Batik Collection

Batik is a resist dye technique. Motifs are drawn with wax, the cloth is dipped in dye, the motifs resist the dye, the cloth is boiled in water which removes the wax. The technique has been practiced for over a thousand years from South America to Africa; Indonesia is accredited with its origin. Hmong batik is striking; the long blue and white cloths are used for making shirts, baby carriers and blankets. Unlike many languages, Hmong doesn’t have a written form, thus textiles have become a form of visual expression.

The inspiration for motifs is derived from the natural environment, such as snail shells, animal teeth, ferns, cucumber, rice seeds and pumpkin seeds. Traditionally, the fabric of choice would be hemp. Batik skills are passed down from mother to daughter. Girls first learn to embroider, followed by applique and finally batik. Like many women in Laos, a girl’s success in getting married will depend upon her skill with a needle, shuttle or in the case of batik, a pen.

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