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Title: Batik and Other Pattern Dyeing
Author: Baker, Ida Strawn, Baker, Walter Davis
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       COPYRIGHT 1920 BY



    History and Character of Batiks                         11

    The Principles of Dyeing Fabrics                        35

    Wax Resist Processes                                    54

    Batiks and Other Illuminated Textiles                   75

    Dyeing for Plays and Pageants                           97

    Tie-Dyed Work                                          109

    Stick Printing, Block Printing and Stencil Dyeing      123


One of the hopeful observations during the few years of applied art
education in our schools has been the readiness with which educators
have taken up and kept problems in which the mediums of expression
were practical and efficient, suitable for the purpose intended, and
the equal readiness with which they have dropped other problems.

The burning of wood as a means of decoration did not stand this test,
therefore it had to go. Oil paint is not a suitable medium to decorate
textiles, therefore it too has nearly fallen from use.

The value of applied art to home and community rests upon the test,
whether the pupil who works out the problems becomes by virtue thereof
a more useful and cultured individual in the home and in the social
and industrial life of the community.

A problem which satisfies this test becomes a basic problem. To a
pupil who has once bound a book with its cover design, end papers,
etc., a book is a different thing ever after. He becomes a more
intelligent and cultured member of the consuming public so far as
books are concerned. To the demands of many such members the book
binders respond with better things. Therefore book binding is a basic

Similar reasoning applies when a student weaves a fabric, plans and
makes an article of dress, a toy, a silver ring, or a poster.

No one will dispute that the all-over dyeing of a fabric, and the
decoration of a textile with a dyed pattern, are basic problems. The
recent war brought home the vital place that dyes hold in the life of
the people.

As suitable materials have become available teachers have been eager
to learn and use these problems.

It is seldom that an applied problem comes to the art teacher that
offers in so full a measure the essential features of a basic problem
as does batik work, which involves both all-over and pattern dyeing.

The mechanical process is rather simple and offers no especial
difficulty, requiring only the painstaking care that good teachers
exact from pupils.

The design element involved may be simple or elaborate, fitted to the
capacity of the pupil. It is a real problem in design, however,
allowing great freedom yet carrying with it the discipline of a later
test, viz., applied expression within the limitations of definite

As the process controls the entire surface, the pupil is directed to
plan his design and ground areas both in space and color relations.
The mediums used are fabrics and dyes, both inseparably involved in
education as they are in life. The pupil must plan for the use
intended and also for the particular type of individual or scheme of

The work carries with it all along the anticipation of results; and
the beautiful finished piece is the reward of effort. What more could
be desired in an applied school problem?

The endeavor and the hope in presenting this little book on "Batik and
Other Pattern Dyeing" is to help those who are learning to undertake
these problems with breadth of thought and efficiency of method.

                                                    THE AUTHORS.

    Indianapolis, Indiana.

  [Illustration: {BATIK DESIGN} {p. 6}]


The authors are pleased to express grateful indebtedness to a number
of friends in Indianapolis.

To Miss Roda E. Selleck, Shortridge High School, for her advanced high
school projects in the development and application of batik designs;
also in the application of tie-dyeing and blown stenciling.

To Miss Carolyn S. Ashbrook, Shortridge High School, for her projects
with an elementary high school class.

To Miss Olive Rush, who designed and executed "The Capture" for the

To Miss Blanche Stillson for assistance in illustrating the wax resist
processes; also for her designs, the blouse, page 80, and the pattern,
page 87.

To Mr. Charles E. Rush, Librarian of the Public Library, for securing
valuable publications of the Dutch Government.

To Mr. George Somnes, Director of The Little Theater, and Mrs. Eugene
Fife, Little Theater, for their work revealed in Chapter V.

For the loan of old textiles, Miss Eliza Niblack, Curator of Textiles,
John Herron Art Institute, the sarong, page 76, and the chundri, page
110; Mrs. Clifton A. Wheeler, the Javanese patterns, page 95; Mrs.
William O. Bates, the sarong design used for the end papers; Miss
Florence Fitch, Director of Art, Public Schools, the Indian block
printing, page 126.

For permission to photograph their own handicraft, Miss Mary Overbeck
(Cambridge City, Ind.) the tie-dyed patterns, pages 113 and 115; Mrs.
James Thompson, the costume jewelry, page 78, and the tie-dyed scarf,
page 115; Mrs. J. R. Brant, the blouse, page 82; Miss Mary Janet
O'Reilly, the camisole, page 78.

  [Illustration: {BATIK DESIGN} {p. 8}]

    Now what I want to do is to put definitely before you a cause
    for which to strive. That cause is the Democracy of Art, the
    ennobling of daily and common work, which will one day put hope
    and pleasure in the place of fear and pain as the forces which
    move men to labor and keep the world a-going.

                                             ·····William Morris

  [Illustration: "THE CAPTURE," BY OLIVE RUSH {p. 10}]



Textile art is one of the oldest arts known to man. Personal adornment
was perhaps the first attempt at expressing beauty. Costume designing
and textile industries are still most vital movements in the artistic
development of the people.

  [Illustration: {BUDDHA STATUE} {p. 11}]

Asia is the great mother of beauty in textile decoration. We do not
talk or write about textiles without using the words of her ancient

"Batik"--this ancient Asiatic word--is one of the oldest crafts of the
Orient. In India, Java and Japan the highest technique is reached.
These people have made a great art of costuming. Each caste, religion
and festival requires its special garment.

From the historic days when Columbus searched vainly for a shorter way
to the fabled riches of the East Indies until the way was found, these
treasure islands held the possessions most coveted by the Western

More than a thousand years before this time, the neighboring Hindus
came to these rich islands bringing with them religious teachers,
road makers and skilled craftsmen. Many expeditions fastened upon the
native tribes the religion and culture of the older and more civilized

While the Spanish, Portuguese and English adventurers were discovering
new lands and claiming them for their kings, the Dutch sailors carried
to and fro the produce of the world. The Netherland warehouses were
filled with treasures of the Orient.

Keeping pace with its industry were the universities and the common
schools. The records and drawings of Dutch scholars disclose so much
detailed information upon the handicraft industries of the day that
the recent revival of batik is traced to their genius.

Books issued by the Dutch Government to promote the batik craft,
picture Javanese women and girls seated upon fiber mats before a
vertical frame upon which the material is hung for the execution of
their art. Men too are at work printing and dyeing these fabrics.
Housewives in staid processionals display the occupation. Princes and
fine ladies disport their gorgeous costumes. Priests climbing the
steps of their temples past the long rows of their sacred gods are
resplendent in batik array. Their oldest gods are clothed in
sculptured batik.

Designs of great beauty and skilled execution enrich the pages of
these rare volumes.

Among the Dutch people much effort has been made to promote this art.
Native designs have been fostered and the modifications have been in
demand for European trade.


The American adaptation of batik has followed closely upon the
European revival.

The Chinese, however, have control of the industry in Java. They
employ natives at low wage to make batiks. The home occupation that
took no account of time or pains is dying out. In a few years the
products of this infinitely better craft will be found only in museums
and in the possession of collectors. Under Chinese management batik
making has become the leading occupation.

Batik is a method of drawing or painting with wax upon a fabric, after
which the material is dyed and the wax removed. The result of this
process is a decoration in silhouette upon the dyed background of the

The wax generally used in Java is hot beeswax or a vegetable wax
imported from Japan. The wax is removed by scraping and melting. The
waxing is repeated as many times as there are colors in the design.
The process is long and tedious and often requires months.

Formerly the colors were native vegetable dyes. The most common were
indigo, mango tree bark and madder. These colors have fallen into
disuse, artificial dyes having replaced them.

The wax resists the action of the dye-bath except where it cracks.
Here the dye creeps in, producing the characteristic "crackle" of
batik work. The Oriental craftsman never forces crackle. With him it
is always an incident, the subtle accident of his handicraft.


The nature of the process forces simple execution in waxing the shapes
and outlines, and also limits the number of times the piece may be
dyed. Applying the wax becomes increasingly difficult after each
dipping. Spotting of color over the entire piece makes thinking in
color as important as the painting in of the wax.

The Oriental process of dyeing is the reverse of the American, in that
it applies the darkest colors first. This necessitates previous waxing
over parts to be kept light and also the removal of the wax and an
entire new waxing after each dyeing. The American method is to dye the
lightest colors first and build up the deeper colors. Between dyeings
the old waxing is repaired and additional areas waxed.

The "sarong," worn by Javanese natives, is a skirt-like piece of goods
about the size and proportion of a window curtain. This garment falls
from the waist, or above it, to the feet. The fabric is cheap cotton
manufactured in Holland or England. The color and decoration of the
sarong is influenced by caste and religion. The feudal framework of
Javanese society has given much significance to rank.

The women add to the sarong a "kemban." This garment is not unlike a
blouse without shoulder supports or sleeves. The kemban is wound
tightly about the body under the arms. The drapery covers the upper
part of the sarong.

The "slendang" completes the wearing apparel of the women. It is a
scarf worn for adornment or useful for carrying the youngest child, or
other burdens.

The Javanese man wears the sarong in the same manner as the women,
which leads the foreigner to awkward misunderstandings. His long hair
is done on the top of his head and bound around with a "sarong
kapala." This head dress is tied at the nape of the neck. The sarong
kapala is square, and when fitted is starched and shaped to the head.

  [Illustration: JAVANESE NATIVES DYEING BATIKS {p. 17}]

Among the poorer classes these garments are plain, usually dark blue,
for daily wear, but on occasions they are vivid with color

The native worker prepares his cotton goods by soaking in oil,
afterwards in lye. This process is repeated until the material is
softened and a pleasing yellow gray.

Hand decoration is done by women. The material is hung over an upright
frame. The hand supports the goods, and the molten wax is applied to
the design. They use a funnel-like cup with a bamboo handle. The wax
trickles slowly through the slender tube, and with this the outline is
made. This instrument is called a "tjanting." There is no right or
wrong side of this fabric, as the waxing is done on both sides. To
cover large surfaces with wax, they use a brush. These women have
acquired a high degree of skill through repetition of the same design
on the same kind of garment.

The wooden frame over which the goods are fastened is moveable. The
wax is melted over an earthen heater with an open side, into which the
ends of long sticks are thrust for burning.


Although the tjanting is the more desired and versatile device for
applying wax, the men wax batiks with "tjaps." The tjap is a wooden
block with designs of metal insert. The craftsman sits on a low stool
in front of an inclined table over which the goods are smoothly
spread. The bottom of a shallow pan is covered with wax, heated in the
same manner as for the tjanting. An absorbent pad is placed in the
pan, the tjap is pressed on the pad and imprinted on the fabric. The
fabric is then turned and, with another tjap made like the first
except with its symmetry reversed, wax imprints are made in exactly
the same places. This insures good waxing on both sides of the fabric.
The piece is then ready for the dye.

  [Illustration: JAVANESE BATIK TOOLS {p. 20}]

Sometimes a set of many tjaps is used to work out a pattern for a
sarong or other garment. The making of these tjaps is the laborious
and expensive work of experts. Of course we may expect to find many
repetitions of such patterns, differing from one another only in the
accidents of dyeing.

Frequently different methods of applying wax are used in the same
decoration. Freehand work with the tjanting and brush on fine pieces
serve to take away from the mechanical reproduction of tjap designs.
The decoration of the end papers of this book, taken from a fine old
sarong, affords an interesting study.

The most artistic and highly regarded effects in batiks among the
Japanese workers are executed as they are in America today, _i.e._,
the wax is applied with a brush and is as free from mechanical aids as

Pieter Mijer, in "Batiks and How to Make Them," published by Dodd Mead
& Company, New York, writes of the modern development of batiks in
Holland. The artists who have stimulated the present interest are Cris
Lebeau, Dijesselhof and Lion Cachet. The illustrations of their work
have a charm and individuality worthy of the highest respect. The
author's own piece shown in the same group does not lose by

This book is also rich in valuable instruction and other illustrations
of batiks, showing high American standards of the craft.

Batik adaptation in America is without tradition, and is an outgrowth
of youth and enthusiasm caught up and carried on the high tide of
progress and opportunity. The real significance of its popularity
reaches backward into the necessity that confronted workers in textile
designing after Europe was caught in the maelstrom of war.

The textile manufacturer has quickly adapted batik designs, indeed the
artist working in batiks feels a close kinship to textile industry.

Batik decoration is free from limitations that restrict mechanical
printing. In designing fabrics for the ordinary methods of mechanical
reproduction, where great yardage is produced, the designer consults
an average taste; whereas in batiks each piece is definitely designed
with a particular setting or individual in view. There is no
necessity for much repetition of any design, nor indeed can exact copy
ever be made.

The first enthusiasm of the worker in batiks is apt to find expression
in a burst of color run riot, of "crackle craze," with too little
attention paid to design. But this soon gives way, as it should, to
more conservative expression in which design is the controlling
element, and the art comes to its own as a method of subtle and
beautiful illumination of textiles.

  [Illustration: {BATIK DESIGN} {p. 22}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGN {p. 23}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGN {p. 24}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGN {p. 25}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGN {p. 26}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 27}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 28}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 29}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 30}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 31}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 32}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 33}]

  [Illustration: OLD BATIK DESIGNS {p. 34}]




The simplest process of dyeing a fabric consists in submerging it in a
solution of dye, known as a "dye-bath," and allowing it to extract or
exhaust the color from the bath. It is necessary that there be an
attraction or affinity between the fiber of the fabric and the dye in
solution. All parts of the fabric must be given equal opportunity to
extract the dye in order that a uniform color or "level" dyeing be

  [Illustration: {USING A DYE-BATH} {p. 35}]

To accomplish this end experience has found that a few simple things
must be observed. These have to do with, (1) the preparation of the
fabric for dyeing, (2) the making of the dye-bath, (3) the handling of
the fabric while in the dye-bath, and (4) the handling of the fabric
after the dyeing.

1. _The Preparation of the Fabric._ The fabric must be clean. A spot
of grease or other soil allows that part of the fabric less
opportunity to extract color from the dye-bath, with the result that
the dyeing is not level. Thorough washing with soap and warm water
followed by a good rinsing will remove most spots. The methods of the
dry cleaner will be necessary for others.

All sizing must be removed. Sizing consists of substances such as
clay, flour, starch, gum, oil, tallow, soap, etc., put into the fiber,
either before or after weaving, for the purpose of giving weight,
body, strength, stiffness, softness, finish, or other desired quality.
Some sizing prevents the extraction of color from the dye-bath. In
other cases the sizing itself absorbs a large share of the color, and
later when the sizing is removed by washing this color goes with it.
Vigorous washing with soap and hot water, followed by rinsing, will
remove most sizing. A fabric which suffers injury by the removal of
its sizing is not suitable for dyeing.

Previously dyed fabrics are often uneven in color due to spotting and
fading. Level dyeing cannot be done over such color. The practice of
the professional dyer is to remove or level this color before
attempting further dyeing. This often calls for skill beyond that of
the inexperienced worker. Sometimes prolonged boiling in strong soap
suds will accomplish this. Many colors will also yield to hot
hydrosulphite solution followed by a good rinsing.

Of course where goods have been previously colored there are
limitations as to the colors that may be obtained by additional
dyeing. For example, blue goods cannot, without the removal of the
blue color, be dyed yellow but may be dyed green or purple or a deeper
blue. Yellow goods cannot be dyed pink, but may be dyed orange,
green, brown or black. This will be discussed more fully later.

Some fibers are hard and harsh and resistant, like crash and most new
cotton cloth. This is due to the presence of gums, resins, waxes and
other impurities, substances which either attract dyes or else prevent
their taking the fiber. It is not possible to dye such goods
successfully without first rendering the fibers soft and absorbent.
This may be accomplished by prolonged boiling in washing soda.
Repeated washing and exposure to air will also do it, hence old cotton
usually dyes well. Technically there are elaborate and carefully
carried out chemical processes of preparing cotton cloth for dyeing,
and entire mills are busy doing this one thing.

The Javanese and other Oriental peoples purchase cotton cloth from
Europe and treat it for many days, alternately soaking in oil and
boiling in lye from ashes, then exposing to the hot sun. This process
is repeated until the cloth is soft and absorbent and suitable to
receive color decoration.

The cloth should always be thoroughly wet before putting it into the
dye-bath. This should be done in water of the same temperature as the

It may be briefly mentioned here that a fabric must sometimes be given
a treatment with some chemical, called a mordant, before it will
exhaust certain dyes from the bath and be properly dyed.

2. _The Making of the Dye-Bath._ For simple dyeing, as mentioned at
the beginning of this chapter, we must observe the following things:

The dye-bath must be sufficient in quantity to cover the goods well
and to permit of their being worked thoroughly during the process of

For the "dye-vat," or container for the dye-bath, use preferably a
large graniteware pan or stone jar. Metal dishes, especially iron, are
sometimes injurious. Professional dyers often use vats of copper,
brass or wood.

Soft water is preferable, and it should be free of sediment. The
presence of iron in water is most injurious as it dulls, or "saddens,"
the shade of most colors. A hard water containing lime should be
purified or softened. Lime sometimes causes uneven dyeing.

The dye must be completely dissolved in the water. If specks of
undissolved dye are present there will be a spotted uneven dyeing. It
is best to dissolve the dye in a small amount of water in a separate
dish and then strain it. This should be added to the dye-bath a
portion at a time during the dyeing. The reason for this will appear

The temperature of the dye-bath has much to do with the dyeing. There
is no general rule applicable to all dyes. Each dye is usually
accompanied by directions as to the temperature to be used. In general
it may be said that all dyes work better in warm or hot solution. Some
dyes require prolonged boiling; in other cases boiling is positively
injurious to the dye. Sometimes a definite temperature below the
boiling point must be maintained. Sometimes the temperature is raised
or lowered during the dyeing. In all cases the temperature should be
kept the same in the different parts of the bath, otherwise the dyeing
will be uneven.

Many dyes, while most successful at high temperature, work very well
in moderately warm, or even cold solution. This is of very great
advantage in pattern dyeing, as in batik work, where the wax forbids a
high temperature.

The composition of the dye-bath is not often as simple as we have
indicated. Usually the dyer adds one or more other chemicals to assist
in dissolving the dye, to control the rate of absorption of the dye by
the fabric, or for some other purpose.

Some of the finest dyeing is done in baths so complex and with
operations so exacting in care that only the trained professional with
his elaborate equipment is able to undertake it.

3. _The Handling of the Fabric in the Dye-Bath._ Since all parts of
the fabric must have equal opportunity to be dyed, in order that a
level dyeing be obtained, it is absolutely necessary that the goods be
worked as long as they remain in the dye-bath. This working must be
thorough and continuous without interruption. This cannot be
emphasized too much.

Let us think what happens if this rule is not heeded and the goods
stand a few minutes in the bath. Some parts of the fabric will lie
inside the folds of other parts and, having access to only a small
part of the dye-bath, will soon exhaust all of the dye available, a
condition known as "local exhaustion." Meanwhile other parts of the
fabric more favorably situated will continue to absorb dye. More
uneven dyeing in schools and homes is due perhaps to this cause than
to any other.

Constant working of the goods keeps the dye that yet remains in
solution uniformly distributed in the bath so that all parts of the
fabric are absorbing dye alike. It also maintains what is equally
essential to level dyeing, a uniform temperature in all parts of the

It is to minimize the danger of uneven dyeing due to this local
exhaustion that the dye-bath must be made of sufficient volume to
cover the goods well. The goods must be moved about in the bath with
the greatest freedom.

It is for the same reason, especially when the affinity between fiber
and color is very great, that the dye is added a small portion at a
time. The goods after being treated with part of the dye are lifted
out of the bath, a new portion of dye quickly added and stirred, and
the dyeing operation renewed. This is repeated until the desired shade
is obtained.

The beginner is apt to think that to get a full color requires a
concentrated dye-bath. Experience will teach him that, when the dyes
are properly chosen for his fabric, a full color is obtained better by
a longer treatment in a dilute bath, with additions of dye as
mentioned above. In this way nearly if not all of the color put into
the bath is absorbed by the cloth. This serves for economy of color,
makes observation and control of the process easier, simplifies the
problem of rinsing, and improves the quality of the dyeing. It is the
only way dyeing to shade can be accomplished.

A slow dyeing is generally more level and successful in every way. In
cases where the fiber absorbs the color greedily the dyer sometimes
puts other ingredients called "assistants" into the bath to retard
this absorption.

Frequently the craftsman does shaded dyeing, such as a scarf with
deep blue ends grading to a light blue center. The following
directions will accomplish this: Hold the scarf in the middle with one
hand, dip the ends into the dye-bath and work them thoroughly with the
other hand. Then lower the scarf into the bath very gradually without
interrupting the working. If a half hour is taken to lower the scarf
the ends will be in the bath perhaps thirty-five minutes, the center
five minutes, and besides, before the center is dyed most of the color
will have been exhausted from the bath.

4. _The Handling of the Fabric After the Dyeing._ The usual procedure
after dyeing is a thorough rinsing to remove all surplus dye and
chemicals. The importance of this will be appreciated from the
following considerations:

If not removed many chemicals which have been used as assistants,
becoming more concentrated as the goods dry, act injuriously on the
dye or the fiber. Likewise any unused color will continue to dye the
goods and of course unevenly. It is clearly essential that the rinsing
be done immediately upon removal of the goods from the bath. The
directions sometimes call for washing in soap and water after dyeing.

The excess of rinse water should be removed and the goods dried as
rapidly as possible. Usually there is no objection to wringing. A
fabric should never be allowed to hang and drain dry, as the dyeing is
liable to become uneven in streaks, especially when the dye used is
one given to run or "bleed," or in any case where the rinsing has not
been absolutely thorough. The craftsman in dyeing a small piece
frequently puts it between towels or newspapers to absorb the excess
water and then shakes it until dry. This is to be commended. The
technical dyer has suitable machinery to accomplish this work.

To dry a batik piece, where the wax forbids wringing or rough handling
in any way, spread the piece carefully on towels or newspapers, cover
with more towels or papers to remove the excess water, then shake very
gently until dry, or hang on a waxed line.

At no time during the process of dyeing should the goods be allowed to
remain in contact with other absorbent surfaces, such as boards,
paper, cloth, clothes-line, grass, etc. These are apt to absorb color
away from the goods and leave faded streaks or spots. A clothes-line
used for this purpose should be waxed to make it non-absorbent.


The preceding general principles have been outlined with all-over
dyeing especially in mind. We now come to the consideration of pattern
dyeing, where in order to produce a design it is necessary to dye
chosen parts of the fabric and keep the dye away from other parts. All
that has been said with reference to making all-over dyeing efficient
applies equally well to pattern dyeing. If possible, everything that
is done to make all-over dyeing successful should be done in pattern
dyeing to obtain a corresponding success.

Practically, however, we find it impossible to carry out some of the
steps. For example, in the usual block printing, we do not have the
problem of handling the fabric in a dye-bath, but rather that of
handling dye on the fabric. Here we must take special steps to get the
dye well into the fiber and secure the results obtained from the large
dye-bath in all-over dyeing.

The fabric must be prepared for pattern dyeing in the same manner as
for all-over dyeing. It is just as essential that it be clean, free of
sizing, with its fibers soft and absorbent. Attention has been called
to the pains taken by the Orientals in the preparation of their
fabrics for decoration. We must not jeopardize our success by omitting
to boil out new raw material and to clean old material.

This washing before dyeing also brings about any shrinkage that is to
occur, and of course this must be done before the design is traced on
the cloth, otherwise one could not intelligently work to dimensions.

A dyed pattern may be produced in several ways:

1. The dye is applied to the desired parts of the fabric and means
taken to set it there without it spreading to other parts. This is
known as direct coloring. Block printing and stenciling, as ordinarily
done, are examples. Calico printing is an industrial application of
the method.

2. A resist of some kind is applied to parts of the fabric to prevent
their taking the dye, after which the fabric is treated in a dye-bath.
Batik decoration and tie-dyed work both fall in this class. Stencils
and print blocks may also be used in the application of the resist.

3. A "discharge" is put on parts of previously dyed goods, which
either removes the color where it touches, or else alters the shade.
Different discharges are used according to the nature of the dye and
the goods. Some chemicals used as discharges are liable, unless
skillfully handled, to attack and tender the cloth. The method belongs
rather to the industrial world where abundant apparatus and trained
dyeing chemists are available. It is not, however, beyond the skill of
a good craftsman who has acquired some experience with dyes.

The dye for direct coloring is applied in liquid form, sometimes
thickened into a paste by use of gums, starch, etc. Often mordants or
other assisting chemicals are incorporated into the mixture. In block
printing this color mixture is brushed on the block, which is then
imprinted on the fabric in the desired place, and the color driven
into the fiber with pressure or a sharp blow. Stenciling is done by
brushing the color mixture through the open parts of the stencil, or
by blown stenciling in which a volatile color mixture is sprayed with
an atomizer.

The best method of setting the dyes in this direct coloring is that
pursued commercially in calico printing, treatment with dry steam,
_i.e._, steam applied at a temperature sufficiently high to prevent
its condensation into drops of hot water on the fabric, which would be
quite ruinous to the design. This is done successfully by Oriental
craftsmen, and it would be very desirable to have suitable apparatus
in American schools and studios.

Next best, though considerably less efficient, is the commonly
practiced method of laying the fabric between dampened cloths and
pressing with a hot iron until dry.

The resist method has an advantage in that it allows the use of a
dye-bath. The limitation of temperatures that may be used places some
restriction on the choice of dyes. Batik dyeing must be done without
melting the wax resist. But after eliminating those dyes which require
high temperatures and also those not suitable for pattern dyeing,
there still remains a good range of colors. Batik is without doubt the
most versatile of all methods of pattern dyeing.

Tie-dyed work depends upon tightly wound string or yarn to resist the
dye. It also has the advantage of the dye-bath. Though less versatile
than batik, it has a time-honored place as a method of beautiful and
charming results. The introduction of sticks over which the tying is
done, such sticks as are used by the children in stick printing, has
opened new problems with added variety and much interest.


The colors available for craft work are commonly grouped into the
following classes, which will be briefly described:

_Direct Colors._ These are so called because they are applied to all
fibers directly without the use of mordants. They are principally used
for dyeing cotton. Some dyes of this class have affinity for both
cotton and wool. Most of the package dyes sold at the local stores are
of this class. They are applied to cotton in a boiling bath and to
wool at high temperature near the boiling point. Different assistants
are used varying with the dye and the nature of the fabric.

The direct colors, being very soluble, are prone to "bleed" when the
goods are washed, but owing to this same fact it is easy to produce
level dyeing on the goods. On this same account, however, and also on
account of the high temperature required, they are not well suited for
pattern dyeing.

_Acid Colors._ These have great commercial value for dyeing wool and
sometimes silk. The best of them are quite fast to light but not to
washing. They are not suitable for cotton or linen.

_Basic Colors._ These will dye wool and silk directly and also raffia,
straw, basketry material, leather and wood. They dye cotton when
mordanted with tannic acid, and this constitutes a very large
commercial use. Basic dyes are especially strong in coloring power.
Many of them are fugitive to light. A few of the best of them,
however, when properly applied, are fast to washing and fairly fast to

_Sulphur Colors._ These are used extensively on cotton, giving colors
fast to washing and to light. The dyeing is done at high temperature
in a strongly alkaline bath of sodium sulphide along with other
assistants. The colors are all dull and the range of colors is not
complete, there being a lack of reds. These dyes are not suitable for

_Vat Colors_ are so called because the method of dyeing is that of the
indigo vat. Indigo has been known for a long time, but only in recent
years have other dyes of this class been produced, until now the
series includes the entire range of colors. As a class they are the
fastest colors ever known. The best of them are so fast that the cloth
will wear out without the color changing. They are used chiefly on
cotton and linen, sometimes on silk.

Vat dyes have been very expensive and scarcely obtainable during the
war. Their future is of great interest and importance both in the
industries and to craft workers.

In addition to the dyes above mentioned there are many others the use
of which is quite complicated and technical and therefore confined to
the industries.

For a fuller discussion of dyes and their uses the reader is referred
to Pellew's "Dyes and Dyeing" (Robert McBride & Co., New York). This
is a most excellent book written for craftsmen. Like most of our
literature, the treatment of dyes is based upon pre-war conditions,
when nearly all of our colors were imported. The latest edition,
however, contains an added chapter dealing with the present
transitional state, incident to the transfer of the industry to this
side of the water and the development of great American color houses.

It may be added that the leading firms carrying school art supplies
offer dyes in suitable form especially adapted for the problems in
pattern dyeing.

Perhaps a few suggestions to the less experienced of our readers will
prove helpful. All of the good dyes manufactured today are in a very
pure form. The use of one dye alone often gives results that are crude
without any subtle beauty. It is frequently necessary to apply the
principle well known to all workers in color, that colors are softened
and beautified by small admixtures of their compliments; that one
color that is cold, or another that is hot, becomes warmed or toned by
a suitable admixture of other colors.

It may be stated that most of the beautiful dyeing is built up from
two or more colors. This is accomplished, according to the nature of
the dyes and the fabric, by mixing the colors in the same dye-bath,
or by dyeing the cloth successively in different colors. Of course the
previous condition of the fabric must be taken into account. A
bleached cotton cloth must be treated differently from a grayed one if
an equally soft effect is desired.

In the old days dyes contained impurities which often caused beautiful
grayed effects. But it is inexcusable today for anyone with knowledge
of the above principle and with elementary knowledge of dyes and
dye-baths not to get equally good results.

The inartistic work that we see so prevalent today in the realm of
dyed fabrics is due in part to ignorance and lack of appreciation of
good color and in part to the commercial race for profit. As the taste
of the people makes demand for better things the response of industry
will not be wanting.

Nor need the craftsman of today spend idle time mourning the
disappearance of vegetable colors and his necessity for using coal tar
dyes. We must remember that only the best of the vegetable dyeing has
come down to us. The proportion of poor work with vegetable dyes has
always been as large or even larger than with the present-day colors.
We are too prone to compare the ordinary home dyeing of today or the
cheaper commercial dyeing with the good pieces that have been
preserved from the past. When in justice the comparison is made of the
best with the best, the coal tar dyes not only do not suffer but they
really gain.

The coal tar dyes are like the vegetable dyes in the sense of being
organic. In many instances they are identical chemically with
corresponding dyes formerly obtained from vegetables. The one
difference, as we have indicated, is their purity. Just as our
granules of sugar have displaced the sweetening of former days; just
as our modern medicines have succeeded the herb-teas of our
grandparents, so also have come our dyes. All are achievements of

Coal tar dyes have come to stay, vegetable dyes for the most part have
gone and will not return, and there is no sadness in the word. It is
rather for us to rise to the challenge that has come, to recognize our
greater heritage, and by pains, patience and intelligence in our work
to ply the art worthily.


The following general principles of color mixing apply to dyeing, both
when colors are mixed in a dye-bath and when they are dyed one color
over another:

Red is grayed by small amounts of yellow and blue or by any color
containing both of these, as green, brown or gray.

Yellow is grayed by small amounts of red and blue or by any color
containing both of these, as purple, brown or gray.

Blue is grayed by small amounts of red and yellow, or by any color
containing both of these, as orange, brown or gray.

Red plus yellow gives orange or yellowish red or reddish yellow. These
are grayed by a small amount of blue or any color containing blue, as
green, purple, brown or gray.

Red plus blue gives purple or reddish blue or bluish red. These are
grayed by a small amount of yellow or any color containing yellow, as
orange, green, brown or gray.

Blue plus yellow gives green or bluish yellow (usually called greenish
yellow) or yellowish blue (usually called greenish blue). These are
grayed by a small amount of red or any color containing red, as
orange, purple, brown or gray.

Red plus yellow plus blue give--

(1) One of the above if any one or two of the three is present in the
small proportion necessary for graying purposes.

(2) Gray if all three are present in such proportion as to neutralize
each other. If this is perfectly accomplished we have a neutral gray,
otherwise a red gray, yellow gray, blue gray, purple gray, etc. Gray
intensified becomes black, and there are modified blacks, as blue
black, green black, etc. In making up a gray or black, beginners
usually err in taking too large a proportion of yellow, and perhaps
also of red.

(3) Brown if the three are present within certain other ranges of
proportion. Browns may be classified as yellow browns, red browns,
blue browns, green browns, purple browns, etc.

There are all gradations between neutral gray and the browns; between
the browns and the secondary colors, orange, green and purple; between
the secondary colors and the primary colors, red, yellow and blue.

In the practical handling of dyes, in order to get the entire range of
colors from the primary colors, it is necessary that the red, yellow
and blue dyes chosen be pure and luminous in color quality.
Fortunately, there are such dyes.

There are, however, other valuable dyes that do not have this purity
of color. For example, there are yellows containing considerable red
or brown, reds containing yellow or blue, blues containing red, etc.
Then there are dyes that are green, brown, purple and black. All of
these have limitations when used in compounding colors. Neither a
yellow inclined to the brown, nor a red containing blue, can be used
to form a luminous orange. Likewise the compounding of a vivid blue
green, or reseda green, forbids either the yellow or the blue
containing any appreciable admixture of red.

All of these dyes find great use in the industries, and all of them,
within their limitations, are valuable for color mixing. Having
acquired a working knowledge of red, yellow and blue dyes, it will be
found of practical benefit to include some of the others. An
experienced craftsman works with a small range of colors chosen for
his particular purpose.

Dyes differ in coloring power, even different specimens of the same
dye, so that it is not possible to give quantitative formulas for
certain colors bearing popular names. It will be helpful to discuss a
few of them.

Olive green may be made by adding to blue-green either red or
preferably yellow brown. This addition should be made a little at a
time with frequent tests, a suggestion applicable to all color mixing.

Tan is obtained by mixing yellow and yellow brown. An added tinge of
blue or green gives pongee.

Gold contains much yellow with certain smaller amounts of red and
blue. But it might be difficult to control the addition of these
colors, so it is better to start with much yellow and add a little at
a time orange and blue green.

For burnt orange add yellow brown to orange.

For turquoise add to blue a little yellow, or preferably blue green.

For old rose add to dilute red a tinge of blue or preferably purple.

Taupe is a gray thrown off, usually with purple, but sometimes with
red or yellow or blue.

Salmon is formed by adding to yellow some orange and a tinge of brown.

Any dyeing over old color must be considered as a mixing of the new
color with the old, which manner of thinking will help in choosing the
dye necessary for a desired effect. For example, a green cloth is to
be dyed black. There should be two dyeings, the first a red to
neutralize the green, the second a black to intensify the neutrality.
Likewise a red cloth becomes black by dyeing first green and then

Over a light yellow purple may be dyed, the result will be a grayed
purple. Over a strong yellow much purple will be required and the
result will be a very much grayed purple approaching if not becoming a
purple black.

In batik decoration by successive dyeings the craftsman is constantly
mixing the new dye with that already in the fiber. Having once
introduced an intensity of any primary color, yellow, red or blue, he
must thereafter, unless he removes this color, complete his pattern by
producing secondary and tertiary colors.

  [Illustration: {BATIK DESIGN} {p. 53}]



The most commonly used fabrics for batiks are thin silks, white or
light in color. Wax penetrates the sheer materials better. They take
the color more evenly, and retain their brilliant texture. Heavy
materials must be waxed on both sides to insure perfect stopping out
of color.

  [Illustration: {PAINTING A DESIGN} {p. 54}]

The design is more easily applied to thin goods, as the decoration is
readily traced. On heavy fabrics the design is either drawn free hand
or pounced. When the outline is drawn in wax the drawing does not
disappear in the dyeing. When only parts of the design are painted in
with wax the outline must be redrawn after each dyeing. For this
purpose pouncing is best.

Velvets should be stopped out on the wrong side. Steaming will raise
the pile again, or it may be sent to the dry cleaner.

  [Illustration: A BATIK FRAME {p. 55}]

  [Illustration: AN OUTLINE DRAWING IN WAX {p. 55}]

Wood is a good medium to take wax resist. The wax is removed by
scraping. The surface is cleaned with gasoline and finished in any
approved manner. Toys, frames, trays, basket bottoms, boxes, etc., are
very pleasing when decorated in this manner.


Leather and paper are dampened and pasted smoothly on glass. They are
then decorated like wood.

Chiffons and crepes may be waxed double, or even folded four times.

  [Illustration: THE COMPLETED PATTERN {p. 57}]

In applying a design, care should be taken to keep the fabric
straight. Drawing a thread from the fabric makes a good guide.

When working upon woven materials it is best to use a frame placed
horizontally upon a table. A frame suitable for this work should be
light to handle and strong. It should be high enough above the table
to keep the wax or dye from touching it. When the wax touches an
obstacle before it is cold it sticks. The wax is apt to break when
pulled away from the object. Color penetrates by accident and the
result is disappointing. Some artists work on a table upon which
smooth or glazed paper is spread. Here again the wax may also suffer.
When dyes are painted on the fabric, if they touch the table or other
objects they spread and mar the definite outline of the design.

A frame, around the inside edge of which are cloth strips for pinning
or sewing the fabric securely, is an excellent aid to good
workmanship. Adjustable holes with corners secured by screws and wing
nuts make it possible to roll long pieces of cloth at the top and
bottom of the frame. Or by means of these holes the strips may be
spliced together to form a still larger frame.

Paper should be rolled with the cloth to prevent the wax sticking.
Handled in this manner only a small part of the work needs to be
exposed, and the work can be done on a small table or school desk.

Another advantage of such a frame is the ease with which the piece is
laid aside without injury during the intervals of work. This is
especially valuable where class problems are being conducted. It also
permits of the work being done in any position--horizontal, inclined
or upright.

When dyeing the material more than once the wax must be carefully
mended after each dyeing, or soon the first spaces covered with the
resist are lost or badly obscured. The material should always be dry
before applying the wax.


Some workers use pure beeswax. It does not break easily when worked in
a warm dye-bath. It melts at a high temperature. Resin mixed with
beeswax melts at a still higher temperature. There are special batik
waxes that have all the desired qualities of toughness and resistance.
These mixed waxes are similar to those used by industrial works in
Java. Paraffin and beeswax are also used.

The best container for molten wax is a double boiler, the common
kitchen utensil, as it is possible to keep the wax hot through a class
period without having the heater in the class room. As means of
heating, an electric toaster, gas plate, canned heat, etc., are

The wax must be applied hot. The brush, while waxing, should be kept
hot to insure good penetration of the wax. To accomplish this, each
time the brush is dipped into the molten wax it should be held there
sufficiently long to remelt any wax that may have congealed in or on
the brush.

To apply the wax, some use a tjanting. Others prefer the simpler
method of a good sable or camel's hair brush. The brush gives a
broader and more varied treatment. A broad brush is best for covering
large surfaces. Brushes used for painting in oils or water colors are
used for painting in wax and dyes.

Those who are interested further in the possibilities of the tjanting
are referred to Pieter Mijer's excellent treatment of this subject.

Dyes suitable for pattern dyeing should not run or "bleed." Some use
only primary colors. Others desire a more extended range. A good
selection may include red, yellow, blue, orange, green, purple, brown
and black.

      FIRST DYEING {p. 61}]

The temperature of the dyes should be below the melting point of the
wax. Care must also be used in dissolving dye. Granules in the
dye-bath work havoc with an otherwise beautiful piece of dyeing. The
dye should be filtered through a closely woven cloth. Prepared dyes
insure safety, as the compounding and dissolving is done by formula.

After the last dyeing the fabric should be rinsed first in warm, then
in cold water. Much of the wax is removed in the rinsing. The
remainder of the wax is easily removed by ironing between layers of
newspaper, followed if necessary by a bath of gasoline. If the piece
is very large it should be finished by a professional cleaner.

There are different approved methods of pattern dyeing with wax
resist, in the choice of which the craftsman must consider the
conditions under which the work is to be done. We give in outline the
steps of three methods:

I. Painting the decoration within waxed outlines, followed by one or
more baths for the ground color. This is illustrated on pages 55, 56
and 57, where the following steps were taken:

1. A square of white china silk, clean and free of sizing, was
stretched on a frame.

2. The main lines were sketched in with charcoal. The design was
outlined in wax. The shapes were made small, as dye is liable to
streak when painted over large areas.

3. The colors were mixed and used like water colors.

4. The small bell-shaped flowers were painted red, the pods yellow,
the leaves green. These painted surfaces were then stopped out with

5. Two gallons of warm water were softened and made into a soap
suds. This solution was divided into two equal parts. The first part
was used for wetting the fabric, and "soaping off" after dyeing. The
second part was made into a brown dye-bath for the dipping.

  [Illustration: THE COMPLETED PATTERN {p. 63}]

II. Painting directly on the fabric without waxed outlines, and
building up the ground color in one or more baths. The piece
illustrated on page 59 was done as follows:

1. The design was drawn free hand upon the fabric, stretched in a

2. The colors were painted directly. The tree was green, the bell-like
flowers orange, the dogs golden yellow. The brush strokes were very

3. The colored shapes were carefully covered with wax.

4. The background was dyed a deep purple.

III. Building up the pattern by dyeing in successive baths, beginning
with the lighter and passing to darker values, and before each dipping
stopping out with wax the parts to be retained in the completed work.
The piece illustrated on pages 61 and 63 was executed as follows:

1. The design was drawn on strong paper. This was then perforated, and
the design pounced on the silk with powdered charcoal, using a stiff
bristle brush and scrubbing the charcoal well through the holes.

2. The parts to remain white were stopped out by painting with wax.

3. The piece was dyed yellow, after which the design was again


4. The parts to remain yellow were stopped out with wax.

5. The piece was dyed black.

In all these processes a small piece of the goods was carried
completely through the dye-bath to test the color.

Some modifications of these processes are valuable. These follow, or
are suggested by, practices of the Orient.

1. The design may be applied with blown stenciling.

2. Block printing and stick printing may be used and the color
impressions covered with wax.

As concrete illustrations of textile decoration in schools we present
some of the results of two class problems in high school, the one by a
first and second year class, the other by third and fourth year pupils
with a few who were posting.

_First and Second Year Class._ The pupils used the method of paper
cutting to secure motives for their designs. Each pupil was supplied
with enough white silk to make a collar, or a tie, also with color,
wax and a frame upon which to stretch the silk. The method was that of
outlining in wax, painting in color, and dipping for the ground color.
The pupils were allowed to keep their work after paying for the
materials. The illustrations on page 65 were chosen from the finished

The crepe-de-chene collar is 12 x 12 inches. The outside border and
the largest shape at the point of the collar were old rose, the
fan-like shape turquoise blue, the band and spottings at the side
yellow. The inside border, buds and stem were blue and the
alternating shapes yellow.


These colors were covered with wax and the collar dyed gray. It was
then dipped in hot wax, carefully crackled and dipped in a dark gray
bath. The wax was removed by ironing between layers of newspaper. Fine
embroidery silk was dyed yellow and old rose for the stitchery that
finished the edge of the collar.

The sailor collar was made of white china silk. The leaves of the
design were painted green, the flowers rose color and the ground dyed
a dark gray blue. The dye-bath was made of blue, black and purple. The
collar was finished with yellow and old rose stitchery.

The pongee silk vest was designed for a tailored coat. The leaves and
flowers were painted realistically. The ground was dyed blue and
crackled in a darker blue bath. The edge was finished with dark red

_Third and Fourth Year Class._ This work was conducted at a later
time. In addition to more training, these pupils had for study many
specimens of good batiks and standard illustrations of the same. The
designs were made with reference to their fitness as batik designs.

The design units illustrated on page 73 were selected with reference
to their adaptability to some form of all-over application.

The design for the book cover, also shown as an all-over pattern, page
70, the all-over pattern, page 67, and the scarf, page 69, were
selected as the best work of this class.




A tracing of the all-over design, page 67, was first made and painted
in water colors. The design was transferred to the silk by tracing.
The colors of the decoration, following the copy in water color, were
painted in without the use of wax outlines. The top units from left to
right were blue, violet, yellow; second row, violet, blue, green,
violet; third row, yellow, violet, blue; fourth row, violet, blue,
green, violet. The stems were violet, the leaves yellow green. The
background was dyed a rich brown.

The all-over design, page 69, was used for the end of a scarf. The
silk was dyed yellow, parts of the decoration stopped out with wax,
the flowers and body of the insect painted in red, the red stopped out
with wax, and the background dyed brown. The scarf was finished with a
fringe of orange silk.

The all-over design, page 70, was pounced on the silk after each
dipping. The material was dyed yellow and the small spottings stopped
out. The piece was dipped in a gray purple dye-bath. The resultant
color was a grayed lavender. The larger shapes in the design were
stopped out and the ground color dyed a deeper purple.

Two other examples of batiks from this class are illustrated:

1. The china silk blouse, page 71, with a yellow background and
all-over pattern of white, blue and green shows a design that is
suitable for yardage.

2. An all-over design, page 71, also suitable for yardage. The
lavender flowers and leaves were painted inside waxed outlines. The
spots were connected by flowing waxed outlines. The decoration was
covered with wax and the ground color dyed a pale yellow gray.

  [Illustration: DESIGN UNITS FOR ALL-OVER PATTERNS {p. 73}]

The china silk handkerchief, page 74, is very interesting. The size is
17 x 17 inches with a one-inch hem. The area inside the hem was
covered with wax, placed in a bath of cold water, and carefully
crackled. It was then immersed in a blue dye-bath. After drying the
same area was rewaxed, again crackled, and immersed in a red dye-bath.
The result is very pleasing, a purple border with blue, red and purple
crackle forming a delicate net work over the white center.

  [Illustration: BATIKED HANDKERCHIEF {p. 74}]



Applied design has been the stabilizing factor in art education. It
gives to art education a tangible reason for its place in the schools.
It injects into every individual and class project the element of
discipline that comes through being required to think in terms of
definite mediums of expression.

  [Illustration: {BATIK DESIGN} {p. 75}]

The greatest emphasis, and for this reason perhaps the greatest
success, has been its application in the field of costume designing
and interior decoration. Batiks lay a just claim to having enriched
this phase of art expression. A new creative and illuminating touch
has been given to draperies, covers, cushions, scarfs, wall hangings,
and costumes.

The following pages illustrate and explain a number of these
illuminated objects.

  [Illustration: PORTION OF A JAVANESE SARONG {p. 76}]


The sarong decorated with peacocks and vines is characteristic. The
colors are red, blue and light yellow.


The decoration of the end papers in this book is taken from the design
of a very fine old sarong. The material is cotton. It has the quality
and texture of the rarest batiks. The dyeing is vegetable indigo. Some
of the units were perhaps applied with a tjap, but much of the waxing
was done with single and double spouted tjantings. The ground color is
a soft gray yellow.


The batik details shown on page 95 are all taken from old sarongs. The
tjanting was used for all these patterns. They are excellent pieces of
native craftsmanship.

The pattern on the left has a yellow gray background. The all-over
dyeing is brown and the spottings dark red.

On the right the upper pattern has yellow gray in the background and
brown decoration, the lower pattern has brown background and yellow
gray decoration.


The band for this ornament, page 78, is made of several layers of
georgette crepe picoted. It is ¾ inch wide and 1 yard long. The
ornament, 1½ x 2⅜ inches, was modeled from "petroplast," the modeling
clay which sets without firing.


The silk was folded to four thicknesses. The wax was painted in a
variety of interesting shapes on the white goods. Bands in red,
yellow, green and orange were painted with dyes.

The petroplast was modeled smooth and the bird, flowers and pedestal
were incised while the composition was still plastic. When dry it was
dipped in black enamel. The outline of the bird was enameled in yellow
and orange, the flowers painted in purple and blue, the pedestal in

This adornment was planned to be worn as a necklace to brighten a dark


The costume decoration, page 53, was batiked on yellow taffeta silk.

The design was painted in with wax. The piece outside the decoration
was covered with wax. The material was dipped in a dark brown bath and
finished by ironing between layers of newspapers.

It is suitable for a vest or for millinery.


1. The blouse, page 84, with a rose design was made of white

The outline of the decoration was waxed, and the roses and leaves
painted conventionally. The borders and spaces were painted in wax.
The border of the red was painted between waxed outlines.

The fabric was dyed blue, and finished with petroplast beads enameled
in red.

  [Illustration: BATIKED BLOUSE {p. 80}]

2. The detail of a georgette crepe blouse, page 87, with a dark
background and all-over decoration in gold, is a suitable design for
yardage. The piece was first dyed gold, and the pattern stopped out
with wax. The dye-bath for the ground color was purple black.

3. The pongee silk blouse, page 80, is a good standard for service and
artistic merit.

The leaves, stems and lower border decoration were painted in wax on
the natural color of the cloth.

The piece was dyed blue, then the flowers and upper border were
stopped out. A brown bath followed, giving as the final color a dark
bronze. The blouse was belted with a bronze silk cord.

4. The crepe-de-chene blouse, page 82, has a rich green background
with an after crackle in an orange bath.

The edges, sleeves and neck are decorated with a narrow orange and
gray band.

Petroplast beads decorated to harmonize with the color of the silk, a
brown cord girdle weighted with these ornaments, picoted edges, and
stitchery of silk floss the same color as the cord finish a garment of
great beauty and dignity.


The crepe-de-chene lining illustrated on page 85 has a grayed
yellow-green background. The flower motif has yellow, black and orange
in the center, red and purple in the outer parts. The bud is red and
purple. The stem and leaves are blue. These colors were painted within
wax outlines.


There were eight yards of this lining. When rolling the waxed goods
on the frame, a paper was rolled up with the material to prevent the
wax from sticking.

The lining was used for a full length blue serge cape. After two dry
cleanings, this garment was still fresh and beautiful.


1. The camisole, page 78, was made from a 14 x 36-inch piece of white
crepe-de-chene. Half-inch purple ribbon, seven-eighths yard long, made
the shoulder straps; a narrow purple ribbon gathered the top.

2. The design in yellow, brown and green was painted within wax
outlines. The dyeing was in purple, the crackle penetrating the

3. The top was finished with double hemstitching.


The ribbon illustrated, page 78, was turquoise blue satin, 7½ x 36

The design was outlined and parts stopped out. The material was dyed
in a blue dye-bath. The blue was stopped out in the flower shapes. The
material was dyed in a yellow dye-bath. The leaves were stopped out.
The material was dyed in a red dye-bath.

The decoration of the finished ribbon was turquoise blue, gray-blue
and yellow-green. The background was dark olive green.


  [Illustration: A CAPE LINING {p. 85}]



The door curtain illustration, page 75, is a symbolic composition with
a mystic wall and gate, and imaginary birds and a tree.

The color scheme is a black background, blue and purple tree, yellow
and blue birds, a purple and orange fence and gate, and a foreground
of blue, yellow and green.

The design was painted directly upon a good quality of silk, without
guiding lines or waxed outlines. The painting was done very rapidly,
perhaps in ten minutes.

The material was dipped several times, once in yellow, twice in red
(more red was added to the dye-bath after the first red was
exhausted), twice in the blue which was developed the same as the red,
and at last back into the yellow. When the dyeing was completed the
piece was thoroughly rinsed and the wax was removed.

The crackle caused through successive dyeings, the soft edges of the
outlines and the blending of the background with the shapes freed the
piece from the criticism often invited where colors are painted in
large areas.


This design, page 89, (21 x 25 inches) consists of two conventional
dogs adapted from the Chinese. The well-chosen colors are yellow and
orange, with accents of black. The border decoration was painted in
light green. Large and small spots suggest the use of the tjanting.
The darkest values are reseda green.

  [Illustration: BATIK DETAIL FROM BLOUSE {p. 87}]

The fabric was first dyed yellow. The dogs and spacing of borders
were drawn in fine wax outlines. The dogs were painted orange, with
small shapes of black for accents, and covered with wax. The material
was then dipped in green dye, rinsed and dried.

The decoration for the border was drawn in wax, and the background for
the dogs was also waxed.

In developing a pattern where so much drawing is needed, pains should
be taken to retain the original outlines of the drawing. If the design
is too much obscured after successive dippings, the drawing should
again be transferred. The outline for the dogs and spacings for
borders were saved by waxing. The green decoration on the border was
not painted until after two dippings.

The crackle, tying the whole decoration, is even and adds beauty to
the design.

The beauty of this batik lies in its fitness, its variety of line, its
pleasing space relations and its good color scheme.


The elephant decoration illustrated on page 91 (27 x 25 inches) was
done on white taffeta. The frame was made of two-inch basswood with a
narrow gilt-edge moulding for a finish. The decoration on the frame
was batiked.

The elephant, with its decoration and border, was outlined in wax.

  [Illustration: BATIKED TABLE COVER {p. 89}]

The vertical stripes numbered from left to right were: yellow
(1-3-5-7-9); orange (2-6-10); magenta (4-8). These were painted in and
covered with wax. The fabric was dipped in a dye-bath of grayed

The design on the frame was painted in wax and the colors in the
design reproduced from the colors in the silk. Most of the wax was
removed with a knife and the balance with a gasoline wash. It was
afterwards finished with a coating of wax.

This wall hanging has a few spots where the treatment was not
thorough. The red stripe under the elephant's head shows unintentional
breaking in the wax. Too much blue crept into many places. It cannot
be emphasized too many times--before painting over the colors with
wax, the colors must be dry.

This work illustrates the success of painting in rather large surfaces
of color without streaks appearing and harmonizing the whole by tying
together with crackle. The design of the elephant and the outside
border are unusually meritorious.


This decoration was drawn on glazed paper and pounced on white china
silk, 40 x 72 inches. There was no painting of colors, the process
being one of dippings only.

The design was outlined in wax. The small spottings, border lines and
markings in the vine were stopped out, and the piece was dipped in a
yellow dye-bath.

Through each dipping a dye record was kept by carrying a small piece
of the goods through the dye-bath. After each dyeing the wax was
carefully mended.

  [Illustration: A WALL HANGING WITH BATIKED FRAME {p. 91}]

The bell-like flowers in bands or borders, the flowers at the foot of
the vine, the body, wing, tail and lower part of the bird's legs,
tendrils, dragon fly and border were stopped out, and the piece dyed

The remaining bands and shapes in the flowers, inside and outside
border, and tendrils were stopped out and the next dipping was blue.
The background and remaining shapes were a lovely warm gray lavender.

Part of the leaves, head of the bird, upper part of the bird's legs,
shapes in the foreground, and roots of the vine were stopped out. The
next dyeing was blue.

The vine, remaining leaves, tendrils, the remainder of the foreground
and spaces that were needed to fill in were drawn in wax.

The wax was removed from the wing and the tail of the bird and the
batik dipped in a dye-bath of deep blue.

The color range in this piece includes red-orange, yellow, blue,
turquoise, two shades of lavender, green and sparkles of white broken
by every color, on a gray-blue background.

The work on this batik extended over a period of two weeks.


The frontispiece is worthy of special study.

The material was white pussy willow silk, 40 x 72 inches.

A sketch of the design, 6½ x 10 inches, was made in water colors.

  [Illustration: "A TABLE BEFORE ME," BY IDA STRAWN BAKER {p. 93}]

The fabric was freed from sizing and dyed a pale yellow.

It was then stretched in a frame and the three "thunder birds," the
clouds, and a few flowers in the foreground were painted in wax. The
bills, eyes and legs of the birds were painted in with orange dye.

The roadway, parts of the rocks, drapery on the Indian maiden, some of
her decoration, and parts of the foliage, were painted directly on the
silk with yellow or orange dye.

The remaining foliage, more decoration worn by the maiden, the grass,
leaves on the flowers and the stems were painted green.

These shapes were stopped out with wax. Much painting in of shapes was
done with wax. This gave a finish and jewel-like quality to the work
as it progressed.

Before the material was dyed it was soaked in warm water the same
temperature as the dye-bath. The piece was then dyed in a bath of
blue. It was worked constantly for about ten minutes. It was removed
from the dye and rinsed in clear warm water.

After rinsing, the material was placed flat between layers of bath
towels and much of the moisture removed. The drying was finished by
hanging over a waxed line.

The sky and the blue of the border were next stopped out, leaving for
the next bath the pony, the remainder of the Indian maiden, the tree
trunks and other shapes in the foreground.

  [Illustration: DETAILS FROM OLD SARONGS {p. 95}]

The frame was placed in an upright position after the custom of
Javanese workers. While waxing, the light shone through and every
uncovered spot was easily seen. A medium sized soft brush was used for
stopping out the large spaces.

Great care was taken to drain the excess wax from the brush. This is
more necessary when the work is erect, as it prevents the wax from
running down the goods.

The third dye-bath was prepared with red and a little yellow. A piece
of the fabric dyed with the last dipping was dyed in this bath to test
the color. The material when dyed in this bath was a rich, red-purple.

After partly drying with bath towels the piece was stretched on the
frame to finish drying.

When thoroughly dry the entire surface was waxed except the mane and
tail of the horse, the hair of the maiden, a few of the jewels, some
details in the foreground, and the ground of the border.

All the broken places in the wax were carefully mended for the final
dipping. The colors for the bath were dark green and black. The piece
was finished by rinsing in warm water, then in cold, and finally by a
gasoline bath.

The work extended over a period of two weeks.

It is a finished piece, rare and beautiful in its illumination.



The play bases its claim in the school curriculum on the very essence
of human nature. The art of being someone or something else in thought
and action under a setting of conditions and through a flow of events
is practiced by all of us. It is the eternal expression of playful and
imitative childhood, and, though restraints enter with maturity, it
never leaves us. Witness the audience we give to the stage.

  [Illustration: {COSTUME FROM A PLAY} {p. 97}]

This has been recognized in the study of the play in literature and in
the production of the school play. The application of the art training
of the school in giving the play its setting and costumes is of the
greatest value. The life of a school finds expression, through
co-operation of all departments, in its own community theater.

Dyeing is an important consideration in a dramatic production.
Colorful costumes and properties have a large part in making a play.

      {p. 98}]

  [Illustration: STAGE SCENES IN MINIATURE {p. 99}]

The possibilities of continuous play without scene shifting, by
drawing unobtrusive curtains alternately to the right and to the
left--creating atmosphere by the merest suggestion--is simple when
dyes and dyeing enter into the plans of the setting. The old heavy
painted scenery is not a part of the new drama.

The ground cloth and colored lights also offer opportunities for the
service of the dyer.

Costumes are more easily created when soft old materials are dyed, and
it requires but little experience to discover how the beauty and
effectiveness of a play are enhanced thereby.

The proscenium arch takes its place in the illusion, when the
imagination is stimulated by color decoration.

There should be an intimate co-operation between the community of
little theater and craft workers.

The relation of the little theater to those who do handicraft is
stated by Mr. George Somnes, Director of the Little Theater of
Indianapolis, as follows:

"Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of all-over
dyeing, batiks, and other pattern dyeing, and their application in the
work of the little theater.

"Preeminently the little theater stands for the giving of the theater
back to the artist, be he producer, musician, scene designer, costume
designer, dancer or author. There is the endeavor to establish each
little theater group as a means of community expression. The use of
color in its relation to the play and lights, as scenery and in
costumes, is so obvious and necessary that it needs scarcely more than
mention. As experimentation is necessary and desirable, there must be
at the bottom an actual foundation and knowledge upon which to
experiment and build.

  [Illustration: MINIATURE STAGECRAFT {p. 100}]

"School plays and pageants could be improved many hundred percent if
the knowledge of color and its application were made more general. Not
only would children be taught that green and red go together, but they
would be taught just _what_ greens and reds form the various
combinations--they could find out under what lights certain colors
react best.

"Give us more artists and craftsmen and we will have a real theater;
give us local artists and craftsmen and we will have a Community

In the following item from "The Workshop," the magazine issued by the
Little Theater Society of Indiana, the editor writes to the community
of the dyed costumes used in "Dierdre of the Sorrows."

"The Little Theater Society feels it very significant that they are
able to call attention to the use of color in the present production
and to mention that its application in this play is the work of local
artists. The Waldcraft Studios have generously given time, service and
experience to help make this production complete. Does not that sound
hopeful for our development, and by example, are there not more people
in other fields who can give their time, knowledge and experience to
the development of something which when it is completed as an
institution will belong to you?"

      HANGINGS {p. 103}]

The illustrations shown in this chapter are, (1) a plain miniature
stage constructed of pasteboard and upon which the study of the
decoration for a school play may well begin, (2) two stages that have
been thus decorated, (3) two scenes in a play with miniature jointed
dolls wearing real dyed costumes made by children, (4) several
children at work designing and constructing for plays, (5) a group of
scenes from a play given in a backyard, for which the costumes were
especially dyed, (6) another miniature stage made of wood, shown plain
and decorated with dyed hangings for a play, and (7) some character
parts from the Little Theater of Indianapolis, for which special
dyeing was done.

The miniature pasteboard stages, page 98, were decorated with opaque
water colors by school children. These illustrate the preliminary step
in decorating a stage with dyed textiles. They would reproduce in

The first decorated stage is planned to play "Treasure Island." The
decoration over the proscenium arch is "The little ship that is headed
south-west," and the border,

    "Fifteen men on a dead man's chest,
    Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum."

The background colors are blue and black, the ship white and the
fifteen men red and white.

The other stage is planned for a patriotic entertainment. The colors
for this occasion are conventional.

The miniature stage in wood (page 103) and the ensemble pictured
suggests dyeing of stage properties.

  [Illustration: SCENES FROM AN OUT-OF-DOOR PLAY {p. 105}]

The proscenium arch of this little stage was decorated for the study
of the play "Restoring the Mourners." The dramatic story tells of the
exile of the Miami Indians from Indiana to Kansas. When this event
took place there were seventeen states in the Union. The Indians
called these states the "Seventeen Fires" (Council Fires). These
"fires" were treated symbolically in the border at the top of the
proscenium arch.

The fires, realistic in color, were painted in and stopped out with
wax. The panels were dyed blue. The spaces back of the fires and the
council were stopped out with wax and the whole dyed a deep purple.
This stage construction is suitable for the end of a room or hall
where there is no balcony or for out-of-doors.

The curtain, seen through the proscenium arch and enlarged on page
108, is an interesting batik dyed in values of red, blue and purple.

The decoration was painted realistically on the white silk and covered
with wax.

The bottom of the piece for about four or five inches was kept in the
dye-bath until most of the color was exhausted. A small amount of red
was added to the bath and little by little the material was immersed
in the bath until about two-thirds of the goods were dyed.

The top of the material was dyed blue in like manner.

The bottom is a brilliant red, the top a bright blue and the center
different values of purple and pale lavender.

The pictures of Mr. George Somnes and Mrs. Eugene Fife as Naisi and
Dierdre, in "Dierdre of the Sorrows," page 107, illustrate some of the
hand-dyed costumes for this play.


Mrs. Fife's cloak was a beautiful clear blue; her dress a dark red;
the tie-dyed veil a deep purple; the design an intense yellow-gold.

There was no attempt to show batik in the decoration. The wax resist
was the easiest means of decorating the costume.

Mr. Somnes' cloak was a purple gray with symbolic designs painted in
wax. His boots were dyed brown.

These costumes were made of old material. All of the costumes were
dyed to suggest contact with the elements.

  [Illustration: A SCENE CURTAIN {p. 108}]



This beautiful and fascinating art of textile decoration, applied to
draperies and articles of dress, has been practiced in many countries
for centuries. Old pieces have been found in South America, in Peru
and Bolivia. In the Philippines and in provinces of India the work may
still be seen, the art having been handed down from generations

  [Illustration: {TIE-DYED FABRIC} {p. 109}]

The essential process consists in dyeing the cloth in a dye-bath after
having wound parts of it more or less tightly with string or cord,
which serves as a resist to prevent the color from reaching those
parts of the fabric. The result is a white or, if the cloth has been
previously dyed, a light colored pattern on a darker background.

The method is capable of more elaborate work. There may be several
dyeings, beginning with lighter colors and passing to those of darker
values, and between the dyeings additional tying or untying or both.

      INDIA {p. 110}]

For example, a cloth is dyed light gray, then a pattern tied into
it, after which it is put through a light blue dye-bath. This gives a
light gray design upon a grayed blue background. But suppose now that
a part only of the tying is removed, some additional tying done in the
grayed blue field, and a third dye-bath used, this time a light red.
The background becomes a grayed purple and in the design are gray,
grayed blue and grayed red.

There may be a great variety of designs, depending upon the manner of
tying the individual unit and the spacing of these units with relation
to each other.

The Oriental work is characterized by very small individual ties and
the arrangement of many of these into some geometrical or pictorial
pattern. The grouping of these little ties accurately and uniformly
into lines and design clusters challenges wonder and admiration. But
even with the dexterity acquired by these people the process is slow
and laborious.

The illustration (page 110) shows a piece of tie-dyed work from India.
The material is cotton. Careful examination shows it to have been done
in the following manner: The cloth, which is very thin, was folded to
form four thicknesses. Then at each point where a tie was desired the
four thicknesses were pressed or drawn up and wound very tightly with
string, the very tip of the fabric being left exposed to take the dye
like the background. After dyeing and removing the ties the cloth was
unfolded, showing the four repeats. The upper left quadrant was
uppermost in the tying, and shows the dark centers very distinctly.
Then came in order the upper right showing small dark centers, the
lower right showing few dark centers, and the lower left showing none
at all.

  [Illustration: A TIE-DYED PATTERN BY HIGH SCHOOL PUPIL {p. 112}]

  [Illustration: PORTION OF A TIE-DYED SILK SCARF {p. 113}]

As with other crafts that have come to us from the East, we have not
chosen to imitate their marvelous perfections of detail. It has rather
been to our liking to work out space and color adjustments in a manner
more in keeping with our national temperament. And it is not without
its measure of success in artistic and pleasing results.

The illustration on page 112 is the work of a school boy. The material
was cotton, dyed old rose before the tying was done. After the tying
it was dyed deep blue. The space relations are very good.

The work upon such a piece should proceed in the following manner.
First the cloth should be prepared for dyeing in the manner indicated
in the chapter on dyeing. The centers of the ties should next be
located. Sometimes the cloth is merely gathered at each center and
tied, but with larger patterns it is often folded in some definite
way. The border in this piece was made by gathering across the entire
piece and tying.

If the tying is very tight the outlines will be sharp. With a little
looseness in the ties the color will creep in, the results of which
are often very beautiful. A tie that is too loose, however, is in
danger either of coming off in the dye-bath, or it may allow the color
to penetrate to the extent of destroying the design.

Too prolonged treatment in the dye-bath, or dyeing at too high a
temperature, may cause too much penetration of color into the tied

  [Illustration: A TIE-DYED BORDER {p. 115}]

  [Illustration: PORTION OF A TIE-DYED SCARF {p. 115}]

On page 113 is shown a portion of a silk scarf. In this case the white
cloth was gathered at the respective centers, without any definite
plan of folding, and tied rather tightly with a few winds of string
about an inch or more from the center. The piece was then dyed a soft
gray yellow. Then more winding was done so as to leave only the tips
exposed. The next dye-bath was a soft blue somewhat stronger than the
yellow. The color qualities are beautiful. The border shows the
penetration of the blue color in a very happy manner.

The border design on page 115 shows the result of a definite manner of
folding the cloth before tying.

The portion of a scarf illustrated on page 115 shows one large pattern
beginning at the center of the scarf. The scarf was gathered or folded
from the center and tied at intervals. The color is delicate old rose,
especially beautiful for evening wear.

Sometimes small objects, such as marbles or glass beads, are placed at
the center of the tied spots and the cloth tied around them.

A very interesting development of tie-dyed work and one which greatly
increases the variety of designs is what we may term stick tying,
_i.e._, tying over sticks.

The sticks for this purpose are those commonly used by school children
in stick printing. These are sold by all the leading school art supply
houses. These sticks are treated so they will not absorb color, which
makes them especially suitable for tie-dyed work. They are of
different shapes, squares, circles, triangles, oblongs, etc. On these
shapes the cloth may be folded in different ways, giving an element of
geometrical symmetry, which, however, is always softened in the
dye-bath as the color makes its little incursions into the tied spots.

  [Illustration: EXAMPLES OF STICK TYING {p. 117}]

  [Illustration: STICK TIED PATTERNS {p. 117}]

Stick tying is not only a good craft problem but also splendid for
the school room for both boys and girls.

It is best to lay out the design on the cloth by stick printing with a
very light tint of the color to be used in the first dyeing, and
using, of course, the end of the stick over which the cloth is to be
tied. This insures a proper direction of the axes of the tied spots.

On page 117 are shown a number of tyings over the different sticks,
and also some dyed spots resulting from tying in several ways. Any
school boy can devise other stick ties, and he will be delighted with
some of the effects produced by his inventions.

We also show (page 119) a silk scarf tied over sticks, with a border
at each end, ready for the dye-bath. On page 120 is this same scarf
after dyeing. The work was carried out in the following manner: The
stick used was a flat oblong one-eighth inch thick, five-eighths inch
wide and one inch long. The cloth was stick printed with light yellow
to locate the centers for the ties. The end of the stick was placed at
the center, the cloth folded equally on the two sides, and the tying
done as shown on the first stick (page 117).

The entire scarf was dipped in warm water before dyeing. This
conformed to our directions for dyeing and also caused the ties to
tighten. The piece was first dyed yellow, then without any change in
the tying it was dyed green.

      {p. 119}]



  [Illustration: A STICK-TIED LINING FOR JACKET {p. 121}]

After a thorough rinsing the two yellow green bands around the stick
were protected by additional tying and the upper and lower ties
removed, exposing two white bands. Then followed a red dyeing,
another rinsing, the removal of all ties, and a final dyeing in a very
dilute golden yellow.

The result is a ground color of rich, beautiful brown. In the tied
spots are bands of gold, of orange-red, of yellow-green and of brown,
also a brown center. Along the edges of these bands the colors have
crept in, one here and another there, to produce a beautiful
iridescence. The same colors are repeated in the borders.

The lining of the jacket, page 121, is a beautiful piece of stick
tying on pongee silk. The colors here are yellow, green and grayed
purple, as well as the original color of the pongee. These were three
dye-baths, yellow, blue and red.

  [Illustration: {TIE-DYED FABRIC} {p. 122}]



It has been seen how versatile the batik method is as a means of
illuminating fabrics, also how design is the controlling element in
all good batik work. In both the space and color relations the batik
worker has control of the entire surface subject only to the
limitations imposed by the mediums in which he is working.

  [Illustration: {STENCIL DESIGN} {p. 123}]

It follows that a knowledge of the principles of design must underlie
good batik work as well as a knowledge of dyes.

In taking up the other ways in which school children are using dyes,
it is well to place emphasis upon the design elements involved. All
dyeing as done by craftsmen and in the schools involves design. Even
all-over dyeing is carried out with the idea of the dyed piece
becoming a part of some larger whole.

The earliest use of dyes in the schools is in stick printing, and here
begin the first lessons in pattern dyeing.

      {p. 124}]

All shapes used in design resolve themselves into certain recognized
types. These type shapes are the square, oblong, triangle, circle,
ellipse and oval. There are also standards of color that have become
associated with these types. They are red, yellow, blue, orange, green
and violet. These shapes and colors are taught universally by teachers
who train children in the elementary concepts of design.

It is the adjustment of these shapes and colors in space that
constitutes design. It is the application of these shapes and colors
to definite materials for definite uses in the child's life that
constitutes applied design.

When the child prints a square on his paper it is a real square and
good in color. The next one will be a real duplicate, both in shape
and color. The problem is where to put the duplicate. That is the
essence of design, and both teacher and pupil are ready to take hold
of it. There is time for discussion and drill. Results must follow.
The child begins to sense and appreciate standards and to love
accuracy, neatness and orderliness. His interest is sustained and his
powers strengthened through satisfactory accomplishment. He plans,
invents, and executes, acquires independence of thought and
expression, and designs in accordance with his imagination and

Very early in the child's training, while the stick printing is
unfolding the elements of design to him, he applies his designs to
enrich his construction work. It is the time for the child to begin
through concrete efforts to get rooted into his thinking that designs
are made to be applied and that everything which contributes to his
comfort, happiness and well-being exists because a design has been

  [Illustration: HINDU BLOCK PRINTED DESIGN {p. 126}]

Then is also the time for the child to see some printed textiles in
which the pattern is geometrical like his stick printing.

After the child has had sufficient experience with type shapes, he may
add block printing. With the knowledge and experience gained through
the use of sticks, he is enabled to modify the standard shapes. A wood
block veneered with linoleum that can be easily cut with a sharp knife
into any form desired, and which maintains a rigid printing surface,
brings this craft within his reach.

In beginning the print block work a square or rectangular surface may
be cut into a pleasing group of standard shapes involving straight
lines and then simple curves. There may follow at later intervals in
the course problems of increasing difficulty consistent with the
ability to think and execute. Continued observation of commercial
prints and, if possible, of fine handicraft is always in order.

In connection with block printing may well come an early lesson in
setting colors.

In color printing the color should be a part of the fiber of the goods
without the least injury or change in the texture. Any process which
gums the fiber or destroys the texture is not beautiful in its
results, and does not give true color printing.

  [Illustration: PATTERNS FOR PRINT BLOCKS {p. 128}]


Besides the method elsewhere referred to, the following will give
excellent results in block printing. A large tin cover into which a
thick piece of felt is fitted serves as a color pad. Pains should be
taken to have the right quantity of dye well spread on the pad. Too
much color makes the printing less clear. When a trial on a piece of
the goods is right a large number of imprints can then be made. The
secret of good work is a nice adjustment of the color pad and then
uniformity of pressure on the block, both in taking color from the pad
and in making the imprint. The printing is done on a flat surface with
a single layer of blotter beneath the textile. Some fabrics take the
imprint better if slightly dampened.

The illustration of block printing is a specimen of Hindu work.

The sticks will find continued use in printing connecting spots and
for the introduction of additional color so often needed for

The manufactured textile here illustrated was designed by using stick
printing and block printing.

When the attainment reached with sticks and print blocks is sufficient
to call for larger and more varied design, it is time for the craft to
broaden and include stenciling.

Stenciling is the most exacting master of simplicity. It teaches one
how to sweep away all that is trivial and unnecessary in design. It
shows the value of broad, flat tones combined with accurate drawing,
and proves conclusively the vital importance of good composition.

The stenciling process has been described so many times that
directions for the work are not needed. An elementary lesson in
all-over dyeing can very appropriately be given in connection with
advanced block printing or stenciling. This might well be the waxing
over of the printed or stenciled pattern, followed by a dipping for
the ground color.


The example of stenciling illustrated is a table cover. The material
is natural colored linen. The colors were liquid dyes blown on with an
atomizer. The bodies, heads and legs of the cranes are orange; the
wings and tails blue. The flowers and spots are purple, the leaves and
stems blue.

Spraying liquid dye with an atomizer permits not only of the usual
direct coloring of the design areas, but also of resist stenciling, in
which a light design is produced on a dark background. A small dark
design on a large light background is stringy and thin. The light
seems to eat into the edge of the design and minimize its importance.
On the other hand, a small light design on a large dark background is
magnified in importance. While for proper control in either case we
must adjust the space relations of the design and background areas,
yet it is equally important that one be able to adjust the color
relations of the design and background areas.

The process for "resist" stenciling is as follows: The stencil is laid
upon the surface to be decorated, and the open pattern is carefully
covered with a thin layer of library paste or paste made from flour
and salt water. Flour added to a solution of salt in water is the best
preparation we have found. A palette knife, or a case knife may be
used to spread this paste. The stencil is at once lifted and the color
desired for the background is sprayed in a flat tone over the entire
surface. The paste acts as a resist, preventing the penetration of the
color. The entire surface is immediately wet with cold water and the
resist washed off. The stencil is carefully and thoroughly cleaned in
the same way and then pressed and dried.

  [Illustration: STENCIL DESIGNS {p. 133}]

This is especially suitable for book covers and end paper designs, or
mats, where the pattern does not partake of the nature of a repeat, as
it is better to remove the resist while wet.

It is interesting to stencil the open pattern in one or more colors,
then apply the resist and give another color to the background.

Most interesting stenciling has been done with two or more stencils.
To make these, a stencil should be cut for each color. Use the
original design sheet for one color. Transfer other color areas to new
sheets. Make all sheets, including the tracing paper, the same size.
Before tracing lay sheets and tracing paper together and punch
coinciding holes in the upper corners. Keep these holes coincident
during the process of tracing. By means of these holes the respective
stencils are easily applied so that the color scheme is accurately

It must not be overlooked by those who are stenciling that only part
of the color applied becomes incorporated into the fiber of the goods.
The other part is outside the fiber, adherent to the goods. This
adherent color should be removed. It corresponds to the excess color
in dyeing, which we take pains to remove by rinsing. The very purpose
of the steaming, or other "setting" process, is to incorporate the dye
into the fiber. This is never perfectly accomplished. There is always
some excess adherent color to be removed.

  [Illustration: OLD JAPANESE STENCILS {p. 135}]

How often we meet the following experience: A craft worker in
decorating a fabric applies color until the eye is pleased, takes
little or no pains to incorporate the color into the fiber, and
ignores altogether the fact that some of the color is only adherent.
Later this adherent color comes off (not out) in the wash. There is
then disappointment and complaint against methods, colors, etc., when
the real fault is one of workmanship. Adherent color is never

The Japanese have been the masters of the art of stenciling. The
technique and beauty of their designs have not been equalled by any
other craftsmen. For centuries these people have been making imprints
on fabrics.

The old stencils are more simple and the paper of better quality.
These old stencils are always darkened by time.

The stencils shown in the illustration were collected by Ernest
Fenollosa, an authority on Japanese art.

Little has been written about these stencils but many museums and
school art departments have collections.

In cutting stencils the Japanese use a number of tools. Some of these
tools are of the nature of punches, being the shape of the cut out
place. There is no drawing on the stencil paper, the workman looks at
the design and cuts the pattern free hand. The paper, before cutting,
is treated with oil and a kind of lacquer.

The old stencils were strengthened by a net work of human hair placed
between two stencils cut at the same time. These stencils were then
pasted together with rice paste. This net work of hair serves as ties
in the stencil and permits a larger freedom of design than is
otherwise possible.

The Japanese use two methods for stenciling, the direct coloring
method, in which the dye is brushed on the material through the
stencil, and the resist method, in which a paste is rubbed through the
stencil on the white goods and the fabric dyed in an all-over bath.
The color is set by steaming and the paste washed out. This leaves a
white pattern on a colored background.

  [Illustration: {STENCIL DESIGN} {p. 137}]


    Acid colors                                      46

    All-over dyeing                               35-42

    Basic colors                                     46

    Block printing                              126-130

    Characteristics of batiks                     14-22

    Colors, mixing of                             49-53

    Costumes, decoration of                       79-85

    Crackle                                          14

    Designs, old batik                            23-34

    Direct colors                                 45-46

    Direct coloring, method of                    43-44

    Discharge process                             43-44

    Dye-baths, preparation of                     37-39

    Dyeing over old color                     36, 52-53

    Dyeing, shaded                                   41

    Dyes                                          45-49

    Dyes, setting of                                 44

    End papers                                       77

    Fabrics, drying of                            41-42

    Fabrics, dyeing of                            35-53

    Fabrics, preparation of                       35-37

    Frame, batik                              55, 57-58

    Graying of colors                             47-50

    High school, batiks in                        65-74

    History of batiks                             11-22

    Holland, batiks in                           12, 21

    Interiors, decoration of                      86-96

    Japan, batiks in                                 21

    Japan, stenciling in                        136-137

    Java, batiks in                               11-20

    Javanese costumes                             16-18

    Jewelry, costume                              77-79

    Linings                                          82

    Pattern dyeing                                42-45

    Petroplast ornaments                      77-79, 81

    Plays and pageants                           97-108

    Principles of dyeing                          35-53

    Resist processes                       43-45, 54-74

    Sarongs                                      13, 16

    Sizing                                           36

    Stages, miniature                            98-106

    Stencil dyeing                              130-137

    Stenciling, Japanese                        136-137

    Stenciling, resist                     132-134, 137

    Stick printing                              123-127

    Stick tying                             45, 116-122

    Sulphur colors                                   46

    Theater, The Little, Dyeing for              97-108

    Tie-dyed work                               109-122

    Tjanting                                     18, 60

    Tjap                                          18-20

    Vat dyes                                         46

    Vegetable colors                              48-49

    Wax, batik                                14, 58-60

    Wax resist processes                          54-74

    Wood, decoration of                           54-56

Transcriber's Note

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

Inconsistent hyphenation is preserved as printed.

Assuming typographic errors, the following amendments have been made:

    Page 12--fibre amended to fiber--... women and girls seated upon
    fiber mats ...

    Page 44--practised amended to practiced--... is the commonly
    practiced method ...

    Page 79--insized amended to incised--... and the bird, flowers
    and pedestals were incised ...

    Page 100--or amended to of--... between the community of little
    theater and craft workers.

    Page 102--give amended to given--The Waldcraft Studios have
    generously given time, ...

    Page 139--Theatre amended to Theater--Theater, The Little,
    Dyeing for ...

Illustrations have been moved where necessary so that they are not in
the middle of a paragraph.

Page number references and illustration captions in {braces} have been
added by the transcriber for the convenience of the reader.

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