What Is Batik

What is Batik?

Description of Batik
Batik (pronounced ba-teek) is an ancient handmade fabric art. During the batik process, hot batik wax is painted or stamped onto fabric, which is then dyed. After one or more dyeings, the batik wax is removed, revealing differently colored patterns and designs. Cracks in the batik wax give patterns the "crackled" look so unique to batik.

Stamping designs on t-shirts

History of Batik
Batiking originated in Asia and was most developed in the Java Islands of Indonesia in the 13th century. The art of batik history has been passed down in Ghana, Africa for generations, each region producing its own unique patterns and colors. Learn more about the History of Batik.


Modern Batik
Today in Africa, many women earn a living creating colorful modern batik cloth and clothing by hand. Traditional hand made batiking skills are passed down from mother to daughter, teacher to apprentice. Their beautiful designs of modern batik can be found on everything from handmade batik cloth to skirts and shirts, bags, bed linens and tablecloths.

Global Mamas supports these women, their enterprises and the preservation of their batik through the Global Mamas handmade clothing line. While helping women grow their businesses and expand into new markets, we make sure that our batikers and their associates are paid a fair, livable wage.

If you travel to Ghana, be sure to stop by one of our batik workshops. Or, click here for more information on what is batik, the batik process, and to learn how to batik like the Global Mamas!

>> Continue to Batik Preparation

Dewaxing, the final stage

Example batik cloth