CRAFTS OF INDIA / BATIK / INDUSTRIAL TECHNIQUE
Batik – an Industrial technique called Batik cap (copper block stamp) - The application of wax with a tjanting tool is done with great care and therefore is very time-consuming. As the population increased and commercial demand rose, time-saving methods evolved. Other methods of applying the wax to the fabric include pouring the liquid wax, painting the wax with a brush, and putting hot wax onto pre-carved wooden or copper block (called a cap or tjap) and stamping the fabric. The tjanting is used like a pen on the cloth.
The invention of the copper block (cap) developed by the Javanese in the 20th century revolutionized batik production. By block printing the wax onto the fabric, it became possible to mass-produce designs and intricate patterns much faster than one could possibly do by using a tjanting.
Batik print is the common name given to fabric that incorporates batik pattern without actually using the wax-resist dyeing technique. It represents a further step in the process of industrialization, reducing the cost of batik by mass-producing the pattern repetitively, as a standard practice employed in the worldwide textile industry.
Fine designs are made on the fabric using ‘Tjanting’ tools. Molten wax at a certain temperature is carefully put on the design lines with Batik dropper pen. A lot of care has to be taken since too thin a layer could give way to colour dye through surface cracks. Temperature of the wax is normally kept between 200 and 230 degrees. In the former or conventional method vats or tubs with boiling water are used to melt away the wax. In the latter a small tub with hot water is generally preferred. After the entire resist dyeing process is over, and the wax has melted away in hot water, a neatly dyed plain or designed fabric is available.
Batik is a textile art similar to tie and dye. Instead of tying the fabric, however, wax is applied to resist dyes. The wax can be removed and re-applied several times to make beautiful and intricate designs.
The striking beauty of batik bedspreads, curtains, tablecloths and placemats is indescribable. The colors are so vivid and the designs so stunning that it’s hard to believe they were made with wax and dye. The batik industry is still very much alive today. Although it is common to see the mass production of batik with machines, it is still made by hand in many parts of the world. There is a considerable market for this high-quality cloth. Perhaps batik is still popular today because of its artistic freedom. The designs become whatever the artist’s heart desires. Batik is very durable: it has more color fastness than printed fabrics because through the dyeing process the fabric absorbs the color so well that it does not easily fade. The batik technique first started out as a decoration for royals. Today, the striking and intricate patterns can be seen on the ramp, in the office and on formal occasions. Designers have recently started incorporating batik into everyday clothing, not only in Asian countries, but all around the world!
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