The Creation of Handmade Batik In Ghana

Batik is a fabric with special colour patterns and is usually handmade in an ancient craftsmanship.

By The Project Justine - Train The Trainer e.V.

Rahmeé visits' Duala Fabrics - Ghana - Batik Art by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Introduction

Founder of The Justine Project, Rahmée, travelled to Ghana in 2017 to learn the skills of making batik. She met artist artist Kwame in Accra, who showed her the fascinating process of creating batik. She visited the batik artist Kwame in Ghana, Accra in his studio to watch the fascinating process of creation of batik. On the table we see the various types of stamps used for the various batik processes.

How is Batik created?

After painting hot batik wax onto the fabric it is usually dyed several times to get its specific design. The cracks in the batik wax make the fabric look special. What is the origin of Batik? The origin of Batik lies in Indonesia and was first used in the 13th century. But also in Africa, especially in Ghana, Batik has a long history and was been passed on from generation to generation with every part of the country creating its own unique styles. Still today the traditional technique is passed down from mother to daughter who earn their money with this unique artwork. 

The various stamps by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The Stamps

On a foam block, various patterns were drawn and subsequently immersed in wax to fix it. Here we see three finished stamps.

Foam stamps by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Wooden stamp with Ashanti pattern by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

A wooden stamp with motifs from the former Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana.

White and brown wax by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Two wooden stamps, beside them is a piece of white wax and brown wax from recycled wax residue.

Rameé and Duala discuss the fabrics by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Kwame shows Rahmée the cotton materials which will become Batiken, they have been dyed before.

Liquid wax by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The wax is melted on an electric hotplate.

The Stamp is immersed in the wax by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The first stage of the batik process begins by immersing the wooden stamp in the wax and applying it.

The wax is on the stamp by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

With a fine touch is the right amount of wax poured out - the superfluous wax drips off.

The first stamp by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Kwame stamps the first row of motifs with wax on the fabric.

Careful and slow by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The motifs must be arranged perfectly together.

The brushing technique by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Now a brush is used dipped in the wax.

A striped pattern is formed by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

A striped pattern is created with the brush in the second row.

Wiping technique by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

There are no limits to the imagination.

Wiping technique by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The wax is applied over a large area ready for the next step.

The casting technique by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

With the aid of a foam stamp the liquid wax is added and poured over the fabric.

The casting technique by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

This creates longitudinal strips.

The casting technique by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Ornate patterns are created.

The fine grinding by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The fabric was dipped in color and waxed again before it is coloured for a second time.

A bucket is stirred for each color by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The coloring

For each color you need an extra bucket. Before starting, it has to be clarified which color should come out at the end. The process of dyeing is repeated until the required colors and designs are reached.

The color is ready by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The different color buckets for the subsequent coloring after waxing.

A bucket is stirred for each color by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The colors are mixed.

Dyeing by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Now the fabric is dipped.

The color match by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The elaborate process of batik handwork.

The color match by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The color is checked.

Luminous fabrics by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Here the base is a pink fabric that is dipped again in color.

The artwork by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

This pattern is created by dipping the batik into the blue color.

Water bath by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The fabric is washed with clear water.

Drying by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

A unique piece of art has been created.

The fabric is broken by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The large waxed blue fabric area is broken before coloring it by hand.

Crash Optic by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

This creates the crashed appearance.

Red Colour by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The red color is ready.

The crushed fabric is dipped by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The fabric is now carefully dipped until the desired result is achieved.

Exposure time by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The color is now deeply into the fiber.

Washing out by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Here, the double waxed fabric is washed before the second dyeing.

Dried in the sun by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The batik is dried in the sun, before being waxed and dyed again.

Remove the wax by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Once all the steps of decoration are completed, the cloth is immersed in boiling water to remove the wax. This reveals the patterns and the colors.

Boiling water by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The water is heated with coal.

The last step by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The fabric is immersed in the water.

Wax leaching by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

With a wooden stick the batik is stirred until the wax has completely dissolved.

The incredible color match by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The final result

The fabric is rinsed again with clear water.

Recycling of the wax by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The floating wax on the surface is scooped out and poured into a tank for reuse.

Duala zeigt das Auswaschen by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Drying by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The fabric is then dried.

A yellow-orange batik by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The wonderful end result to this elaborate process. The yellow and orange colors radiate with the sun.

A dream of pink and blue by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

A dream of pink and blue with flowers and stripes.

A dream of pink and blue by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The magical color between pink and blue – is absolute unique.

Artistic batik by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The mystical end result of mixing white, pink and blue shades together.

The end result of the stamp by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

A sample showing the result from various dyeing baths which now produce this unique piece.

Martha and her blue Batik by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

The resulting batik fabrics are also wonderful as an artistic background.

Rahmeé with the yellow one by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Rahmée is happy with the result.

Duala the batik artists by Noh NeeOriginal Source: The Project Justine - train the trainer e.V.

Kwame proudly presents his favorite motif.

Credits: Story

Photographer: Philippe Jacques Kradolfer

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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