Apr 18, 2021, 10:42 AM
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Osku; capital of batik dyeing industry

Tabriz, April 18, IRNA - Batik dyeing industry is traditional coloring on textile fabrics especially silk and Osku a city in northwestern Iran is the capital of batik coloring in Iran.

Batik, a technique of wax-resist dyeing, is used in crafting totally handmade shawls in the northwestern Iranian city of Osku, East Azarbaijan province.

To make batik works, selected areas of a piece of cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and retain the original color. The technique originated in Indonesia.

 In this method parts of fabric are covered with a resistant material that pretends the dye to pass into the fabric and then create intended designs by specific methods. Java is a Javanese word. Java is one of the islands of Indonesia. But this form of art is rooted in China.

In Iran, this print is called “Kalagheh’i”.  The only region of Iran where Batik prints are practiced is Eastern Azarbaijan. Weaving silk fabrics have been popular in Eastern Azarbaijan from a long time ago. The exact history of Batik prints in Iran is still unknown.

But some specialists believe that since Azerbaijan is located in the path of Silk Road, this print has entered Iran from China. In regard to the date of introduction Batik prints in Iran, it can be said that a kind of Batik called “Ghadak” was common during the Safavid dynasty and women used it for clothing, carpets and tablecloths.

The researchers believe that Batik prints trace back to about five hundred years ago, no artifact older than this remains today.

In the region of Osku, Eastern Azarbaijan, there is a kind of silk fabric known as “Kalagheh’i” which is dyed using the special method of Batik.

This Fabric is manufactured only in this region and no other. These scarves are known as “Yaylikh” or “Ghizil Yaylikh” and “Kal Ghi” between the nomadic people. Yaylikh means the summer clothing and Ghizil Yaylikh means golden summer clothing.

The scarves are also known as Kalghi because, according to local stories, at the beginning motifs that looked like cow feet were printed on the fabric. In Iran to make a Batik print, first a dye-resistant hot wax or mixture of gum and wax is applied on specific points of the fabric. In Osku to make the Batik wax or Kalagheh’i oil, tar and solid wax is used.

Therefore, when the fabric is soaked in dye, it doesn’t affect the waxed parts.

In the end, the fabric is washed in hot water. Some of the colors are fixed by water stream and some by ironing. The iron is, in fact, a machine including two rollers that both irons the fabric and makes it shinier.

Dyeing silk fabrics is hard and complex, but Iranian dyers create dyes with different shades of using only natural and no chemical material.

As the most important art industry in Osku, Batik was incorporated in Iran's spiritual heritage to the national record in 2010, Batik products in Osku city, are currently exported to Germany, the United States, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

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