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July 08, 2014

Batik Tjap
We love batik!  Batik (pronounced ba-teek) is an ancient wax-resist fabric art that has been practiced since the 4th century BC.  Hot batik wax is hand painted with a spouted tool called a canting or stamped with a brass stamp called a tjap onto fabric, which is then dyed.  After one or more dyeings, the batik wax is removed, revealing different colored patterns.  Cracks in the batik wax give patterns the "crackled" look so unique to batik.
Batik is traditionally made in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, China and parts of Africa.  We have a nice collection of batik scarves, pillows, handbags, and children’s clothing made by fair trade artisans around the world. 
Batik Elephant Pillow
Our Indian Batiks are handmade by a cooperative of artisans called IFFAD in Chennai, India.  Nearly 500 artisans practice the batik tradition in the region across several villages.  Most of them are marginalized women who work to support their families.  These handmade fabrics are made using a free-hand drawing with wax.  IFFAD and Handmade Expressions, a member of the Fair Trade Federation assist in product development and marketing. Learn more about IFFAD here.  
Global Mamas Batik Apron
The Ghana Batiks are handmade by Global Mamas, a network of 627 artisans in Ghana, who create fair trade hand batiked clothing and accessories. The fair trade company transforms the lives of these women by creating sustainable income opportunities which lead to financial independence.
Become an Artisan: DIY Batik ideas
There are many unique and creative ways to make batik fabric on your own and even with your kids.  Take a look at Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom Blog on how to Batik with Crayons.  
Or you could try this kid-friendly idea, Batik with Glue for Kids  from That Artist Women Blog.  
And of course if your ready to tackle the real thing, check out Dharma Trading where you can purchase instructions and supplies including batik wax, tjantings, tjaps and dyes.   

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