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TOPIC: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed?

Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 08 Apr 2011 21:19 #61895

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Dawn, my grandmother never called her sewing supplies as fabric or material. . .instead she would talk about going to the store to pick up some "cloth." When she said "cloth," in my mind, I was always picturing a tablecloth!! :lol:
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 08 Apr 2011 08:45 #61843

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Michelle, I agree with you on the purple one, that it is hand dyed, and probably used Kosher salt. And, it is very done well! The orange one is more of a mystery to me, the more I look at it! I have two fat quarters, and cannot find any repeat. There are many almost alike squares, and they are usually right next to each other. I am thinking there must have been some sort of resist applied (after the first hand dying, and possibly while still wet) in a very non-precise diagonal square design. And then a drop of another dye was added to the center of each square, and that dye moved or pushed all other dyes out towards the resist area, stacking up at the edges of the square. Whatever, it's pretty cool!

I liked your analogy of Xerox and Kleenex vs photocopy and tissue. I think you hit the nail on the head, and the word batik has become a generic word for a fabric that goes through many processes, has been washed a few times during that process, and usually has a tighter, denser weave. I will settle for that. But, in the future, If I ever want a true batik, I now know to ask the person for one with a distinct design imprinted in it.

It took me years to get over FABRIC vs MATERIAL! Many quilters still call what they use to make a quilt, material, when actually the MATERIAL they are using is FABRIC. The material used for a road is concrete or asphalt, the material used for a house is wood, and the material used for a window is glass, etc. But, since Webster says material can also be cloth or fabric, I have learned to accept either. Personally, my stash is all FABRIC! :lol: :lol:

Dawn
In beautiful Northwest Montana
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 07 Apr 2011 10:55 #61787

Dawn those are some beautiful fabrics regardless of what techniques were used!! I might have to steal them LOL!!

It's really hard to tell from the pictures if they are typical hand dyes or not. It's even hard to tell in person!

The first purple one looks like a hand dye that had Kosher salt (the large lumps) used on it. Salt causes the dye to be absorbed at a different rate than on the rest of the fabric, causing the darker circles where there is a great concentration of the salt/dye mix, along with the cool pale aura around that. I also think that fabric was not laid flat, but rather scrunched a bit when sitting, as seen by the darker areas that look like veins in a marble or granite slab, where the dye pooled. It seems to have been dyed on one pass, just a purple. All the designs are caused by the salt and manipulations of the fabric and dye. Gorgeous!

The orange one is even harder to tell what it is! That block shape was made by something! A block of some kind perhaps? A chop dipped in wax? A shape dipped in some other kind of resist? If you really study the print over a larger area than the picture show, can you find a repeat? It looks like this had two dye baths... the first was probably a yellow/orange watery wash then the stamping with whatever resist, then an over dye of a red. Who knows, this one may be a combo hand dye with batik??!! Or I could be totally off base and it's something totally different! There is a mystery inherent in these lovely fabrics! Again, this is a fabulous fabric no matter what type it is!

The true marbled fabric is wonderful! I have done marbeling and it is so much fun! There is always a surprise with marbeling, even though you think it will look like what you combed, it does change a bit! Yours is great!

Oh another thought on the hand dye vs. batik. The word Batik has become a bit like Xerox or Kleenex... meaning it has come into our culture meaning a specific thing but has morphed into a generic. Most people do not say "photocopy" or "tissue". As you pointed out, Batik actually means a wax made resist. But over the years, it has come to mean something more general and less specific to the actual technique. The general public sees fabric that is 'hand made' in some fashion, and they call it Batik as a generic term for something made by hand that uses dyes and perhaps sun and perhaps other (unknown to them) things (like wax or salt) Again, an education thing.

I agree this would be a very interesting topic for Alex and Ricky to explore... perhaps they could have someone like Princess Mirah on the show!!
Michelle Wyman
Acworth, GA
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 07 Apr 2011 09:44 #61782

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Michelle, I appreciate your in depth added information on hand dyed vs batik! I also love hand dyes and have a drawer full of hundreds of dollars of hand dyes from Joys Fabrics, Carol Bryer Fallert, Skydyes, Ricky Tims, many unknown artists gradations, and Laura Wasilauski. And, all of these are clearly hand dyes. And then, I have a drawer full of wax resist batiks. These are all commercial, bought at LQSs. I also have commercial hand dyed, that are clearly not batiks, but would be concidered batiks by many. That is where the problem lies! As you and theothmarion have stated, until people are educated, they will lump anything that is not a print, together as a batik. Or as Ritzy said, people think if it comes from Bali (Indonesia) then it must be batik.

I sent Alex an email on this subject, and she said it might be an interesting subject for an upcoming segment. Let TQS educate the masses! I think the whole batik process is facinating, and have been to a lecture, with awesome photos on the techniques involved. I even learned that there is a rush to get everything done before monsoon season begins! Forget ordering any new fabrics during that time, as it won't happen!

Since you have knowledge in the area of dying fabrics, I have a couple of fabrics that I have always thought to be excellent artistic handyes. But, from what you have said about the wax and marbling, etc, I am wondering. The first two I'm not sure on.

The third picture is just for fun for those of you who have been following this thread. This is a piece I did with a dye technique called marbling. Simplified over view of the process: I dropped dots of dye onto a gel like substance called "size," ran a special "comb" through it, layed my specially treated fabric on the surface, then carefully pulled it up and let it dry. Voila! Cool fabric. Paula Nadelstern had a whole line of marble fabrics that were probably originally designed this way. Fun!

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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 06 Apr 2011 21:31 #61751

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Thanks for reminding me of things I once knew Michelle.
Blessing from Northwest Indiana, USA
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 06 Apr 2011 20:34 #61748

Dawn, some watery and diffuse designs ARE done with batik (wax resist). It just depends on the way the wax is applied. There are numerous ways to apply wax to fabric.

Some techniques of batik have a very definite image - such as those made with a tjanting (a drawing tool that hold hot wax) or a 'chop' (a metal design mounted on a wood base). These give a picture to the batik, be it swirls or squares or birds or any other image. Another way of applying wax to fabric is to lay on hot wax with a paint brush and then hand crackle it so the dye seeps in, in an abstract and diffuse manner. And there are others too.

That is why I said some people may think of the diffuse images of hand dyes as being done with batik... they might have been! Also, I'd guess that most people just don't know the nitty gritty details of dyeing fabric and until they are educated, will continue to lump hand dyes and batiks together. Good thing I love them all!!

PS. I don't mean to sound like a know it all, but I do have an art degree with a focus on dyeing and textiles. I have studied and dyed fabrics myself using many different techniques and resulting in many different looks.
Michelle Wyman
Acworth, GA
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 04 Apr 2011 18:04 #61564

I know the difference, but I've given up educating people. It is not worth getting myself worked up over. Perhaps you needed to say that you wanted a definite pattern or something similar.
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 04 Apr 2011 15:32 #61547

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I think that many times people think that Bali fabrics are batiks. But, according to what I just looked up--it is definitely a wax resist method.
Blessing from Northwest Indiana, USA
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 04 Apr 2011 13:02 #61536

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Probably the same way that canvas work/needlepoint/gros point/petit point embroidery ( worked with a tapestry (blunt) needle) is always called 'tapestry'.
Where as 'tapestry' actually means a woven picture (with no needlework on it - unless it is a couple of hundred years old and is in need of some repair :wink: )
However they do look similar from across a room to the uninitiated.

Besides a batik can be a hand dyed as well, but a hand dyed is not always a batik - as you have found out.

Rosemary


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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 04 Apr 2011 11:22 #61525

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Okay, my comment to the colorwash and marbling, is that this is a "dye" technique, not wax drawings upon the fabric technique. Batik means "wax written." (This information was found on a batik info. site.) If there is no wax "written" on the fabric, how can it be considered a batik?

Dawn
In beautiful Northwest Montana
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Re: Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 04 Apr 2011 09:34 #61518

I don't know the 'real' reason but here's a thought:

Some real batiks are of the colorwash style... meaning there is no clear image on them. They are more marbled looking or watery or other diffuse designs.

Hand dyes are often similar looking... watery or marbled or diffuse in their imagery.

Perhaps because of the similarity of this style of batik and hand dyes, people are lumping them into one category. Perhaps LQS's are shelving them together also, as they look alike. Perhaps people can't tell when ordering online whether they are wax style batik or not, they just "look" like batiks.

Just a thought...
Michelle
Michelle Wyman
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Is it Batik or Hand Dyed? 04 Apr 2011 09:17 #61517

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I was at a quilt show one time, and made the comment to the owner of a quilt on display, that she had used my all time favorite fabric in her quilt. She asked if I had any left, because she would like to make pillow shams to match the quilt, and had run out of the fabric. So, I sent her what I had and she asked what I would like in return. I stated a bright batik. I received a hand dyed.

I joined in on the Batiks exchange, and noticed that MANY that came back, were also hand dyes. (And, I love them all, so get me wrong here!)

Batik is a process or technique of painting a picture or design onto a fabric with wax (usually a mixture of paraffin and beeswax), dying it again, then removing the wax. The waxed area retains the original color. This can be done once or many times on the same fabric. It is also known as "wax resist" work. Although a very old process, we now find really great trendy ones in our local quilt stores. Most are from Indonesia, and there is usually a rush to get it all done before the monsoon season begins.

So, my question is: When and how has batik and hand dyed become interchangable? Batik to me, is the wax resist fabrics. To many others, it also includes hand dyes. Comments?

Dawn
In beautiful Northwest Montana
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