Other Indonesian batik techniques include stamping and using a small tool called a canting
The stamping technique is probably similar to the 'metal cans with ordered holes' as described by miravelle
. I had the privledge of watching some of the most respected Batik artists in Bali
carve amazingly intricate designs, often with small cut-out shapes, out of copper and hard wood and use them as stamps to apply the hot wax.
The canting is a hand held tool used for 'hand-drawing the designs' like miravelle
said. It is made using a short piece of bamboo or other hallow object as a handle, with a small spoon-like object at one end, made of a malable metal like copper. The end of this 'spoon' is closed with only a small wire tube coming out. This tool is dipped into hot wax like a ladle. The wax is held inside the closed off spoon part; when it is held at an angle to the canvas or fabric, a controlled line of wax pours out. The line is the same width as the wire tube in the canting; experts create several cantings with different size wires in them and use them all to apply different line widths like a painter uses different brushes. This is the technique I learned while studying batik in Bali with Nyoman Warta
, my sweet Ubud
instructor who I have to give props to.
The purpose of applying wax to the fabric is to mask
certain areas where you don't want to apply colored dye. After masking some areas and applying some colors of dye, you may want to apply more wax, covering certain areas of color so that you can then apply other colors of dye, and so forth. With this technique it is possible to create the vast array of effects with color mixing and overlay that Indonesian batiks are famous for.
Batik fabrics are often created as wall hangings and art pieces but also make up the majority of fabric used for day to day sarong
s that the people wear, which are also called batiks, for that reason.