What Is Block Printed Batik?

Batik is a traditional Indonesian art form where dye is applied directly onto cloth using wax. This process creates beautiful patterns that are then used to decorate clothing and other items.

Batik is produced in many ways, including block printing. But what is block-printed batik?

This article will look at block printing batik, how to make it, and how it differs from traditional batik.

What is Block-Printed Batik?

batik stamp
Credit: canva

Batik is a traditional Indonesian art form that creates patterns using wax resist techniques. The wax is applied to the cloth and then heated until the wax melts away, leaving behind the patterned design.

There are three types of batik, based on the batik-making techniques: hand-written (batik tulis), stamped (batik cap), and printed (batik printing).

In Indonesia, the block-printed batik type is called stamped batik or batik cap. It is because this type of batik is made using stamp tools.

Stamped Batik (Batik Cap)

block print batik
Block-printed batik. Credit: canva

Stamped or block-printed batik is made by pressing a wooden or copper stamp tool, called a cap, into wax that has been melted and applied to the fabric.

This method creates designs with simple shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. Designs can also be created in more complex forms like flowers, animals, birds, insects, and geometric patterns.

The Characteristics

Each batik cap has a characteristic of a repetitive pattern. The artist uses a copper stamp tool to press it onto the fabric. And repeat the process until the fabric is covered with the designs and patterns.

The upside is that this type of batik is cheaper and faster to make.

Different Patterns

What Is Block Printed Batik?
Repetitive geometric patterns. Credit: canva

The most common ones are geometric, plant, and animal patterns.

  • Basic geometric patterns usually include simple forms such as circles, rectangles, or squares. These patterns are then repeated to create an attractive and unique design.
  • Plant patterns often include leaves, flowers, or trees. These patterns are often found in traditional Javanese Batik.
  • Animal patterns often include birds, snakes, or dragon designs. Chinese designs often influence these batik patterns.

How to Make

The Tools

This batik type uses a stamp to make a batik pattern on the top of the fabric. It is similar to how we stamp on paper.
The tools used for this type include copper stamps, wax, dye, and fabric.

The stamp

What Is Block Printed Batik?
Stamp tools. Credit: canva

The stamp (cap) tool is usually made of copper with a standard dimension of 20 x 20 cm with multiple patterns.

Wax

The wax is applied to the fabric using stamp tools. The wax is applied to the material in areas that are not supposed to be dyed.

Fabric

The batik wax is applied to the fabric using the stamp tool. After the wax has been applied to the fabric, the fabric is then dyed.

Dye

After the wax has dried, the fabric is then dyed. Dyes penetrate the areas of the fabric that aren’t covered by resin or wax. The result is a lovely, multicolored pattern on the cloth.

The Artists

Mostly, it takes men to work on it. This happens because the copper stamp tool is very heavy. Moreover, it requires the power to stamp the batik pattern into the fabric.

However, some women can do it. They just need to be strong enough to hold the tool’s weight.

The Process

What Is Block Printed Batik?
Air-drying the batik. Credit: canva

The process is quicker and not as complicated as hand-written batik. All you need is to be patient and thorough.

  1. The first step is to put the fabric on the table.
  2. Then the process begins with applying wax to the fabric. This is done by dipping the copper stamp into molten wax and then applying it to the fabric.
  3. The next step is air drying to wait until the wax cools and hardens. When the wax cools, the design will remain on the fabric.
  4. After that, dye the fabric with the desired colors. The result will be a beautiful and unique batik cloth.
  5. You must melt the wax again to remove the resin from the fabric. You can do this by heating the fabric over an open flame or by placing the fabric in hot water.
  6. If you want to create a different design, or your batik designs consist of several patterns, you can use other different pieces of stamps.

You can also buy pre-made stamps at craft stores. These stamps come in various sizes and shapes. They usually have a handle so they can be easily held while being used.

Why Do You Choose this Type of Batik?

batik dress
Batik clothing. Credit: canva

There are several reasons why you might want to try block-printed batik.

First, it covers more area on the fabric with the same coverage pattern.

Another reason is that block-printed batik is easier to work with. It’s easy to get started. You don’t need much equipment or experience to get started.

You have more control over the final product. With block printing, you can easily adjust the pattern as needed. This means you can change the size, shape, color, or even add another design if desired.

Aside from that, the process is quick and less expensive. It is more affordable than other types of batik. Block-printed batik at prices that are usually half the price of regular batik.

The downside is that the designs are not as precise as written batik.

How to Use

Clothing

The block-printed batik is suitable for any occasion. It can be worn for both formal events and casual events.

If you want to go out wearing it, you can match it with a kebaya (traditional Javanese blouse) for a more formal look. You can also wear it casually with jeans and a T-shirt.

Batik clothing is now widely used by people from different backgrounds. It isn’t just for certain people. It is cheaper and easier than ever before.

Home Decor

This type of batik is great for home decor. You can use it to make curtains, pillows, placemats, wall hangings, and many more.

It makes a nice gift for someone special. You can give them something useful and practical.

Or you can give them something that represents their personality. For example, you can give them a pillow made from a piece of block-printed batik.

Or you can give them a placemat made from a piece of batik.

You can also use it to make a rug. Just place the fabric on a large surface and cut it according to your desired rug size.

Countries that are Famous for Their Block-Printed Batik

Besides Indonesia, several countries famous for their block-printed batik are Malaysia and India.

The characteristics of Malaysian batik are bolder and brighter. Indian batik has a softer feel.

Both styles are very popular among collectors.

FAQs

What is block print fabric?

Block print fabric is a kind of fabric that is printed using blocks. The blocks are usually square or rectangular.

What is block printing, and why is it used?

Block printing is a method of creating prints on fabrics. It uses small blocks to transfer ink onto the fabric.

Block printing is used because it creates an interesting texture. It gives the fabric a unique appearance.

How do you make a batik block?

A batik block is created by using copper stamp tools. The stamp is dipped into molten wax and then applied to the fabric to create designs or patterns.

What is the difference between block printing and batik dyeing?

There are two main differences between block printing and batiking. First, in batik dyeing, the fabric is immersed in water and then dyed. In block printing, the fabric is first stamped with wax and then transferred to the fabric.

Second, the fabric is soaked in the dye solution in batik dye. Only the areas previously stamped with the wax will be dyed in block printing.

Related Topics

What are the types of batik?

There are three types of batik, based on the batik-making techniques: hand-written (batik tulis), stamped (batik cap), and printed (batik printing).

Why is batik so special?

Batik is one of the oldest textile arts in Southeast Asia. It was invented in Java around 1000 AD. Batik is still being practiced today. People have been making batik since ancient times.

Today, there are many ways to make batik. Some people prefer traditional methods while others like modern methods.

Is batik fabric 100 cotton?

No. Batiks aren’t always made from 100 percent cotton. Usually, they’re made from one of three materials: 100 percent cotton, silk, or 100 percent rayon.

What is batik material?

It’s an ancient Indonesian art made using a wax resist method. The material is dipped in liquid wax and then colored with dye. The part of the fabric that has been treated with wax will retain its original color, but the rest of the fabric will take on the color of the dyes.