TT No. 560: Palm-based Batik Wax

In general, it is well-known that vegetablebased waxes have many industrial applications and environmental benefits against petroleum-based wax. One of the many examples is in the production of candles. However, there are other areas where vegetablebased waxes can play a significant role. One of which is in the making of batik prints or designs. Batik printing is a process of decorating plain fabrics by covering a part of the material with a layer of wax and then dyeing the whole fabrics. The waxed areas would maintain their original colour because they are not dyed. When the wax is removed, the contrast in colours between the dyed and undyed fabrics gives the desired patterns. The unique characteristic effects of this technique are contributed by the fine cracks that are present in the wax, which allow small amount of dyes to seep in, thus giving some spectacular ecstatic batik designs. Batik wax exercises an important function in the process of batik printing. Proper usage of wax results in an impeccable batik works. A traditional recipe for batik wax is a mixture of beeswax and paraffin. But most of the batik today is painted using synthetic waxes.

Main Research: Dr Lim Wen Huei