Batik is an ancient art of printing supposed to be 2000 years old. It was brought to India by the late Rathindra Nath Tagore, son of the poet Rabindra Nath Tagore. The word batik actually means 'wax writing'. It is a way of decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing it. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and undyed areas makes the pattern. This is called resist dyeing. The crackle effect of batik is the most fascinating part that makes it unique.
Batik printing can be done anywhere but each area and region has its own specialty in designs and colors. Bherongarh and Indore are two places in Madhya Pradesh where this is carried out in large volumes. The batik industry is still very much alive today. Apart from making traditional products like wall hangings, dupattas, sarees and bed sheets, the artists are also experimenting with sarongs, scarves, bandannas, wrap-around pants, kurtis and home furnishings.
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