WHAT IS BATIK?
Batik (pronounced ba-teek) is an ancient handmade fabric art where hot wax is painted or stamped onto fabric. The fabric is then dyed one or more times and then wax is removed, revealing elaborate colored patterns and designs.
HISTORY OF BATIK:
The Batik making process is said to have originated in Asia, Africa and India. While it’s clear origins are unknown it was most documented in the Java Islands of Indonesia in the 13th century where the vibrant cloth was used only by royalty and families with wealth and great position. The art of batik has been passed dow for generations in Ghana with each region producing its own unique patterns and colors. Patterns are said to have special symbolic significance that bring the wearer anything from good luck to good health and prosperity.
Many women across the African continent practice this ancient technique and African Cowboy Clothing is committed to supporting as many of them as possible and keeping this tradition alive. We want you to witness the love and care that goes into the creation of each shirt that you purchase so keep reading and check out our photos so you can see how it’s done.
The Batik making process begins with designs drawn and carved out of pieces of foam. These designs are either Adinkra symbols (traditional symbolic Ghanaian writing/glyphs) or improvised creative designs. The foam pieces are dipped in hot wax and carefully pressed on either cotton or silk fabric. The cloth is then dyed one or more different colors. Wax is removed by dipping the fabric in boiling water. Afterwards, the beautiful work of art is sun dried and then ironed to smooth out wrinkles.
The process of stamping is sometimes substituted for or combined with a the process of brushing the fabric with hot wax which creates a different stylistic look. The pictures below give you a glimpse into both processes.