Batik is both an art and a craft.
Batik is a method of decorating / patterning fabric by using the principle that wax resists water. Wherever there is wax on the fabric, water or dye cannot penetrate.
To make a batik, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing, drawing or stamping hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs. After the final dyeing the wax is removed and the cloth is ready for wearing or showing.
The application of the wax to the fabric can also be done with a fine-tipped tool called Canting, that allows the artist to draw an image free-hand in melted wax. This method is called 'Hand Made or Hand Painted'.
Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood.