From a handicraft, batik has acquired the status of an art. Batik is a versatile medium that can become an ideal hobby for an amateur or a medium of expression for an artist. As an art form it is quite spontaneous and one can open up new vistas of creative form. Until recently, batik was made for dresses and tailored garments only but modern batik is livelier and brighter in the form of murals, wall hangings, paintings, household linen and scarves.
It has been introduced in many areas as a source of income generation where there isn’t a sustainable source of livelihood. The market has increased in the last decade and there is more product diversification and one can see batik on clothes, home furnishings, fabric and paintings. Beads and mirrors are also added to the fabric to give it a more decorative look.
Sales are good in metros like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and other cities like Baroda and Ahmedabad.
Fabric/products are sold directly at exhibitions or they are supplied to wholesalers and retailers in the market. There is year-round demand for the fabric.
Export for batik has also increased in the last decade as it has been exported to United Kingdom, Japan and United States.
People are again demanding the old designs or the blocks that were used earlier.
The demand has increased for old intricate designs. There are improved facilities now for waxing, bleaching and washing the fabric. The process is less cumbersome and easy to learn for those who are doing it for the first time.
Due to globalization and industrialization, which introduced automated techniques, new breeds of batik, known as batik cap and batik print emerged, and the traditional batik, which incorporates the hand written wax-resist dyeing technique is known now as batik tulis or literally meaning 'Written Batik'.
At the same time, according to the Museum of Cultural History of Oslo, Indonesian immigrants to Malaysia brought the art with them. As late as the 1920s Javanese batik makers introduced the use of wax and copper blocks on Malaysia's east coast. The production of hand drawn batik in Malaysia is related to the Javanese batik tulis.
In Sub Sahara Africa, Javanese batik was introduced in the 19th century by Dutch and English traders. The local people there adapted the Javanese batik, making larger motifs, thicker lines and more colors. In the 1970s, batik was introduced to the aboriginal community in Australia, the aboriginal community at Erna bella and Utopia now develop it as their own craft.