June 19, 2007 3:59am CST
Batik (Javanese-Indonesian-Malay pronunciation: ['ba.te?], but often, in English, is ['bæt?k] or [b?'ti?k]) is an Indonesian word and refers to a generic wax-resist dyeing technique used on textile. The word originates from Javanese word "amba", meaning ”to write” and the Javanese word for dot or point, "titik." It is known to be more than a millennium old, probably in ancient Egypt or Sumeria. There are evidences that cloth decorated through some form of resist technique was in use in the early centuries AD. It is found in several countries later in West Africa such as Nigeria, Cameroon and Mali, or in Asia, such as India, Sri Lanka, Iran, and Thailand, and Malaysia, but the most popular are in Indonesia. The art of Batik reach its highest achievement in technique, intricate design, and refined aesthetic in Java, Indonesia. The island of Java itself is famous and well known for its exquisite batik for centuries, particularly in places such as Yogyakarta, Solo, Cirebon, and Pekalongan.