When exploring the world, many travelers choose to pick up a keepsake to remind them of their journey. From an Eifel Tower statue from Paris to an intricately carved wooden box from Bali, each unique item has a memory tied to it. Visitors to the stunning Caribbean island of Grenada often choose to support the local artisan economy and purchase a beautifully handcrafted item. Fashionable and functional, a favorite take-home keepsake is an item of batik clothing from Art Fabrik.
The Art Fabrik artist community is made up of 45 home workers and local contractors who make clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. Local Grenadian crafters are supported in their trade by combining batik with their specialty to produce unique and interesting products. The company also employs graduates from the School for the Deaf in Grenada as members of its production staff.
Art Fabrik creates their batik masterpieces in the same manner that has been used for hundreds of years. Combining recycled wax, paraffin, and beeswax in a double boiler, the artist melts the mixture down to a smooth, flowing viscosity. Keeping the wax at a consistent temperature throughout the process, the artist dips a brush or tjanting – a classing batik tool – repeatedly into the wax, painting it onto the fabric as they go. The wax is applied in beautiful patterns and designs that will resist color when the piece is dyed. Once satisfied with their design, the artist will dye the fabric. To create a colorful, mutli-dimensional piece, the process is repeated again and again, drawing on wax on re-dying until the desired effect is achieved. All work is done by hand, and no two pieces come out exactly the same way.
About the textiles
To keep the wax from melting during the dying process, Art Fabrik makes their stunning textiles using only natural fibers that can be dyed with cold water dyes. When the process is finished and it comes time to remove the wax from the fabric, the pieces are dipped in boiling water and then plunged into cold water repeatedly, melting the wax out. The wax floats to the surface of the water and is scooped off to reuse.
Caring for your new piece
Especially for the first few times it is washed, it is important to separate it out from your other clothes and wash it individually by hand. For the first few washes, it is not unusual to see some color come out in the water. After that point, it can be washed in hot or cold water with like colors without bleach.
Where to find Art Fabrik
Laluna Resort is proud to support the local Grenada artisan community and offer a selection of Art Fabrik products in their boutique.