MADE IN ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe once was the African country where you were most likely to find
the beautiful starch batik. But as many Zimbabweans left their home, they took their skills with them. Nowadays this kind of batik is more widely available throughout Africa.
WHAT IS BATIK
Batik is the name of the technique to decorate cloth, mostly using wax and dye and has been practised for centuries. The word batik originates from the Javanese 'tik' and means to dot.
HOW TO MAKE A BATIK
Selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them and the cloth is then dyed by submerging it in the liquid dye.
The wax acts as resist for the dye to colour the fabric.
A process which can be repeated many times.
Starch batiks are more of an instant method, where a porridge from any available starch is used to draw on the fabric. This creates the outlines of the design. The colour is then directly applied by painting the textile dye on whereby the starch acts as resist.
Finally the resist has to be removed and the batik is ready to be enjoyed.
LET ME SHOW YOU AROUND:
THIS IS HOW IT STARTS:
Initially the cotton has to be cut and is dip-dyed to give the fabric an overall background colour.
Our supplier works in the garden of their home in a shady suburb of Harare.