Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Batik & the Technique of Reverse-Thinking

Purchased in Indonesia, I wore this sarong
quite a bit--now it's part of a bedspread!
So here are some examples of batik, the wax-resist art mostly associated with Indonesia, though we have some African & Dutch examples too.  The first (top) is from Indonesia & is fairly simple.  Essentially you go in reverse...the white is the original color of the fabric, so start thinking in reverse...and start planning! 

Wax is then painted on (or stamped, or even printed, as in the top example), and everything covered in wax stays white, while the artist dyes the next color.  For the two color items, it seems fairly easy...but what about the multi-color fabric?  Thinking in reverse is not one of my strong suits.  Nor is planning!  

These two examples, one hand-drawn, one stamped or printed, are great examples of traditional indigo batik.
Dutch wax-resist, purchased in Muscat.  Also
part of the same bedspread.
This last example, though, was purchased in Java, and is a great example of the Javanese batik technique, which is often multi-colored and extremely detailed.  
Here's a longer (17 minute) video, from Moda Batiks in Indonesia, which does a nice job of demonstrating tie-dye techniques, using a copper stamp, sprinkling salt on the fabric to set the dye, etc.  

The "salt effect" mentioned at 9:45 is, I believe, a difference between soaking the fabric in salty water vs. sprinkling salt.  Soaking the fabric would set all color, whereas the sprinkling/salt effect, along with the sun, means that only part of the color is set, while the sun bleaches out the fabric that didn't get the salt sprinkling.  I hope that makes sense!  

The planning (or ability to think in reverse) is what fascinates me...I'm sure it's easier the more you do it, but I find so often in my sewing that my reverse-thinking needs work!  

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