Monday, October 09, 2006

Columbus Day

A photo from an short trip to a local Batik print cloth shop - kinda a learning and shopping experience rolled up in one. The process seems pretty simple at first. Stamp blank cloth with wax design. Dip in dye. Let dry. I'm sure though that if I were to step in for anyone at this particular shop, things would go downhill rather quickly. It really was fascinating to watch for the hour we were there. There is nothing automated about it. Fire to melt the stamping wax. Sun to dry the dyed fabric. Not even a cash register or neon sign guiding us in.

I'm pretty certain that each piece of fabric is unique in pattern and color combination. The finished product was on display in the upper room of the house in the photo. Unfortunately the power was out in the neighborhood today (load shedding due to energy shortage), so we had to view colors out on the balcony in direct sun. Business as usual apparently.

The printed fabric is ready for sale straight from the drying lot if necessary. I bought 4yds of one print for C-72,000 (about $8US). I'm not really sure what will become of it. I've heard that tailors are very good and inexpensive. For now, the fabric adds some welcome color to our otherwise bland white home furnishings.

Later in the day, I went searching for maps - accurate maps!


gwadzilla said...

you may want to check my sources
anytime you consider quoting me
you may want to check your sources

I once heard that Batik was brought to Africa by the hippies in the Peace Corps in the 60's
now it is a huge part of African Culture

but how long has it been in Africa...

find me the answer

nicomachus said...

Tailors are very talented and very inexpensive. When I was in Accra, I had 10 shirts tailor-made from fabric I bought in the markets all for about $15 (for the labor).