This Beauty was from the island of Java a gift for me from my Mum who went there in January. For those of you new to batik it is a special process of applying wax in a stylistic manner onto cloth or paper as you would when drawing with a pencil. Then apply a coat of fabric dye or paint. Once that coat has dried apply more wax in a ‘drawing’ motion atop the painted surface. The wax quickly dries, then more dye/colour is added on top. This results in a layered, colourful and vibrant design as you can see. When you have added all the colours and swirly designs you want heat is applied to the fabric. First a blank sheet of fabric is placed on top then a heating device like an iron is pressed on top. The wax melts onto the scrap fabric on top of the final piece and then the colours really come to life. With my scarf you can see that originally the scarf is painted hot pink all over then a floral design is ‘drawn’ via wax. Once that has dried contrasting green paint is applied. So when you iron off the wax the hot pink vibrantly shows off against the green. The wax serves to protect the colour it covers until it is melted off.
The special drawing tool Tjanting is composed of a small metal bowl and spout where wax is stored and slowly flows out of; attached to a wooden stick to hold onto. The nib of the spout comes in all sizes. Wider nibs allow bolder, thicker lines and small nibs for thin, dainty lines. Once you get the hang of it it is a lot of fun! My first experience of experimenting with this was in high school. 😀