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What Is Batik?



What Is Batik?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.81

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aristocratic, batik, needlework, synthetic, artistic, geometric, residue, particularly, based, paraffin, tends, unique, charcoal, artists, natural, especially
     content words:    West Africa


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What Is Batik?
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Many people who see the art of batik think that it is cool. Batik is cloth decorated in an unusual way. Hot wax is placed on a cloth, which is then dyed. Later, the dried wax is removed to reveal unique patterns and designs. So, in a way, batik is based on hot stuff.
 
2     The word batik means "wax written." It is an ancient form of art. Some people think that it began long ago in Egypt or Sumeria. It became popular in West Africa but reached its highest form on the Indonesian island of Java. By the 13th century, batik was a sophisticated form of art. Aristocratic ladies painted birds and flowers on fabric at the same time as European ladies stitched fine needlework.
 
3     Batik is a form of art that anyone can enjoy. In fact, you don't even have to be particularly artistic to try it. The only requirement is that the artist has to work quickly because wax dries fast. When some dye seeps through the wax, it makes an interesting design. This pattern is called "crackling." Some people who never thought of themselves as artists produce beautiful batik.

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