Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Indian Batik – Another Ancient Art of Printing on Textiles

The word batik actually means 'wax writing'. Batik, is the way of decorating fabric by using a manual wax resist dyeing process.  Traditional Batik process is known to be used in many countries like Indonesia, Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and India. The process varies slightly depending on the country. Here I am going to talk about the Indian Batik.
Indian Folk Scene in Batik

Traditional Indian Elephant

The history of Indian batik can be traced as far back as 2000 years.  Infact, this art of printing on fabrics originated in India.  Indians are known to use resist method of printing designs on cotton fabrics long before any other nation had even tried it.  Initially wax and even rice starch were used for printing on fabrics.
Indian Batik Art

Batik involves decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and un-dyed areas makes thepattern. There are four basic stages she uses to produce a finished Batik painting: Waxing, Dyeing, Scraping, & Ironing.  It is a simple process but a demanding one.

Tjanting Pens

Until recently batik was made for dresses and tailored garments only but modern batik is livelier and brighter in the form of murals, wall hangings, paintings, household linen, and scarves. Batik is created in several ways. In splash method the wax is splashed or poured onto the cloth. The screen-printing method involves a stencil.  And the traditional hand painting one in which wax is applied with a very thin brush or tjanting pen. Tjanting pens or Canting pens are used where very fine lines are required in the pattern. The beauty of batik lies in its simplicity and  some of the best effects in batik are often achieved by chance.


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