"The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness."

~ Massimo Vignelli

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Batik Scarves

August 15th, 2011

Batik Scarves

Batik scarves

Here’s hoping everyone had a good weekend! I’ve already read some of my friends’ in-party BBMs and seen a video from a trip to Canada’s Wonderland, so I know I’m not the only one who was up to some fun!

I went to visit my parents this weekend for the first time in years. They usually come to see us, as there’s more to do and see around here, but my mom was painting batik scarves in a fellow artist’s studio and asked me to join her. I’m not yet sure what I’ll do with the ones I created, but they’ll make a great addition to my collection!

To illustrate the process, here are a few photos:

Hot wax (a mixture of paraffin and beeswax) is applied to white silk wherever the fabric should remain white.

Batik scarf painting

The first wax application

The fabric is then put in a dye bath, and hung to dry.

Batik scarf painting

After the first dye application – yellow. The spots I painted with wax remain white.

The process is repeated with subsequent wax applications and dyes, each picking up the colour of previous dye applications.

Batik scarf painting

After the second dye application – pink, which combined with the yellow to create orange.

As the fabric is dyed, the wax crackles to create a distinctive batik look.

Batik scarf painting

After the third dye application – red

When the waxing and dyeing are completed and the scarf is fully dried, it is ironed between sheets of newsprint to remove the wax, which reveals the vividness of the colours underneath.

Batik scarf painting

After blue and black dye applications; ironed out to remove wax

Finally, the scarves are sent to be dry cleaned, which removes any residual wax and restores sheen to the silk. I don’t have photos of a post-dry-cleaning scarf, but will share them when the cleaning is done!

A few more photos:

Batik scarf painting

My mom at work on an intricate geranium design

Batik scarf painting

Drawing the fronds of a peacock feather

Batik scarves

I decided to join the clothesline.

I know which one I like best, but I’m curious – which is your favourite?

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5 Responses

  1. mellowchick says:

    Wow that peacock pattern is amazing!!

  2. the Gardener says:

    Thanks D! I think that one's my fave.

  3. donotcallitbolognese says:

    wow, these scarves are beautiful!! Love them all, but my favourite is the first with all that butterflies.

  4. Kim Bee says:

    Second from the right. For sure my fave. Or the one with the black dress and long hair. Lol! Great job, you are incredibly talented.

  5. the Gardener says:

    Thanks! That's the beauty of art (though I would not consider myself an artist at all, so maybe I should say "art") – everyone likes something different. Though now that Kim has mentioned it, I have to change my favourite – I'd go with the one with long hair too. 😛

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