meaning “dot,” batik is an ancient art form that has its roots in dotting a fabric with wax.

The Uses

batik quilt
Batik quilting. Credit: canva

Batik fabric has so many uses! From quilting to fashion design to home décor, there’s something for everyone!


Quilting with batik fabric gives your project an extra special touch. The intricate patterns and rich colors make your quilt stand out from the crowd!

You can choose from various colors and patterns that will bring your quilt alive with personality and character. 

Fashion Design

batik dress
Credit: canva

Batik fabric makes an excellent choice for clothing or accessories such as scarves or bags. It’s lightweight yet durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear while maintaining vibrancy after repeated washing cycles.

Plus, since each piece has been hand dyed with natural dyes, it has an individualized look that no other material can match! 

Home Décor

batik wall hanging
Batik wall hanging. Credit: canva

Whether you want to use it as table runners or wall hangings, batik fabric makes statement pieces that will brighten up any room!

From bold geometric designs to intricate floral patterns, there are many ways to add visual interest without breaking the bank!  

How to Care

wash batik
Washing batik for the first time. Credit: canva

To Prevent Bleeding

You can soak it in vinegar to prevent bleeding. You can also try adding a cup of salt to the soaking water.

Another option is to apply Retayne. This color-saving agent will help maintain your fabric’s original vibrancy and hues. Introduce a cup into your washing machine when cleaning off the batik dye to ensure its colors remain intact even through several washes!

To Wash

  • Use mild detergent and lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as this can cause the colors to run.
  • Hand washing is the ideal solution to prevent potential damage. Moreover, washing batik cloths manually allows their colors to be preserved and remain vibrant for extended periods.
  • Let the batik dry in a shady place and then dry it by spreading it out. Don’t dry the fabric in the sun since the color will fade.
  • No direct ironing. Put a piece of fabric on top of the batik cloth to avoid discoloration.

With proper care, you can enjoy your batik for years to come! And with so many amazing designs and colors available, you’ll never run out of ways to use it!


What are the characteristics of batik fabric?

Batik fabric has several distinctive characteristics. It is typically made of cotton, although it can also be made of silk or synthetic materials.

Colors are often vibrant but can also be more muted or subdued. The wax and dyeing process gives batik fabric a distinctive texture, with slightly raised areas where the wax was applied.

 What makes a fabric a batik?

Select a good quality fabric. The cloth is then covered in a wax resist. This can be done by dipping the cloth into hot wax or brushing it with a paintbrush. The cloth is then dyed using any color you like.

After it has been dyed, the wax is removed, and the underlying color will be revealed. Sometimes another round of dyeing is done to get different colors in different parts of the design.

How can you tell if something is batik?

Batik cloth is unmistakably unique in its bold colors and detailed patterns. Its vivid shades make it almost effortless to distinguish a batik fabric from any other textile.

You can easily detect the unique texture of the slightly raised areas created by wax through touch. These parts will feel different than other regions on the fabric.

Can batik fabric be washed?

Yes, batik fabric can be washed. However, it would be best if you took care when washing it to prevent the colors from running or the fabric from becoming damaged.

What are the traditional colors of batik?

Central Javanese batik was traditionally crafted with natural ingredients and comprised of hues such as blue, brown, beige, and black.

However, different regions of Indonesia have unique traditional colors and patterns, so there are many different styles and designs of batik available.

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