How we Make
Visantine collaborates with Artisans to balance the fast paced fashion calendar with the slow process of handicrafts.
Good things take time, and we appreciate well made clothing with a story.
Ancient crafts are slowly disappearing due to cheap imitations by mass production and lack of market access for Artisans.
Through collaboration, we hope to reignite the appreciation for the individuality found in hand made goods.
Each piece is unique, with slight yet beautiful imperfections. Just like us.
We love adventures! We traveled to a faraway land to learn about Batik and hope you feel the love in our handmade textiles....
Here are some of our processes.
Dye resist patterns on cloth can be traced back 1,500 years to Egypt and the Middle East. But, none have developed to its present day art form as the highly intricate batik found on the island of Java in Indonesia. This ancient tradition was once available only to royalty and slowly trickled down to the masses. The wax is either drawn onto the fabric with the “canting” ( copper wax pen) or the “cap” (copper stamp) to create the desired pattern. Natural fibers like silk and cotton work best because of their easy absorption. Both techniques require a delicate balance from the wax temperature and pressure of the tools. Even the cap leaves beautiful imperfections on each piece from the unique touch of the maker’s hand. Our wax recipe includes beeswax, paraffin, pine resin, lard and coconut oil.
Also a dye resist technique, paraffin wax is hand painted onto the fabric, left to dry, and then crinkled or folded to create tiny cracks in the wax. The waxed fabric is then soaked in the dye, penetrating only the unique cracks leaving an organic pattern; unable to duplicate.
To create the Warm collection, we used the bark from the Tinggi tree. Tinggi, meaning "tall" in Bahasa Indonesia, is native to Indonesia and produces beautiful browns, oranges, and pinks depending on the mordant used for color setting. The bark is dried out for a few days, boiled and then drained to collect the color.
The Cool collection was created with Indigo, an ancient plant dye which was once so valuable, it was used as currency. Indigo is light fast so it doesn’t require any chemical mordant for color setting. There is synthetic Indigo, usually used for blue jeans, as well as natural. Our natural indigo gives beautiful color variations depending on the time of year, and the weather where it was grown.
Although natural dyes are better for water sources, soil, and our skin, there are sometimes heavy metals used in the color setting process. Our studio uses a charcoal and sand filter to catch these potentially toxic metals and prevents them from entering local water sources.
The textiles we use that are not batik are all sourced from vendors in San Francisco and British Columbia.
All are biodegradable fibers grown without pesticides including: organic cotton, hemp, wool and tencel. Tencel is a fiber derived from wood pulp. It grows in cultivated forest land not suitable for agriculture, so it’s not competing with food production. It also uses 10-20 less the amount of water needed to produce cotton.