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I will admit I am reluctant to try new things, I know I know...wrong line of work.  Last weekend I set out with my mom (parentals were in town) and two friends to begin home-made batiking.  The adventure started out earlier than expected with our driver having his own adventure getting to the location.  Apparently in Ghana the second overpass after the junction actually means the third.  It was nice to be out with our Ghanaian driver, who pulled over and chatted for 10 minutes with Ghanaians on the street about how to locate Esther's house.


Photo Credit: Jennifer Yost



For those of you like me who didn't know, batiking is a process for coloring cloth using wax (melted paraffin) to block the dye from some parts of the cloth. It is popular in Southeast Asia and Africa. We saw a lot of Batik in Indonesia, but it feels and looks different than African Batik.



The Process: Wax is applied to parts of the material, at Esther's house we used pre-carved blocks of foam. The whole piece of fabric is dyed, dried, and boiled to remove the wax. Places where there was wax remain the original color, while the rest is the new color. In my case the fabric was white, but my friend experimented with different colors.


Photo Credit: Jennifer Yost

Photo Credit: Jennifer Yost


Photo Credit: Jennifer Yost
Batiking is labor intensive but produces uniquely colored fabrics and in my case "made with love." Or, in other words, full of mistakes. 


Photo Credit: Jennifer Yost
We learned a lot for the Ghanaian entrepreneurs who were teaching us. In addition to owning the batik workshop, they are creating a new line of soaps integrating neem oil and working in marketing.  I am constantly amazed by the spirit of Ghanaians.




In the end we had a great time.  My fabric, I hope will be used to make pillow cases for my son.  LJ's bed is full of elephants.  The end result is beautiful.







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