Monday, December 5, 2011

Batik in the South Pacific

Since coming to Singapore in September, I've been learning a lot about batiks. Of course the internet is a great source of information, but there's nothing like seeing the fabrics before your eyes, and this region is the place for that. There are quite a few places in Sing
apore itself that sell the traditional Indonesian batik fabrics. The designs are quite complex and at one time were hand drawn and dyed using a wax-dye resist method. Most of these are now machine printed on cotton and are sold very reasonably to the mass market. Here are two patterns I've acquired here.

On a recent trip to the island of Langkawi, off the west coast of Malaysia, I had the opportunity to visit a batik workshop and see a different style of batik. This time the design was handdrawn onto cotton, outlined with wax, then handpainted before the fixative was added and the wax removed. You can see by the following photos the very different results from above. These are handkerchief-sized pieces which I purchased at the Pisang Arts and Handicrafts centre.
There are also batiks made by tie-dyeing and stamping, techniques I'm hoping to see when we go to Bali next week.

If you are a CQA member you can read more about the Langkawi visit in the spring edition of the Canadian Quilter.

With Christmas preparations in full swing here in Singapore, may I send my best wishes to each of my blog readers for a happy Christmas with all the blessings is can bring, and many happy quilting experiences in the New Year.