About the Unique Batic Art
The state of Gujarat has since history been the centre for international trade which involved agricultural produce and crafts, the port of Mundra being the major hub. Even Archeological Evidence speak for trade relations between the port of Mundra and that in Arab and Egypt. Because of the flourishing business, many artisans settled down here because of trading potential, one such being the Batik printers. The artisans of Batik prints made Odhna for women in various prints like Fulkiya, Champa, etc. These Odhnas were made by stitching two fabrics side by side. The Mundra family was involved in this process but with the introduction of colourful alternatives the craft faced a setback over the years. After a year or so, some people revived this art and now the batik fabric is found only in the Kutch local market with around 4-5 Batik workshops in Mundra.
The process involves removal of startch from the fabric which is then soaked in soda. The printer then block prints with wax after laying the fabric on a flat surface. After the first layer of waxing, the fabric is dyed so that the wax absorbs the base color and the rest gets the dye color. The number of times this process is repeated depends on the design. Finally, the cloth is washed with warm water which makes the wax melt. The fabric is then dried and stacked. This art has become popular worldwide and to meet the rising demand, the artisans use paraffin wax of which 75% is reused. For the dye, chemically driven reactive dyes are used as it is too difficult to use the natural ones with paraffin wax.