Wood Block Stamping!
Most of the commercial batik fabrics that we love go through a dye process first…..are then stamped with wood blocks dipped in wax, and then over-dyed.
Where the wax is…..is where the design resists the next dye.
If you look closely you will see that the fabric already has color on it --- the wax holds THAT color in place while the background is then dyed a second time. OR ---the fabric can then be bleached to REMOVE the excess background dye for a fabric that has a white background with a colorful print design.
Overhead and on the walls hang the myriad of designs used to stamp the fabric. some of these designs are centuries old, carved in wood. Others are more modern and made of metal, but the process is the same.
The movement is rhythmic and fairly even. Dip the wood block in the wax. Press, pound, press, pound, press, pound….
Check this video to see the process in motion:
These are short clips because my camera battery life was in jeapardy!
More wood blocks!
This fabric is dyed first, then stamped….the wax will hold the color in the shape of leaves, and the background will be bleached white again.
And this is how it’s done, folks! From here it goes through several other processes before it finally ends up in a store near you. Honestly. I will NEVER be able to look at a piece of batik fabric and not think back to these gentle welcoming people who took us in and showed us how they work.
We also saw how they protected their motorbikes:
Batik bike covers! LOL!
By the time this posts, we will be somewhere over the ocean on our way to Los Angeles.
Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts to get us home safe!