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Lesson Plans

flourpaste batik

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Virginia Rockwood (wckdstpm)
Sun, 19 Jan 1997 13:00:18 +2610

The "batik" process of which you speak is called eleko in the Yoruba
resist dyeing tradition. The paste that is used (or that I was trained
in) is a mixture of cassava flour and water that is cooked until thick
and sticky. Cotton (or other organic fiber) fabric is placed flat onto a
table. Plastic underneath is helpful for cleanup purposes. One
technique to use this medium is to spread a thin layer of the paste over
the entire surface of the fabric and taking combs and other tools tp
scrape away areas of the paste. With my middle school students this is a
good way to use the concepts of line, shape, space, and pattern. When
done with the scraping the fabric is left to dry. Another way to utilize
this medium is to take water resistant stencils and squeegee the paste
over the stencil. Students may cut their own or use pre-made ones. Once
the paste is dry the fabric is dyed. Traditionally indigo dye is used.
Carefully fold the fabric small enough to immerse into the dye bath. The
bigger the pot the better. When the color is a little darker than
desired (dye dries lighter) very carefully (the paste is soft again)
remove the fabric and if possible hang it vertically over a clothes
line. However we usually dry it flat on the ground. The top surface of
the fabric where the paste was applied was sealed in and resisted the
dye. The bottom of the fabric was not sealed so it will probably be
fully colored. The final step is to rinse and scrape the excess paste
off the fabric and run it through the washing machine. The results have
a softer look than using wax as a resist, with less contrast between dye
and fabric color.