Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Rainy-Day Activity Ever: Hiho Batik


First step: Choosing the type of clothing to work with. They asked if she wanted to make a t-shirt and my girly girl answered: "I'm going to make a dress."



Next step: choosing a design 

We went with a fairy. Sorry--a princess fairy.

Here's where the magic happens: I'm sitting at a light table tracing the design onto the dress using a tool that dispenses hot wax. It was actually kind of meditative. And fun!


And now we're painting! Since my grown-up hand is steadier than her four-year-old one, she would choose the colors, then I would sponge on the dye. But notice her hand placement. As she can see, she was "helping."

The finished design!

On me: Sweater, J. Crew; necklace, J. Crew (also love this one); jeans, Rag & Bone. On her: T-shirt, Gap (on sale!); skirt, Old Navy; leggings, Old Navy.
The finished product! They dyed the dress after we left and mailed it to us. (She chose the purple color, obviously.) I, and my little model (note that Blue Steel there!), love the results. (Sunglasses, Gymboree.)
I am always looking for fun things to do with the kids (and, let's be honest, always looking for cute new clothes), so when Hiho Batik invited us to come make an item of clothing in their store, I was totally excited. As was my daughter, who recently announced that she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. We couldn't get to Park Slope, Brooklyn fast enough.

Once we got there on that rainy afternoon, she got right to work looking through the racks of clothes. I had long known that Hiho Batik sells loads of cute clothing both in their store and online (for kids and adults), but what I had only recently learned was that they'll teach you to batik a one-of-a-kind item right there in the store. (Simplified definition of batik: It's the process of creating designs on cloth with hot, dye-resistant wax and then dyeing the rest of the item a single color.)

After she selected to work with a dress (of course), we headed back to the studio-half of the store and got down to business. There are a million different designs to choose from--or you can design your own. You can even bring or send in your child's artwork and they'll copy it onto a piece. (I definitely want to come back and do that in the future.) But since my daughter is just now starting to draw (and the results are basically scribbles), we opted to choose one of the pre-made designs. We went with a fairy princess (shocker) and also added her name. 

Then, we moved over to a light table, where I traced the design onto a plain white dress and then traced on top of that with a little tool filled with hot wax. The wax forms a barrier against the dye, so that it keeps the outline white during the dyeing process. (Note: Having just turned four, it turns out she was a little too young for most of the actual doing in this process--well, if we wanted to end up with a design that resembled anything remotely fairy-like...and avoid being burned with hot wax. But she loved watching and still totally felt like she was still a part of it. Even very-slightly older kids, or those with a steadier hand, would be fine.) 

Next, we moved on to the coloring phase. She chose the colors and I dabbed them onto the fabric with a sponge brush. (She kept her hand placed over mine and "helped.") And then we were done! Hiho Batik dyes the main color of your item over the next few days (you choose the color), and then it's available for pick-up around a week later. 

We truly had so much fun. Our visit took less than an hour, so she was totally into it the whole time, and it was nice to create a kid's art project that we'll actually use. (I mean, the construction paper with cotton balls and leaves glued onto it is lovely and all, but I mean...) Hiho Batik also does kid's parties--how fun would that be? And, honestly, I'm even considering going back to create a t-shirt of my own. Probably won't have a  fairy on it though.

Have you guys ever done batik? And if you were going to batik something, what type of design would you create?

Disclaimer: Hiho Batik invited us to check out the store for a complimentary batik session, but we received no compensation for the post. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Roopika Malhotra said...

This looks like so much fun! I love the way Sadie's dress turned out, and she seems to be so proud to wear it, too. What a great way to spend an afternoon with your girl. Hope they bring Hiho Batik to LA! xx

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