How Bali fabrics are made. The lush tropical island of Bali is famous the world over for beautiful fabric designs produced by hand. The fabric is either painted with dyes or batiked, or made using combination of both processes. Some designs have as many as five different techniques to create the finished piece.
The fabrics displaying traditional batik patterns are created using a handmade metal 'tjap' (pronounced "chop"), which is dipped in hot wax and stamped on the cloth creating a wax-resistant design. The 100% cotton fabric is then saturated and hand painted with fiber reactive dyes. Where the wax has been applied it repels the color creating an image. Sometimes this process is repeated several times with each overlay of color adding a new dimension. When the artist is happy with the look, the cloth is boiled and the wax melted away. Upon completion the vibrantly colored cloth is stretched out in an open field to dry naturally in the sun.
Because each design is done by human hands in a natural environment,no two yards are exactly alike. The cloth is truly a piece of art. No wonder the Balinese are so highly regarded world wide for their splendid textiles!