Prepare 100% cotton fabric by cutting to the size needed and wash the fabric with soap, dry and iron it. This step is necessary to secure a pure white cotton fabric prior to starting the Batik process. The artist’s pencil drawing of the subject is applied to clean cotton canvass, in other words, the designs and art of the Batik is also the creation of the Batik artist and aside of the Batik process with the colors.
In preparation of applying the wax .~ please note that proper Batik process usually is done from light colors to dark colors. So your first dye bath is ready and would be the lightest color on this art envisioned by the artist for this particular work, its yellow.
Further note, that the original color of the fabric/canvass itself may also stay as a chosen color. Such fabrics are usually white or beige. Again, anything white on my art work is really the original color of the canvass/fabric and not an allied color at all. the canvass is put over a stretcher and the first wax (proper mixture of paraffin and bee waxes) is applied onto the canvass. Note: in order for the Batik to a REAL authentic Batik, the back side of the art work has to mirror the front side’s colors and art design. This can only be achieved if the wax application has the needed temperature of the wax, so it too penetrates the canvass evenly and results in the same wax build up as the front side of the Art work.
Between Steps: I suppose this would be the proper moment to explain the reason for the wax for the minds not aware what wax does when applied to any fabric, or any solid surface. The applied wax will serve as the needed barrier against the dye (colors of this art form). One can actually say that the Batik artist draws and paint with WAX and uses the power of that wax to control the colors for his/her Batik Art work. The artist has many tools at his disposal to apply the proper amount of wax depending on the detailed drawing of the design itself. Such tools are many sizes of Canting tools to several sizes of brushes.
Having explained the reasons for the wax and its method of application with respect to the canvass, The canvass is now covered with wax except for the portion and parts designated to take the first color the artist has chosen (as mentioned that would be the lightest color first). The canvass is now dipped into a the chosen color dye bath and left there for enough time as to show vibrant color. In this case the first dye bath is yellow. The area of the cloth where the wax was applied in Step 1 will remain white.
The canvass is now ready for the stretcher again and for the preparation of the second color, in this case red. And as you already guessed it, the same application of wax painting applies as described in previous steps. keep in mind, in order to protect the yellow from the red, the yellow also has to covered with the wax and again, wax has to be the proper temperature and viscosity as to protect on either side of the canvas.
The canvass is now ready for the stretcher again and for the preparation of the 3rd color in this case Black. And as you already guessed it, the same application of wax painting applies as described in previous steps. Artist repeats the above steps for each color, the more colors the art has the more applications of waxes, boiling of, washing etc etc…Additional complexities for the artist: Artist can either achieve its colors by mixing certain dyes using the color mixture chart, or artist can layer certain color by applying a darker dye over the already applied lighter color. Obviously one needs to be familiar with such layering and mixing.
In the Art of Batik, an artist really has to think in reverse, as his wax painting is achieved by keeping something AWAY and putting on the final results. This final result is achieved by reversed method of “keeping away “. The COLORS which I, Rita, lay on these canvasses will be as vibrant and deep toady as they will remain many years from now. I achieve such result by a proprietary mixture of cold washes and baths after each color application, baths designed to fastened the colors. SMILE… My batiks gets better Spa treatment than the most luxurious resort can offer… SMILE…!!!!
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