Stretching a Batik

sumik

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Akron,Ohio United States
Have a very large Batik that customer asked me to stretch on stretcher bars. Now I am wondering if it would be less damaging to pin it on acid free foam instead of stretcher bars. But then the wax fumes are still very strong. May not be a good idea to seal it airtight. What do you all think?
 

Jack Cee

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We have always mounted on stretcher bars after mounting a neutral linen for support. It would be a good idea to seal the stretcher bars pror to mounting. Avoid contact with any firm substrate because the batik will not appear natural and the waxes will puddle on the substrate if the work becomes very warm. A good substitute for a frame would be a piece of rope (hemp) wrapped around the stretcher bars. Look out for the narcs if you use hemp.

Jack Cee

Jack Cee
 

wpfay

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It's been a while, but I thought there was need to remove as much of the wax from the batik as possible before framing.
In the Good Ole Days we would place the batik between multiple layers of craft paper and iron it to leach out the wax. The craft paper was replaced frequently and the process continued until there was little or no wax residue on the paper after ironing.
I would think that the use of stretcher bars would be dependant on whether or not you were going to glaze the batik.
I just framed an old batik stretching it on multiple layers of foamboard using the Attach-EZ system. When complete it looked like it was stretched on stretcher bars. It was easily top mounted on a fabric covered board and shadowboxed with acrylic glazing.
 

Bill Henry-

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I choose to mount batiks on foam board rather than stretcher bars simply because pinning is, I believe, less traumatic to the fabric.

I would be very careful applying any heat to the batik, though. We’ve had several customers try to iron out the wrinkles and the pigment/waxes have bled into each other.
 

Rebecca

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Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Hi j Paul

This is a starter:

http://www.asia-art.net/batik.html

Some of the most beautiful batiks I ever saw were made in Japanese occupied Indonesia. Japanese design, Indonesian labor. Not a nice situation at all, but boy were they something to behold.

Rebecca
 

preservator

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Wilmington, DE
It may be difficult to stretch a batik that is full of wax. Asian batik is usually wax-free,
while African batik is often left with the wax in.
Some such batik can be ironed onto foam type board, with low heat, with no other adhesive needed. This option should be discussed with the
owner of the batik.


Hugh
 

wpfay

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Originally posted by Bill Henry:
I choose to mount batiks on foam board rather than stretcher bars simply because pinning is, I believe, less traumatic to the fabric.

I would be very careful applying any heat to the batik, though. We've had several customers try to iron out the wrinkles and the pigment/waxes have bled into each other.
My understanding of batik is that the dying process uses only wax as a resist to the dye. The wax itself should have no color and is removed after the dying process, or when applying different colors to different areas of the material.
The application of pigmented wax as a part of the design would be an encaustic technique, and heating it in an attempt to flatten would indeed damage the image.
A combination of batik and encaustic would give pause to consider safe handling.

I remember stretching a batik that still had a goodly amount of wax in the fabric. The act of pulling the fabric affected the wax and caused the colors to get milky. recovery was made by heating the stretched fabric with a blow-dryer.
 
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