Batik Lab

The class started with a plain paper pattern for their design space. They were given 3 sizes to choose from so that once their batik was completed they could turn it into a zipper bag.

I did a search for websites that had free patterns for stained glass windows. I found this pattern for a flower which I printed and then adapted so that it would make a good match for the medium, (batik), and tracing it onto the size A pattern.

There are several important factors when choosing patterns:

Size: the primary design should fit within the pattern.

Simplicity: Very intricate designs do NOT work well with the medium, they are more often lost and become indistinguishable.

Adaptability: Referring back to the technique, space: (note the white space between the colors, this is the space or where the muslin has not been waxed), must be left for the dye to fill in, this is what makes the design stand out. Any design can be adapted if it fits the other criteria. (Lab Day 1: Design selection)

      Here is the other batik I created during the lab, for this one the spaces are indicated by the red lines on the pattern. Where the lines were, I applied no wax, this was to allow the dye to fill in those spaces and create the look I desired. After dying the batik is left to drip dry over night. (Lab Day 2: Wax/Dye Application)

In the batik process the wax is applied so that the material, (muslin) will resist (prevent) the dye. However, the wax leaves the fabric stiff, so it must be removed. Traditionally the fabric was submerged in boiling water, this dissolves the wax and removes it from the garment. The water is later cooled and the wax is reclaimed, (scooped off to be reused for another fabric), however students omitted this step and instead used hot irons and newspaper. Placing the muslin between sheets of newsprint students ironed until some wax was removed, changing to clean sheets of newsprint as the wax soaked through. Once most wax was removed the muslin is placed on newsprint, to protect the surface, and directly ironed. (Lab Day 3: Wax Removal)

Once all steps of batik process are completed the material (muslin) is ready to be sewn into the zipper bag.

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