Batik (Javanese pronunciation: [ˈbateʔ]; Indonesian pronunciation: [ˈbaːtik]; English: /ˈbætɪk/ or /bəˈtiːk/) is cloth which traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Due to modern advances in the textile industry, the term has been extended to include fabrics which incorporate traditional batik patterns even if they are not produced using the wax-resist dyeing techniques. Silk batik is especially popular.
Javanese traditional batik, especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, has special meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe. Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown, and white which represent the three major Hindu Gods (Brahmā, Visnu, and Śiva). This is related to the fact that natural dyes are only available in indigo and brown. Certain patterns can only be worn by nobility; traditionally, wider stripes or wavy lines of greater width indicated higher rank. Consequently, during Javanese ceremonies, one could determine the royal lineage of a person by the cloth he or she was wearing.
Other regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns which normally take themes from everyday lives, incorporating patterns such as flowers, nature, animals, folklore or people. The colours of pesisir batik, from the coastal cities of northern Java, is especially vibrant, and it absorbs influence from the Javanese, Arab, Chinese and Dutch culture. In the colonial times pesisir batik was a favorite of the Peranakan Chinese, Dutch and Eurasians.
UNESCO designated Indonesian batik, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009.In return of the acknowledgment, UNESCO demanded Indonesia to preserve their heritage.
SOURCE : http://en.wikipedia.org