The creation of Belantara


Belantara derives from 'Hutan Belantara'. Color of the tropical jungle of Asia.

Each of the color or also known as dyes are inspired from our our mother nature.

It is so beautiful to observe how our plants, and trees has a strong relationship with fabric.

Every different fabric for example, linen, cotton or calico will give a different dye effect on the fabric.

Linen - when dye on linen, the color looks so natural

Calico- when dye on calico, it push the grunge and seasoned effect

Cotton: There's so many type of cotton. Cotton Voile, Paris Cotton, Jacquard, etc . And different material also contribute different effect.

For example, this calico tote bag were hand dyed with indigo and i decided to make an ombre/gradient effect. I applied batik wax on the fabric. After few session of indigo dye, remove the wax, and lock it.

You can see the grunge or grain effect. I love looking at it and it gives a soothing feeling by just looking at them.

And this calico-canvas texture have a strong character. I love how uneven effect. Some dark, some white and it creates denim look alike color.

Beside Indigo, i also make other dyes. I make yellow dye from Catappa Leaves( daun ketapang).

Dark brown dye from Mahagoni Tree bark

Green dye from Indigo and Catappa leaves

Grey dye from Cattapa leaves ( mordant)

Soft Peach dye from Sappan Wood

Light brown from Manggis Skin

and the list continues...

Making natural dyes requires time and patience. Every dye procees need to be consistent and

maintain the richness of dye pigment on fabric. Sometime, i pre-mordant my material with soya milk. This will help my dye pigment hold strong to the fabric. The protein from soya works like a binder between fabric and dye pigment.

I have more color palette need to explore. As mentioned by Pak Aziz Awang, natural dyer from Kota Baru Kelantan. He said to me that as a natural dyer, we never claim ourselves an expert. No one can be really expert because different people discover different color and every process, we discover new color. I love the way he see it. Maybe in another angle, i would say natural dyer can be consider as an explorer. The color explorer!

So, for my next color exploration, i managed to gather few swatches. These swatches is call

The Belantara Series- The wilderness of forest

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