Batik is a very old traditional technique to dye cloths. Thereby dots, lines and other patterns are drawn with wax on the cloths with a tool called tjanting. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colors are desired.


Each region in Indonesia has its own batik style. For example, Sundanese batik is traditionally made with indigo dye and the patterns are inspired by flora and fauna, especially flowers, swirling plants, birds and butterflies. Indigo dye is naturally made from Indigofera plants and is one of the oldest dye known in Java. Its local name tarum is the origin for the names of Citarum River and Tarumanagara kingdom, which suggests that ancient West Java was once a major producer of natural indigo dye. Furthermore, there are different styles for certain occasions. Many Indonesian batik patterns are symbolic. There are batik patterns only used for brides and grooms and their families. Some are reserved for royalties. And some patterns symbolize luck.

On 2nd of October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This day has been stated by Indonesian government as National Batik Day. Every year, people celebrate the tradition of batik and wear batik on this holiday.