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Craft type: Dyeing
Dyeing is the application of dyes or pigments on textile materials such as fibers, yarns, and fabrics with the goal of achieving color with desired color fastness. Dyeing is normally done in a special solution containing dyes and particular chemical material. Dye molecules are fixed to the fiber by absorption, diffusion, or bonding with temperature and time being key controlling factors. The bond between dye molecule and fiber may be strong or weak, depending on the dye used. Dyeing and printing are different applications; in printing color is applied to a localized area with desired patterns and in dyeing it is applied to the entire textile.
The traditional Li textile techniques by women of the Li ethnic group on the island of Hainan, China, were recognized by Unesco in 2009 as in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering are employed to make cotton, hemp and other fibres into clothing and other daily necessities. The techniques involved, including warp ikat, double-face embroidery, and single-face jacquard weaving, are passed down from mothers to daughters from early childhood through verbal instruction and personal demonstration. Li women design the textile patterns using only their imagination and knowledge of traditional styles. In the absence of a written language, these patterns record the history and legends of Li culture as well as aspects of worship, taboos, beliefs, traditions and folkways. The patterns also distinguish the five major spoken dialects of Hainan Island.
Shweshwe is a type of dyed and printed cotton fabric used in traditional South-African clothing. Originally with indigo, it’s now made in variety of colours and designs, featuring intricate geometric patterns. It’s made in a intricate discharge process. First the fabric is dyed entirely, then passed through copper design rollers. The copper rollers emit an acid solution which removes the color with pinpoint accuracy to form the pattern. The use of picotage, tiny pin dots that create designs, texture and depth, is characteristic to shweshwe.
The characteristic fabric has been called the denim, or tartan, of South Africa. Shweshwe is also known as “german print” (sejeremane in Sotho, ujamani in Xhosa) after 19th century german and swiss settlers who imported the Blaudruck fabric.
Adire (Yoruba: tie and dye) textile is the indigo-dyed cloth made in southwestern Nigeria by Yoruba women, using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques. As the translation of the name suggests, the earliest pieces of this type were probably simple tied designs on cotton cloth handspun and woven locally (rather like those still produced in Mali), but in the early decades of the 20th century new access to large quantities of imported shirting material via the spread of European textile merchants in Abeokuta and other Yoruba towns caused a boom in these women’s entrepreneurial and artistic efforts, making adire a major local craft in Abeokuta and Ibadan, attracting buyers from all over West Africa. The cloth’s basic shape became that of two pieces of shirting material stitched together to create a women’s wrapper cloth. New techniques of resist dyeing developed.
Nigeria is also known for its two-tone indigo resist designs, created by repeat dyeing of cloth painted with cassava root paste to create a deep blue; the paste is then washed out and the cloth dyed a final time. Quality cloth is dyed 25 or more times to create a deep blue-black color before the paste is washed out. Additional forms of indigo resist-dyeing exist in other parts of West Africa; for example, the Bamana of Mali use mud resist, while Senegalese dyers use rice paste rather than cassava root. And the Ndop of Cameroon use both stitch resist and wax resist.
Ikat fabric is a dyeing technique used to create a distinct style of textile patterns. Ikat is done by resist dyeing sections of the yarns prior to weaving the fabric.
In ikat the resist is formed by binding individual yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered to create a new pattern and the yarns dyed again with another colour. This process may be repeated multiple times to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth. In other resist-dyeing techniques such as tie-dye and batik the resist is applied to the woven cloth, whereas in ikat the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth. Because the surface design is created in the yarns rather than on the finished cloth, in ikat both fabric faces are patterned.
A characteristic of ikat textiles is an apparent “blurriness” to the design. The blurriness is a result of the extreme difficulty the weaver has lining up the dyed yarns so that the pattern comes out perfectly in the finished cloth. The blurriness can be reduced by using finer yarns or by the skill of the craftsperson. Ikats with little blurriness, multiple colours and complicated patterns are more difficult to create and therefore often more expensive. However, the blurriness that is so characteristic of ikat is often prized by textile collectors.
Katazome (型染め) is a Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil. With this kind of resist dyeing, a rice flour mixture is applied using a brush or a tool such as a palette knife. Pigment is added by hand-painting, immersion or both. Where the paste mixture covers and permeates the cloth, dye applied later will not penetrate.
Katazome on thin fabrics shows a pattern through to the back; on thicker or more tightly woven fabrics, the reverse side is a solid color, usually indigo blue for cotton fabrics. Futon covers made from multiple panels of fabric, if the stencils are properly placed and the panels joined carefully, exhibit a pleasing over-all pattern in addition to the elements cut into the stencil.
One attraction of katazome was that it provided an inexpensive way for over-all patterns similar to expensive woven brocades to be achieved on cotton. As with many everyday crafts of Japan it developed into a respected art form of its own.
Besides cotton, katazome has been used to decorate linen, silk and fabrics that are all or partially synthetic.
Bandhani (Hindi: बांधानी) is a type of tie-dye textile decorated by plucking the cloth with the fingernails into many tiny bindings that form a figurative design.The term bandhani is derived from the Sanskrit verbal root bandh (“to bind, to tie”). Today most Bandhani making centers are situated in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sindh, Punjab regionand in Tamil Nadu where it’s known as Sungudi. Earliest evidence of Bandhani dates back to Indus Valley Civilization where dyeing was done as early as 4000 B.C. The earliest example of the most pervasive type of Bandhani dots can be seen in the 6th century paintings depicting the life of Buddha found on the wall of Cave 1 at Ajanta.Bandhani is also known as Bandhej, Bandhni, Piliya, and Chungidi in Tamil and regional dialects. Other tying techniques include Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The final products are known with various names including Khombi, Ghar Chola, Patori and Chandrokhani.
Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colours are desired.
A tradition of making batik is found in various countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria; the batik of Indonesia, however, is the best-known. Indonesian batik made in the island of Java has a long history of acculturation, with diverse patterns influenced by a variety of cultures, and is the most developed in terms of pattern, technique, and the quality of workmanship. In October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.+
The word batik is Javanese in origin. It may either come from the Javanese word amba (‘to write’) and titik (‘dot’), or may derive from a hypothetical Proto-Austronesian root *beCík (‘to tattoo’). The word is first recorded in English in the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1880, in which it is spelled battik. It is attested in the Indonesian Archipelago during the Dutch colonial period in various forms: mbatek, mbatik, batek and batik.
Batik is traditionally sold in 2.25-metre lengths used for kain panjang or sarong. It is worn by wrapping it around the hip, or made into a hat known as blangkon. The cloth can be filled continuously with a single pattern or divided into several sections.
Certain patterns are only used in certain sections of the cloth. For example, a row of isosceles triangles, forming the pasung motif, as well as diagonal floral motifs called dhlorong, are commonly used for the head. However, pasung and dhlorong are occasionally found in the body. Other motifs such as buketan (flower bouquet) and birds are commonly used in either the head or the body.
As each region has its own traditional pattern, batiks are commonly distinguished by the region they originated in, such as batik Solo, batik Pekalongan, and batik Madura. Batiks from Java can be distinguished by their general pattern and colours into batik pedalaman (inland batik) or batik pesisir (coastal batik). Batiks which do not fall neatly into one of these two categories are only referred to by their region. A mapping of batik designs from all places in Indonesia depicts the similarities and reflects cultural assimilation within batik designs.
Inland batik or batik kraton (Javanese court batik) is the oldest form of batik tradition known in Java. Inland batik has earthy color such as black, indigo, brown, and sogan (brown-yellow colour made from the tree Peltophorum pterocarpum), sometimes against a white background, with symbolic patterns that are mostly free from outside influence. Certain patterns are reserved for royalty, while other are worn on specific occasions. At a Javanese wedding for example, the bride wears specific patterns at each stage of the ceremony. Noted inland batiks are produced in Solo and Jogjakarta, cities traditionally regarded as the centre of Javanese culture. Batik Solo typically has sogan background and is preserved by the Susuhunan and Mangkunegaran Court. Batik Jogja typically has white background and is preserved by the Yogyakarta Sultanate and Pakualaman Court.
Coastal batik is produced in several areas of northern Java and Madura. In contrast to inland batik, coastal batiks have vibrant colours and patterns inspired by a wide range of cultures as a consequence of maritime trading. Recurring motifs include European flower bouquets, Chinese phoenix, and Persian peacocks.Noted coastal batiks are produced in Pekalongan, Cirebon, Lasem, Tuban, and Madura. Pekalongan has the most active batik industry.
A notable sub-type of coastal batik called Jawa Hokokai is not attributed to a particular region. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in early 1940, the batik industry greatly declined due to material shortages. The workshops funded by the Japanese however were able to produce extremely fine batiks called Jawa Hokokai. Common motifs of Hokokai includes Japanese cherry blossoms, butterflies, and chrysanthemums.
Another coastal batik called tiga negeri (batik of three lands) is attributed to three regions: Lasem, Pekalongan, and Solo, where the batik would be dipped in red, blue, and sogan dyes respectively. As of 1980, batik tiga negeri was only produced in one city.
Sundanese or Priangan Batik is the term for batik from the Priangan region of West Java and Banten. Although Priangan batiks can use a wide range of colours, a preference for indigo is seen in some of its variants. Natural indigo dye made from Indigofera is among the oldest known dyes in Java, and its local name tarum has lent its name to the Citarum river and the Tarumanagara kingdom, which suggests that ancient West Java was once a major producer of natural indigo. Noted Priangan batik is produced in Ciamis, Garut, and Tasikmalaya. Other traditions include Batik Kuningan influenced by batik Cirebon, batik Banten that developed quite independently, and an older tradition of batik Baduy.
Batik Banten employs bright pastel colours and represents a revival of a lost art from the Sultanate of Banten, rediscovered through archaeological work during 2002–2004. Twelve motifs from locations such as Surosowan and several other places have been identified.
Batik Baduy only employs indigo colour in shades ranged from bluish black to deep blue. It is traditionally worn as iket, a type of Sundanese headress similar to Balinese udeng, by Outer Baduy people of Lebak Regency, Banten.
Trade relations between the Melayu Kingdom in Jambi and Javanese coastal cities have thrived since the 13th century. Therefore, coastal batik from northern Java probably influenced Jambi. In 1875, Haji Mahibat from Central Java revived the declining batik industry in Jambi. The village of Mudung Laut in Pelayangan district is known for producing batik Jambi. Batik Jambi, as well as Javanese batik, influenced the Malaysian batik.
The Minangkabau people also produce batik called batiak tanah liek (clay batik), which use clay as dye for the fabric. The fabric is immersed in clay for more than 1 day and later designed with motifs of animal and flora.The Batik from Bengkulu, a city on west coast of Sumatra, is called Batik Besurek, which literary means “batik with letters” as they draw inspiration from Arabic calligraphy.
Batik making in the island of Bali is relatively new, but a fast-growing industry. Many patterns are inspired by local designs, which are favoured by the local Balinese and domestic tourists. Objects from nature such as frangipani and hibiscus flowers, birds or fishes, and daily activities such as Balinese dancer and ngaben processions or religious and mythological creatures such as barong, kala and winged lion are common. Modern batik artists express themselves freely in a wide range of subjects.
Contemporary batik is not limited to traditional or ritual wearing in Bali. Some designers promote batik Bali as elegant fabric that can be used to make casual or formal cloth. Using high class batik, like hand made batik tulis, can show social status.
Batik was mentioned in the 17th century Malay Annals. The legend goes when Laksamana Hang Nadim was ordered by Malacca King, Sultan Mahmud, to sail to India to buy 140 pieces of serasah cloth (batik) with 40 types of flowers depicted on each. Unable to find any that fulfilled the requirements explained to him, he made up his own. On his return unfortunately his ship sank and he only managed to bring four pieces, earning displeasure from the Sultan.
The method of Malaysian batik making is different from those of Indonesian Javanese batik, the pattern being larger and simpler with only occasional use of the canting to create intricate patterns. It relies heavily on brush painting to apply colours to fabrics. The colours also tend to be lighter and more vibrant than deep coloured Javanese batik. The most popular motifs are leaves and flowers. Malaysian batik often displays plants and flowers to avoid the interpretation of human and animal images as idolatry, in accordance with local Islamic doctrine. However, the butterfly theme is a common exception.
Indians are known to use resist method of printing designs on cotton fabrics, which can be traced back 2000 years. Initially, wax and even rice starch were used for printing on fabrics. Until recently batik was made only for dresses and tailored garments, but modern batik is applied in numerous items, such as murals, wall hangings, paintings, household linen, and scarves, with livelier and brighter patterns. Contemporary batik making in India is also done by the Deaf women of Delhi, these women are fluent in Indian Sign Language and also work in other vocational programs.
Over the past century, batik making in Sri Lanka has become firmly established. The Sri Lankan batik industry is a small scale industry which can employ individual design talent and mainly deals with foreign customers for profit. It is now the most visible of the island’s crafts with galleries and factories, large and small, having sprung up in many tourist areas. Rows of small stalls selling batiks can be found all along Hikkaduwa‘s Galle Road strip. Mahawewa, on the other hand, is famous for its batik factories.
Batik is done by the ethnic people in the South-West of China. The Miao, Bouyei and Gejia people use a dye resist method for their traditional costumes. The traditional costumes are made up of decorative fabrics, which they achieve by pattern weaving and wax resist. Almost all the Miao decorate hemp and cotton by applying hot wax then dipping the cloth in an indigo dye. The cloth is then used for skirts, panels on jackets, aprons and baby carriers. Like the Javanese, their traditional patterns also contain symbolism, the patterns include the dragon, phoenix, and flowers.
In Africa, where batik was originally imported by Dutch merchants from Indonesia (then the Netherlands East Indies), paste made from starch or mud is used as a resist instead of wax. The most developed resist-dyeing skills are to be found in Nigeria where the Yoruba make adire cloths. Two methods of resist are used: adire eleso which involves tied and stitched designs and adire eleko that uses starch paste. The paste is most often made from cassava starch, rice, and other ingredients boiled together to produce a smooth thick paste. The Yoruba of West Africa use cassava paste as a resist while the Soninke and Wolof people in Senegal uses rice paste. The Bamana people of Mali use mud as a resist.
Shibori is a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric.
In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with a shibori technique dates from the 8th century; it is among the goods donated by the Emperor Shōmu to the Tōdai-ji inNara.
Until the 20th century, not many fabrics and dyes were in widespread use in Japan. The main fabrics were silk and hemp, and later cotton. The main dye was indigo and, to a lesser extent, madder and purple root. Shibori and other textile arts, such as tsutsugaki, were applied to all of these fabrics and dyes.
There are an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed. Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results.
Bògòlanfini or bogolan (Bambara: bɔgɔlanfini; “mud cloth”) is a handmade Malian cotton fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud.It has an important place in traditional Malian culture and has, more recently, become a symbol of Malian cultural identity. The cloth is being exported worldwide for use in fashion, fine art and decoration.
Today, the center of bògòlanfini production, and the source of the highest quality cloth, is the town of San. Traditionally, bògòlanfini production, was done by men weaving the cloth and women dye it. On narrow looms, strips of cotton fabric about 15 cm wide are woven and stitched into cloths about 1 by 5 m long.
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