Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
Galeon for the East India trade
(replica of the ‚Batavia‘ from 1628).
Printed cotton from
India was very popular in Europe
The 8th Shibori Symposium held in Hong Kong prompted the idea for the theme of this issue. We have covered the event since its beginnings in the 1990s (see TF 1/93, pp. 20/21), partly because it evolved from one of the early international textile networks. Separate from our own intentions, we received an enquiry from Japanese artist Yoshiko Wada, President of the World Shibori Network, asking us to support the Hong Kong meeting by featuring it in our magazine.
A second reason for our theme was the ‘World Batik Summit’ held in Jakarta in October of last year; we felt we should not allow it to pass by without comment from us as it brought to mind UNESCO’s decision in 2009 to award Indonesian batik the title of “living cultural heritage” (see TF 4/09, p. 2).
When examining our own motivation, both past and present, we came up with a fair number of further reasons, such as Rudolf Smend’s first experience of batik in Indonesia in 1972/73, featured in our magazine in the year of his gallery’s 25th anniversary (see TF 2/98, pp. 23-25); a long-overdue visit to the Vlisco factory in Helmond, Netherlands, an exporter of industrial batik fabrics to West Africa; considerations as to whether batik and resist printing fundamentally differ in nature; and reflections on the actual beginnings of the batik boom in the days of our youth as well as the publications that served to heighten public interest in the technique at the time.
Preliminary conversations with various players in these f ields and our initial internet research made us realise that the theme touches on aspects of global cultural history that we were not even remotely able to adequately cover in a single magazine issue. This led us to the decision to devote a second issue to the theme in order to do justice to the overwhelming amount of information provided by the authors we had approached, and to follow up the ideas currently under discussion. Moreover, by that time we had learnt that Mary Restieaux, a British weaver we have known for many years, had received the coveted “Royal Designer for Industry” award in November of last year. We felt this news justified using a photo of one of her intensely colourful fabrics on the cover of this issue, despite the fact that we do not generally deal with the subject of ikat; a technique of resist dyeing yarn, it is specific to the subject of weaving rather than finishing processes used on fabrics. The historic origins of resist dyeing are largely obscure, and it appears that the technique evolved independently in a wide variety of cultures all over the world.
An interesting point for us was the route resist dyeing techniques took from Asia to Europe. Polish anthropologist Dr Maria Friend comments on it in this issue (see p. 43), and for TF 2/2012 we expect Dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood of the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, Netherlands, to provide further details.
Ikat fabric, resist-dyed warp; designed and woven by: Mary Restieaux (see page 28/29)
Top: Book on the chintz collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to be reviewed in TF 2/2012 Above: Resist-printed wallhanging detail, 1720-1750, V&A Museum