The tradition of making batik fabric dates back for many centuries. The batik fabric is unique because of the use of a wax resist dying technique. This technique was believed to be introduced as early as the fourth century BC in Egypt, and at the time, the fabric was used to wrap mummies. Egyptians wrapped mummies in a cotton fabric, covered the fabric with wax and delicately scratched the material to create a decorative effect. This decorative wrapping technique was used for ceremonial purposes to honor the deceased.
The fine art of this wax-resist dying technique is common in Indonesia, and variations of it today are also found in China, Eurasian countries, Arab countries and other destinations around the globe. Generally, batik fabric uses traditional dark colors like dark brown or dark blue coupled with shades of white, but there are some variations to this color scheme in different areas of the world. The patterns that are created in the fabric may have natural themes, such as a floral or animal print. They may also have a cultural meaning, and they may represent people or folkloric stories. The fabric is often considered to be decorative in nature, and those who have a higher rank in certain cultures may wear this fabric to traditional ceremonies.
In the United States, batik fabric is commonly used to make beautiful quilts and other handmade crafts. There are many different color schemes and patterns of this fabric available, and it can create a rich, decadent or even cultural look to quilts. Batik fabric not only makes good quilting fabric because of its beauty and stunning designs but because it is made of cotton which is a preferred material for most quilters. This material is also great for sewing many different types of clothing.
The first step of the procedure is to draw or find a design that will lend itself to this process. A simple design is probably best at this stage as the application of the wax is a learned skill and needs practice to apply well. Take your design and looking at the dye plan above, decide where each colour is to go. It is probably best to draw out your plan on paper first so that it is clear to you where you need to wax and where you need to keep wax free.
Boiling the fabric will also take out a considerable amount of the colour so it is very important that the dyes are strong and fixed as per the previous dye recipe. Boiling the fabric leaves it manageable and soft so it can be used for any purpose. The alternative way of removing the wax is to iron it out onto sheets of unprinted clean newsprint or brown paper. This leaves the fabric quite stiff but the colours are much brighter. Although not suitable for clothing, these fabrics can be used for many craft projects from lining the insides of craft boxes to inspired cards using craft papers and fabric pieces.
The final stage is to wax the areas that are to remain deep red and then finally immerse the fabric in the navy dye bath, agitate the bath and leave the fabric in until it reaches the desired shade of purple, bearing in mind that the colour will look considerably deeper while the fabric is wet, so do not be tempted to remove it until you are sure the colour is what you are trying to achieve.
Those who are purchasing this type of fabric for silk Batik scarves, should be aware that the highest quality of batik materials are those that are handmade using traditional techniques and these are also the most expensive type of batik fabric available. Some fabric may be manufactured with a machine, and this may provide quilters and other crafters the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of batik material at a more affordable price. This fabric may be found in local fabric stores, but shoppers will usually find a better selection of both affordable and higher-quality or handmade fabric by shopping online with a reputable fabric retailer. For your next project try this great material.If only one color is desired for your Batik clothing, simply scrape off the wax, and the job is done. If more than one color will be dyed on to the fabric, repeat the waxing process on the dyed areas to protect it from future dyes.