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Batik: basic principles

It is difficult to say exactly when the batik was born. We know that Egyptians and Persians knew him some twenty centuries ago. It is then met in China and Japan. But it is in Indonesia, and more particularly in Java, that it becomes a real folk art, closely linked to the traditions and culture of these regions. It was not until the XVIe century that this technique of dyeing made its appearance in Europe, introduced by the Dutch navigators, who report these fabrics decorated according to a technique so particular that one will keep to him his Javanese name of origin: batik.

Necessary material

  • Frame
  • Drawing pins
  • Batik heater
  • Brush
  • tjanting
  • Blotter leaves
  • Iron
  • Trichlorethylene

Steps

  1. Preparation of elements
  2. Application of wax
  3. Fabric dyes
  4. Finalization of the process

Preparation of elements

Iron with felt pen

Iron with felt pen

1. This drawing is a copy of a book illustration that has been enlarged through a grid. Iron with a felt pencil on the drawing made with a pencil.

Reporter drawing

Reporter drawing

2. Hold the silk rectangle on the paper with thumbtacks and, for clarity, slightly back the drawing with a pencil.

Mount the frame

Mount the frame

3. Fit the frame. It is adjustable, so as to obtain square or rectangular shapes for fabrics of various sizes and shapes.

Tender the fabric on the frame

Tender the fabric on the frame

4. Stretch the fabric over the frame and secure it with thumbtacks at the four corners and then at the sides. If, as in our picture, the piece of fabric is larger than the frame, it will suffice, during work, to move the fabric one or more times on the frame.

Application of wax

Melt the wax

Melt the wax

1. Melt a mixture of wax (75% paraffin, 25% white wax) in a bain-marie (the cube of polyester on the right makes it possible to keep in reserve, in a cup, the previously heated fluid wax). Leave the tianting and the brush for a few moments in the hot wax before using it.

Cover with a brush

Cover with a brush

2. Always move brush or tianting over a piece of cloth; This will prevent you from making untimely wax stains. Cover large areas with a brush.

Realize the details

Realize the details

3. Use tianting to complete the details. Here, it's all about covering the horse's eye.

obtained result

obtained result

4. Here is the result you need to get. The contours of the eye, mouth and head should not be covered with wax. If you mistakenly overloaded, gently scrape the dried wax with a scissors tip or pin.

Remove the fabric from the frame

Remove the fabric from the frame

5. Only two of the horses are covered with wax; they will remain white. Before removing the fabric from the frame, check that the wax has passed through the fabric. If necessary, touch upside down.

Fabric dyes

Preparation of the dyeing

Preparation of the dyeing

6. Preparation of the dyeing. In a small jar filled with hot water, dilute a dose of cold stain, a packet of fixative plus four tablespoons coarse salt or a glass of vinegar.

Immerse the stuff

Immerse the stuff

7. Pour the resulting mixture into a basin containing 4 liters of cold water. Before and after the dye bath, do not forget to immerse your stuff in a bath of clear water.

Diving the fabric into the dye

Diving the fabric into the dye

8. Put the fabric in the dye bath and leave it for about 50 minutes. Remove the fabric using the wooden spoon.

Dry the fabric

Dry the fabric

9. Dry the fabric well, such as on a clothesline, and in a heat source, as the wax may crack.

Cover with wax

Cover with wax

10. The fabric is dry, hang it on the frame and wax the other two horses before the second bath (for this second bath, we used another tone of blue, more sustained than the previous one).

Finalization of the process

Iron the fabric

Iron the fabric

1. When the fabric has dried, iron it between two sheets of white blotting paper or "paper towel". The heat of the iron melts the wax. Change the paper several times until the wax disappears completely.

Degrease with trichlorethylene substitute

Degrease with trichlorethylene substitute

2. It is necessary to degrease the fabric with trichlorethylene substitute. Put on protective gloves and operate in a ventilated room. Finally wash the fabric with a mild detergent to remove trichlorethylene. Let it dry and iron.

Final result

Final result

3. Here is the result. The cracks that appear on the horses were simply produced when soaking the fabric in the different dye baths. The basin being smaller than the surface of the fabric, it could not be placed flat.

(photos / visuals: © DIY-Prod, except special mention)

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