Coloring batik, naturally

I’ve looked at many batik colored with natural dyes, and often the results are somewhat dull and flat. When I saw this one by my colleague, Mas Solikhin Ahmad of Pekalongan on the north coast of Java, I jumped for joy at the liveliness of the color, all derived from natural sources, including indigo. The…

Handwriting stamped batik scarf

Instead of applying the wax by hand with the canting, the wax resist is applied with a stamp made of copper, called a cap (tchap). The dye is indigo.      

Making a “Love” cap

I tried my hand at using the canting to write with wax  but it is a long and difficult process. My friend Asif suggested that I ask his friend who is a skilled tukang cap to make a “Love”stamp. I was skeptical that it could be done. Having never seen how a stamp, called a…

The women of Kebon Indah

What a joy to visit these lovely artisans in Kebon, Klaten, Central Java. Their work is beautiful and their spirit spirit is inspiring. They are a collective (kelompok) of 169 women from a group of small villages who have joined together, pooling their resources to make batik using only natural ingredients gathered locally to color…

Batik Indigo, deeper and darker in Pekalongan

My friend and colleague, Solikhin , has been working very hard over the past three years since I saw him last. Still focused on indigo, never finding an easy solution by way of chemical dye, Solikhin has come a long way toward opening up the richness and versatility of indigo.       This is…

Celup, celup, celup

The darkest indigo batik I have ever seen is from the workshop of Hanafi natural dyer in Pekalongan Central Java. This is a clip from his workshop. A batik of the deepest blue may need more than 100 celup (dips) and take many weeks to produce.  

The natural colors of wild silk

The natural color of the silk threads from the cocoons of wild silkworms vary in color as the result of  what they eat. Domestic silkworms, Bombix mori, prefer the  leaves of the white mulberry http://www.designboom.com/history/silk1.html, but they will eat other types of mulberry leaves such as those from the red mulberry or black mulberry tree.…

Pop-up Shop September 27,28,29

Before Pop-up             -you textile enthusiasts, friends, and supporters for coming to this three-day run of The Language of Cloth Pop-up Shop.

Batik tulis, written in wax

Tulis literally translated means “written” , so batik tulis is batik that is drawn or written, by hand. The canting is the pen used for “writing” batik tulis. Melted wax is the ink.The canting is a subtle tool and requires patience and practice to master. My application of those two principles is beginning to show…

Batik cap from Cirebon and Pekalongan, Java

Batik cap is a wax resist process in which designs are applied in wax with “cap”, stamps usually made of copper for their heat conductive properties. It has been produced in Java since the middle of the 19th century to speed up the production and lower the cost of batik cloth. Batik originated in the…

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