What is Batik?



It’s hard to believe, but I first tried out the batik process as a teenager, which was a long time ago! I was inspired by a magazine article… and my desire to create something cool for my dorm room. I figured it would be fun! What I created was a big mess and a love for the process that continues today.

When I do shows, there is a real mix of customers who know the process, those who want to hear more and others who, like me, are inspired to learn how to batik themselves. I am currently working on a new design today, so this seems like the perfect opportunity to answer the questions so often asked: What is batik? How does it work? How do you get the beautiful colors and what creates that crackling effect? Is it hard? You get the idea.

So over the next week or two, I will try to answer some of these questions and illustrate the process of batik.

Here is my description….Batik, an Indonesian word meaning, “wax writing,” is a process in which an artist “writes” or paints on fabric or paper. The wax creates a resist that protects the fabric from the dye when the fabric is either immersed in or painted with the dyes. A new waxing and dying process must be repeated for each color and layer of the design. Wikipedia describes it as “a wax- resist dyeing technique used on textile.” The key components being wax and dye.

For me the process starts with the design, which is created with paper and pencil or pen. Here is step one: The design. Check back later this week to see step two.

Happy Monday!

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~ by Suzanne Drown on April 13, 2009.

 
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