Batik, Indonesia, see Selvedge Issue 50.
The Selvedge calendar 2020 is now available. An ideal Christmas gift for textile lovers, the calendar features a different textile or technique every month, inspired by the Selvedge archive. October, November and December feature, in order; batik, Mexican embroidery and ikat.
Batik is by far the most recognisable and closely associated textile technique of Indonesia; with its distinctive tiny spots and graphic motifs the word itself stems from the Javanese word amba meaning ‘to write’ and titik meaning ‘dot’ or ‘point’. It’s a wax-resist process where the cloth is covered, layer by layer with hot molten wax applied by a Tjanting Tool in an elaborate motif. Batik motifs vary dramatically depending on where and when they are made and the technique used. Various designs have always represented social standing and several ‘forbidden’ patterns were decreed in the 18th century by the sultans of the royal family.
Embroidery, Mexico, see Selvedge Issue 89.
The intricate geometric brocade designs seen in Huipils from Chiapas in Mexico are woven using a back strap loom, usually by the women who intend to wear them. The designs include sacred spiritual symbols that have personal meaning for the weaver.
Ikat, Uzbekistan, see Selvedge Issue 55.
Originally of Indonesian origin, the term ikat has been adopted as a generic in the West to describe the process of making patterns by tie-dyeing. In Uzbekistan the technique is called ‘abrbandi’ meaning banded cloud. Ikat dyeing and weaving is a long process in which the warp yarn is tied, according to a pre-set pattern, before it is dyed. Warp threads are laid horizontally around a frame and the pattern marked with a paste made from ash. Sections of the pattern are bound tightly and dyed according to the marking. Each colour requires a separate tying and dyeing, with dyeing done in a logical sequence from light to dark; while also creating more colours with overdyeing, which the master designer has taken into account in the planning.
Visit www.selvedge.org to buy a calendar, your purchase includes 15% off the back issues featured, using code CALENDAR.