Batik is a dyeing technique facilitated by the intentional positioning of wax on fabric. As wax repels the dye it leaves areas free from colour which allows patterns to be created with one or more colours. Wax is removed using boiling water.
Whilst batik is often associated with Indonesia and more specifically the island of Java (the word ‘batik’ is taken from the Javanese language), there are traditions across the globe from Nigeria to India and the Philippines and unsurprisingly techniques and traditions vary from nation to nation.
When a piece of fabric decorated using batik is to be worn, some patterns are reserved for certain body parts. Isosceles triangles are commonly for headwear and birds are often for wear on the body.
Drawing the patterns on the fabric with liquid wax is known as ‘canting’.
UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Oriental rugs must be simultaneously art, decoration and furniture and achieve all three successfully. As we know from previous blog posts, creating an Oriental rug is something that takes weeks, months or even years.
Of course, Oriental rug creation goes back thousands of years but its inclusion in this post is more to emphasise its role as art as this is often overlooked. True oriental rugs don’t allow for mass production on any large scale and each piece must be created with many hours of laborious work by a person rather than an algorithm-based machine that is capable of repetition.
Applique is a decorating technique that uses fabric stitched on top of other pieces to form a pattern. It’s name is of French origin but the name isn’t reserved for textile based art but instead refers to the technique regardless of material used. Clay for example is an alternative to soft textiles.
The word ‘appliqué’ can refer to both the technique and the material being stitched.
The art form is particularly important to the African nation of Benin
Appliqué began to emerge out of necessity in the 18th century although to exact origins are unknown