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Batik at Zhoucheng
Zhoucheng is an ancient village on the northern side of Dali in Yunnan province of China. It is one of the most prosperous village which still maintains its heritage of old town look and promote itself as a tourist spot for visitors’ interests.
Women of all ages in Zhoucheng village are highly skilled at batik and make this tie-dye art as their life’s work, bringing the color of prosperity into their family.
This kind of art skill can be traced back to Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD).
The main dye of the batik at Zhoucheng is indigo which comes from a plant named satis root. Indigo is specific to the region, both in tie-dye form and wax printing, and is used for the basic cloth throughout China to give dark blue hues on white. Bai minority people dye the cloth after the design is traced on it and the knots tied accordingly. The tie-dye and wax printing done by Chinese women is easily identifiable and unique because of its special indigo and white patterns. Local people make a paste from the harvested indigo plants that have been soaked in a wooden barrel to get the distinctive blue color.
The traditional designs are geometry based while the raw material for batik is almost always pure cottons. More and more figurative designs of flowers, birds and fish, have been introduced by the workers over the years. Batik cloth is generally made into garments such as scarves, shirts, skirts, blouses, bags, bedspreads, curtains and decorative items.