Tuesday, February 9, 2010

• Natural Dyes (organic vegetable matter) •

Traditional Batik's other defining aspect, is the dying process. The dye matter must be prepared by boiling the raw materials which can include things like leaves, barks or roots. Then cooled and strained.

In the ultra traditional method, the white cloth must be washed and dried and then hung out in the dawn hours to absorb the early morning dew which, makes the cloth ideal for receiving wax.
Once the motifs have all been painted on, the cloth is then submerged into the dye bath, hung to dry then submerged again -up to 30 times for certain dyes.
Also in between colors, the wax is applied again to cover those areas which you want to remain that color. Luckily, thanks to more recent knowledge we can now use natural dyes with only two or three soakings by preparing the cloth and then using a fixer.
In this process it is important to begin using the lightest colors first, then cover those areas and dying again using progressively darker colors. But unlike batik made using chemical dyes, the cloth must in fact be soaked in the dye-color.

The dye cannot simply be painted on.
Once the process of multiple waxing and dying sessions is done, the cloth is boiled to remove the wax.

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