Wax resist, batik, no repeat. Circle pattern cotton velvet with non-repetitive structure of large circles on grid of small dots. Red circles on dk red. Background. Garnet

%C2%A9 Jack Lenor Larsen%2C Inc. %2F Water Lilies%2C Larsen Design Studio

Water Lilies, 1964-1982

Cotton; dyedexpand_more

Gift of Cowtan & Tout, Inc.expand_more  99.1.898.3

Not on Viewexpand_more

Sometimes the possibilities of a particular technique inspired design ideas. The subtle spontaneity that batik wax-resist processes offered had intrigued the Larsen team but posed a challenge to consistent production. In the mid-1960s, the company purchased equipment originally used to create sarongs that Dorothy Lamour wore in her movie roles. Win Anderson, head of the design studio at the time, modified the machine so it accepted yard-long design repeats and accommodated 54-inch-wide velvet.

The resist-dye process involves printing cloth with a wax pattern that acts as a resist when the fabric is put into a dye bath. For a two-color pattern, the wax is applied and cracked, then the fabric dyed. Then the wax is removed and the fabric dyed again. Total dye saturation enables designers to achieve nuances not possible with printed patterns. Larsen varied the process for Linen Relief using linen velvet and natural indigo dye, and had that fabric hand block printed in Switzerland with a resin resist, then finished in Holland.

Details
Title
Water Lilies
Artist Life
New York, est. 1952
Role
Designer
Accession Number
99.1.898.3
Curator Approved

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Wax resist, batik, no repeat. Circle pattern cotton velvet with non-repetitive structure of large circles on grid of small dots. Red circles on dk red. Background. Garnet

© Jack Lenor Larsen, Inc. / Water Lilies, Larsen Design Studio