Batik Painting in India



‘Batik’ is an Indonesian-Malay word that has perhaps been derived from the word ‘Ambatik’ which literally means ‘a cloth with little dots’. Batik refers to the art of dyeing fabric by using a resist technique. Specific areas of the cloth are covered with a dye-resistant substance to prevent them from absorbing colors, thereby giving shape to beautiful patterns and designs. Since these patterns are actually drawn, rather than weaved, the artists have greater opportunity of expressing their imagination and exploring their creativity on fabric. Along with beauty, Batik painted fabric is also famous for durability.

The history of Indian batik can be traced as far back as 2000 years. Indians knew resist method of printing designs on cotton fabrics long before any other country had even tried it.

Shantiniketan in West Bengal and Chola Mandal in Chennai are the key centers of Batik in India. Outside India, Indonesia is considered the main center of batik. Indonesian batik generally has mystical and ritualistic characters. Objects like flowers, trees, birds occupy a significant position in the imagery and themes of Indonesian Batik.In India, Batik painting involves a wide range of themes and imageries, ranging from religious icons to tribal life and abstract patterns. Batik fabric is in high demand as dress materials, designer home décor and also forms an important part of contemporary fashion accessory.

Handicrafts Trade
More Trivia
Suggested Reading