In Malaysia, there are two major types of batik:
* HAND-DRAWN BATIK
HAND-DRAWN BATIK is where the designs are drawn on the fabric with hot liquid wax by using a metal object called CANTING.
When the wax outlines are done, artists use the brushes to paint the dyes within the outlines. The use of brush allows for the creation of shaded and multi-hued designs.
Various fabrics are used including cotton, rayon, linen, voile and silk. These fabrics are patterned with floral and geometrical motifs, arranged in various layouts as dictated by current trends.
Hand-drawn batik is usually produced in 4 metre length or 2 metre length. 4 metre lengthhand-drawn batik is used for women’s wear and 2 metre hand-drawn batik is used for men’s wear. These garments are often used for formal events.
Besides shirt and dresses, hand-drawn batik is also made into scarves, pareos, craftans and even as framed art.
Another type of batik is the BLOCK-PRINTED BATIK.
The canting will be replaced by a copper block or sometimes a wooden stamp with artistically patterned bottom.
The block is dipped into the wax and printed onto the fabric, which is then dip-dyed. Then the wax will be removed and batik with single color is produced. To create multi-colors and complex batik, waxing with different blocks, dying and de-waxing have to be done many times.
Block-printed batik does not have the intricate delicacy of hand-drawn batik and similar shapes or patterns are repeated on a piece of fabric.
Cotton is a popular fabric used in block-printed batik and the output quantity is around 20 metres, depending on the original size of fabric.
Block-printed batik is usually tailored into shirts and dresses for leisure wear.
In general, the process of hand-drawn batik is very slow and time consuming, while block-printed batik is faster and more suitable for mass production. As a result, hand-drawn batik is more expensive and exclusive than block-printed batik.