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PATTERNS IN BATIK

 

Inspired by landscapes and patterns from home

 

Workshop Description


Participants will be shown the technique of Batik and create a fabric strip inspired by a pattern or landscape they remember. 

 

Workshop Aims


1. To learn about the batik process

2. For each participant to create a patterned strip of fabric, which can be sewn together to create a collaborative hanging

 

Workshop Activities 


1. Using pencil and paper sketch a pattern, landscape, or other design such as flags, lettering, etc. The design must fill a long narrow space. Participants can be invited to take inspiration from their cultures and histories. When happy with the designs sketch very lightly onto a strip of fabric.  


2. Demonstrate the batik line drawing process: Hot wax is melted in a batik pot and scooped up into a tjanting tool (see comments for alternatives to these) which holds a small bowl of liquid wax and drips down a spout onto fabric. Lines are drawn with the tool to create the design or pattern. Ensure the wax is hot enough to go through the piece of fabric. This will create a barrier preventing the dyes from soaking through. Participants take it in turns to use the hot wax to create the pattern they have drawn onto their fabric.  


3. Once wax lines are complete, fabric can be painted using fabric dyes applied with a brush. The wax lines keep the dyes from spreading beyond and mixing with each other, and will preserve the colour of the fabric beneath.  Some dyes will need to be fixed afterwards, others are fixed as part of the process by adding salt – check the instructions on the dyes you are using. 


4. When dried the batik strips are placed between sheets of newsprint or newspaper and ironed, removing the wax by melting it and absorbing it into the paper. This step may be repeated several times to remove enough of the wax. The plain colour of the fabric is revealed beneath and the painted design stands out. 


5. Strips can be placed or sown together to create a collaborative hanging or display, creating stripes showing a range of influences and backgrounds. 

 

Materials Required

  • Paper and pencils 

  • Fabric cut into long strips of equal size. create a boarder for hemming 

  • Batik pot 

  • Wax pellets 

  • Tjanting/batik tools 

  • Masking tape 

  • Newspaper or newsprint 

  • Fabric dyes (with fixer or salt as required) 

  • Paint brushes 

  • Iron 

  • Sewing materials (optional) 

 

If intending to sew the strips together make sure to leave space for a hem when cutting the fabric, so make them wider than required. Fabric could be cut to different shapes and dimensions such as square or rectangular patches. It helps to tape the fabric to a piece of card to keep it flat and to mask off a border 

 

In place of a batik pot you can place a tin can full of wax, or candle ends, inside saucepan half filled with water. This placed on a hob can melt the wax to the correct temperature. You know the wax is hot enough if it melts through the fabric. 

 

Instead of Tjanting tools you can use paint brushes, or a piece of foam cut to a point. Be aware of the wax cooling down too much on these to soak through the fabric, which it must do to form a barrier.