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Batik Printing of Eastern Azerbaijan


Batik can be considered a kind of applying patterns on fabrics especially silk. 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 Azerbaijan. Weaving silk fabrics have been popular in Eastern Azerbaijan 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 introducing 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 Azerbaijan, there is a kind of silk fabric known as “Kalagheh’i” which are 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. Dying silk fabrics is hard and complex, but Iranian dyers create dyes with different shades of using only natural and no chemical material.

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