Batik is the art of decorating cloth using wax and dye, and has been practised for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot.
To make a batik, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs. After the final dyeing the wax is removed and the cloth is ready for wearing or showing.
Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics.
Batik is historically the most expressive and subtle of the resist methods. The ever widening range of techniques available offers the artist the opportunity to explore a unique process in a flexible and exciting way.
1) Use the black marker to draw your design onto a piece of paper the same size as the scarf. The outline of the design needs to be connected and unbroken.
2) Iron and stretch the scarf. Only handle the fabric as much as you need because the oil in your skin doesn't cause the dye to resist. Attach masking tape to all four corners with straight pins and tape the scarf onto the stretcher bars. With small pieces of tape, fix the design drawing to the underside of the silk scarf.
3) Using the resist in an applicator bottle, squeeze the bottle to apply an even line. Trace the design onto the silk scarf. The resist will spread out a little after it is applied. Resist is used to stop the flow of the liquid dye, so it is important to completely connect the resist lines. Allow the resist to dry (usually overnight).
4) Choose your Jacquard Silk Colors and use the brush to apply the dyes. The technique is a little different than painting with thick paints in that you simply touch the brush to the silk and watch the colors flow across the silk. You can blend the wet dyes on the surface and create endless new color combinations. If desired, Jacquard Silk Salt can be applied to wet dye on the silk to give a mottled appearance.
5) Let the dyed scarf dry completely.
6) The final step is to heat set the dye for a few minutes with the heat gun being careful not to scorch the scarf. Rinse the scarf in cold water to remove the wax. After a quick rinse in cold water, leave the scarf to dry for awhile and iron (medium setting) while it is still slightly damp.