"She flipped through a book her mother was reading about native people in a distant country; how every day they would take pieces of white silk and draw on them in wax, then dip the silks in dye, then draw on them in wax, then dip the silks in dye, then draw on them more in wax and dye them some more, then boil the wax out in hot water, and then, finally, throw the now-beautiful cloths on a fire and burn them to ashes."

The description of this process suggests that Coraline’s mother is reading a book about making Batik fabric.

Source

Batik, Traditional Fabric of Indonesia http://www.expat.or.id/info/batik.html