Over the past several decades the Indonesian art of batik making has become firmly established in Sri Lanka. Indeed, it is now the most visible of the island’s crafts. Galleries and factories, large and small, have sprung up in many tourist areas. For instance, rows of small stalls selling batiks can be found all along Hikkaduwa’s Galle Road strip. Mahawewa, on the other hand, is famous for its batik factories.
Batiks incorporate fascinating motifs and colours, some traditional others highly contemporary and individual, but they all display a vigorousness of design unique to the island. The material created by the batik-makers is used to produce distinctive dresses, shirts, sarongs and beachwear ideal for tropical climes. Many tourists at seaside resorts such as Hikkaduwa wear batik clothes throughout their holiday. Apart from clothes, batik wall hangings of beaches and sunsets are popular as a reminder of a visit to Sri Lanka.