How Do You Make Batique?


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Arjun Mitra Profile
Arjun Mitra answered
Batique refers to a certain wax-resist dying method invented by the Indonesians. It was developed almost a thousand years earlier. First you apply molten wax to the cloth before dipping it in the dye. The dye does not penetrate at places on the fabric where the wax has been soaked. Many a times, several colours are used, along with a series of steps such as dyeing, drying and waxing. You make wax lines with a 'tjanting' needle. After the entire procedure, the fabric is hung up to dry.

After drying, the fabric is then dipped into a solvent in order to dissolve the wax so that the deep rich colour and the fine crinkle lines of the fabric are revealed. Traditional batique is made up of traditional colours made out of vegetables and spices whereas contemporary ones are made up of artificial synthetic colours. Usually they carry illustrations of animals and people.

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