Batik painting is steeped in tradition. Infect Indonesia has devoted one day to batik. They celebrate Batic Day. Batik is used vividly in their culture and they have polished the unique art. India has also used the technique in ancient times during the Nara period (645-794).
In ancient Egypt they wrapped the mummies in cotton cloth soaked in wax. There is evidence of batik tapestry in India’s past. There is evidence that batik pieces were also dyed in indigo. Basically it is layering of wax as a resist between colors used in the desired design.
The colour rippling effect due to the layers of wax, is the beauty of a silk/cotton batik printed saree.
Tools of the trade
Large containers where a mixture of paraffin wax and beeswax(70-30) can be used to melt wax. Brushes to apply the hot wax and the design drawn on cotton, silk, jute or any other fabric. While making batik sarees the resist dyeing art is used. A lot of time is taken in the procedure. The application of the wax, coloring or dyeing and finally, the removal of the wax. Generally wax is used as a resist in batik. The printed areas where resists are in place, come out as un-dyed, areas in the dyed fabric and could be colored again in a repeat wax-dye procedure.
This wax-dye procedure is repeated for a color change. Fine designs are made on the fabric using ‘Tjanting’ tools or also called pen batik. It is tedious work, as it requires fine detailing to be done by hand, using ‘resists’ for making designs on the saree. The batik procedure, is such, that the portion that is a resist, hot wax is poured at a certain temperature carefully on the design lines with the help of a batik pen. A lot of care is taken, for too thin a layer could give way for the color to seep through surface cracks. The beauty of the batik is when the different layers of resist wax, crack into each other and create a confetti of color.
Batik prints can be made on of silk or cotton. The artisans use a lot of color, so that the saree looks beautiful.
The saree can be worn for casual occasions and fashionable sequins, beads or kundan are used to make the saree grand and suitable to attend a wedding. The design could have a mythological figure or story. Lord Ganesha is a popular batik piece in demand. So batik is used for sarees as well as furnishings. Cotton batik printed sarees are a rage with women because of the design on them or just for the color they bring into our life in summers the batik silk sarees rule the roost in the winters. We all want a dash of color in the dark winter.
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