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Chinese Batik

Chinese batik is also known as Chinese wax printing. It is one of the most famous ways to make dyed, multi-coloured clothes in China.

Although Chinese batik as a finished product first occurred during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), batik was believed to be introduced into China during the late Qin (BC 221-207) or early Han Dynasty (BC 206 CD 220). In Tang Dynasty, Chinese batik has been exported into Europe as an important product.

The process of batik making is delicate: first draw some designs or contours of images of a flower, bird, fish or insect on a piece of white cloth, then use a special brass knife to scoop melted wax to fill in those designs or contours as it hardens on the cotton cloth. The cloth is immersed completely in a jar of indigo dye bath so that the unwaxed parts take on colour and the dyed cloth is boiled to melt off the wax and to leave clear patterns in white on a blue ground. Since wax is easy to crack, the dye penetrates fine cracks naturally formed in the solidified wax, leaving hair-thin blue lines on the undyed white design and enhancing the charm of the final product. Batik can be dyed with single or multiple colours, while some ethnic people adopt four or five colours to make the cloth motley and look even more gorgeous. In the ethnic areas, batik is used extensively to make clothes, art quilt covers, headscarves and belts.

Chinese batik has disappeared as society has developed. Now it becomes more and more difficult to find a wax printing in urban areas. The most well preserved batik process could be found in Zhuang and the Miao ethnic groups. The Miao and Zhuang people usually live in Guizhou, Guangxi, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces.

Chinaholidays' Guizhou Ethnic Tour offers you a opportunity to experience traditional method of wax printing and paper making and explore the best preserved methods of living with Miao and Zhuang people.