Batik is the name for both
the creative process
and the finished creation

The way we make batik in the studio of Art Fabrik is essentially the same as it was done centuries ago.

A mixture of paraffin, beeswax and recycled wax is melted in a double boiler. The wax should be smooth and flow like honey. It is important that the wax stays at an even temperature during the work process. It is dangerous to heat wax directly on a heating element or flame as it could easily flame up. A brush or classic batik «tjanting» tool is repeatedly dipped into the hot wax and applied or painted onto the fabric. When the waxed design is complete the art piece is ready to dye. The wax acts as a resist, and the areas that are decorated with wax do not accept the dye colour. The waxing and dyeing is repeated for each new colour.

We make batik using only natural fibres which can be dyed with cold water dyes. This way the wax will not melt during the dyeing process. To get the wax out of the fabric we dip the fabric into a big pot of boiling water and then plunge it into cold water. It is a labour intensive job to dip it in and out of hot - cold - hot - cold - hot - cold until all the wax is melted out and the fabric is smooth and clean like it was at the start of the batik process. Wax is like grease and will float on the surface of the water. This wax is scooped off (like degreasing a soup) and recycled to use again.

point cursor over photos to see a larger image below

Designing with melted wax
Feeling blue: sashes
In the dye pot
Fish wrap on beach pebbles

Art Fabrik Grenada

Young Street
P.O. Box 507
St. George's
Grenada, West Indies
tel/fax 473-440-0568

For best care of batik, wash separately by hand in hot water the first few times. Don't be surprised when you see colour in the water. This should not happen after the first 3 - 4 washings. Rinse well. After that wash in hot or cold water with like colours. Use no bleach. Our batiks are preshrunk.

All of the creative work is done by hand and so no two pieces are exactly alike. At Art Fabrik we calculate an average of one week's worth of time to make a piece from start to finish, to be ready for sale. Beauty has its costs!

Tjanting: wax tool
Hand dyed cotton drying in the trade winds