Originally a Javanese word which meant 'writing with wax', batik has come a long way since it was spread across East Asia by Dutch colonial officers.
Originated in Indonesia and introduced to Sri Lanka by Dutch at the turn of the 19th century, the batik industry in Sri Lanka has developed into a unique form of textile art exclusive to the country.
Originated as a primary art of fabric dying, Batik has evolved into a vibrant industry of fabric art in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore with their own identity, methodology and design.
The legendary beginning of the Sri Lankan history also provides clues of a well-developed Sri Lankan weaving industry nearly three thousand years back, and even today Sri Lankan hand loom products portray their rich heritage and cultural diversity in their designs and technologies.
According to the Great chronicles or Mahavamsa, Princess Kuweni the sorcerer princess of Sri Lanka was busy at her weaving wheel when the Indian cast ashore and rebel Prince, Wijaya met her at Tammanna or present day Mannar in Sri Lanka, turning a new page in country's history and starting a new line of rule in Sri Lanka.
With a specialised knowledge and improved awareness, apparel manufacturers makes nearly 90% of the apparel industry in Sri Lanka and joint ventures between local garment manufacturers and international fashion houses accounts for almost three quarters of the garment manufacturing facilities in the country.