The days are stretching, becoming longer, shrinking and warming the nights. The dreary days of winter are finally behind us. No more ice hanging from the roof. Pack the snow shovel away, the driveway won’t need cleared for months. The wet afternoons of spring have evaporated in the shining sun. As we put on sunglasses and relish in the warmth we’ve been missing since last September, a new found appreciation swells inside. If we could, we’d hug the sun; thank it for giving us the sunny days and a reason to hit up the pool or beach. The plausibility of doing this is non-existent; we’d burst in the vacuum of outer space and fricassee ourselves on the sun’s surface. But there’s a way to share in the warmth and brightness of the sun: Hawaiian shirts.
I mentioned Hawaiian shirts, and you’re thinking, “Dude, I’m not going to a luau.” Maybe you’re not, and perhaps you should reexamine your life. After thorough introspection, if you still feel that there are no luaus on the horizon, don’t dismiss the fashionable quality of Hawaiian shirts. Their bright, tropical designs are an affirmation of the summer sunshine, and are tantamount to fun. I’m not talking about the Hawaiian shirts you’ll find at Target, they lack the dignity that a true tropical shirt aspires to. Authentic island shirts are designed through a process known as Batik.
Batik Designed Hawaiian Shirts
Batik is the ancient art of hand painting fabrics. While its exact origins are unknown, the earliest surviving artifacts of this craft date back 1500 years to Egypt and the Middle East. While batik’s roots can be traced back to the Middle Eastern region of the world; the islands of Indonesia have perfected this delicate art. Batik is a rigorous process that requires patience and a steady hand. Cotton, silk or rayon with a high thread count is used because they absorb the wax best during the dying process. A white cloth is placed on the table, and a stencil is used to create the design. Once the design is drawn, wax is applied to the stenciled design.
The cloth is then placed in a dye bath. The waxed designs stay white. A second application of wax, this time darker, is applied to add color to the design. The cloth is dyed again. The waxed designs are then heated and scraped, removing all the wax but leaving the designs. Two new coats of wax are added for color and defined edges. A third dye bath is given. Afterwards, the wax is again removed. The batik process is complete; the original white cloth has been transformed into a beautiful crafted shirt. If properly cared for, a batik designed Hawaiian shirt will last for years; it’s only threat is an expanding waist line.
It’s summer time and open season for family vacation, time to sit by the pool or tan on the beach. What better what to cherish the rays than with a breathable Hawaiian shirt? Bright and bold, it tells the world you’re ready for fun but understand the importance of style. Don’t be worried about designs, with a multitude of hand painted batik styles to choose from, you’ll be ready for any situation. Flower or bamboo forest designed shirts are made for relaxing dinners and late nights. For the days lounging by the ocean, seaweed, turtle or wave designs express the weightlessness of the ocean.