A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a Batik-Making class with Accra’s own Queen of Batik, Ms. Esther. Esther has been making Batik for over 22 years. She owns a shop in Osu where her pre-dyed fabrics, and a small selection of ready-made clothing, are available for sale. But it was a real treat to get the hands-on opportunity to make batik with her at her home in Madina. Nothing short of bossy, Esther started our class with the ominous demand, “Who wants to dye first?” It was a blast – and something I want to do again soon now that I understand the process.
For those unfamiliar, batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to cloth. Using pre-carved sponges, we applied wax to cloth and dyed the wax-stamped fabric to create images and patterns. I started with an orange base hoping to have orange giraffes and a blue overlay, only to learn that orange was a horrible base color and that most top dyes would just result in a muddy brown color. Luckily the pros talked me into red. Definitely a lot to wrap your mind around and a learning curve with this process, but something I would enjoy trying again soon.
Enjoy the pics – can’t wait to see how Little Man’s outfit with my clumsily made fabric turns out!