Batik is a style cloth printing where wax is applied and the the cloth is dyed to make patterns. Each region of Indonesia is known for its specific style or pattern of batik cloth.
I visited a small store where they make the local batik patterns by hand and sell the cloth which you can then take to your taylor to have whatever you like made out of it.
The process starts with cloth, usually cotton or a bamboo cloth. The bamboo cloth is usually more expensive and also a little more rough in texture. A pattern is then either drawn into the cloth with wax or stamped. Once the wax has cooled, dye is then hand applied to the cloth. The wax in the cloth acts as a barrier keeping the dye in areas. Then the wax is removed from the cloth and the finished product is a beautiful batik cloth, ready to be made into a fancy shirt.
There are also other, cool things you can do by using different consistencies of wax. For example, one of the patterns that the store owner is fond of (and with good reason – it was pretty cool) was making the ink flow into the cloth to give it a cracked or shattered look. This is done by coating an area in a hard wax and then once it is try, crumpling the cloth, causing the wax to crack. When the ink is applied, it flows into the cracks in the wax.