Hmong batik is one of the oldest textile art forms in the world.
Over a thousand years ago, the Hmong woman started painting with hot melting wax on the fabric before putting them in indigo dye and removing the wax afterward. This wax-resist dyeing technique offers immense possibilities for artistic freedom as patterns are applied by actual drawing.
Hmong people do not have their own written language. In the centuries of solitude and illiteracy, the Hmong expressed their way of living, emotions, feelings, legends, and history through their textile art. It became a kind of visual art that can be read, and such poetic visual language blurred the traditional boundaries between literature and art.
The Ge style carries the oldest design patterns that are no longer interpretable. In the middle "checkerboard," the Tic-Tac-Toes in the middle, along with the “1+1+null” marquee styled plaids on the side, is a traditional composition that is probably inspired by ancient chess games. The chrysanthemum pattern can be dated from Tang Dynasty (AD. 780-906)
Who Made Your Product
We are proud to present to you our artisans: they are the best painters as well as wonderful, inspiring women, farmers, and humans. They deserve to have their stories told.
Yang Zhengying, 60
Self-taught “Literacy Champion”
“Master Yang” is how local people would respectfully greet her. Her multiple awards and titles are neatly hung on the wall: Inheritor of the Ge style Batik, Master of Arts and Crafts - a national accolade for craftsmanship - and other credits from the local government and batik business. She is the only one that could make her strokes so powerful, that when the wax is removed after dyeing, the opposite side would look the same as the front side.
Her "Female Literacy (Mandarin) Champion" from the 1990s, however, was her favorite. For she had never been to school but instead taught herself to read and write while making small businesses all over Guizhou.
Now that Master Yang is a content grandmother and no longer struggling to live, her time is fully dedicated to the Hmong batik heritage. If you go to her house on a nice day, you will always find her sitting quietly in her yard, concentrating on her cantings. Peace and beauty is an artwork all by itself.
Master Yang, despite her titles and life adventures, remained humble. She’s a mother figure to all: welcoming, peaceful, and strong-minded - like her works.
- Size: 40 × 174cm + tassels | approx. 15“ × 68“
- Fiber: 100% cotton
- Dyes: Indigo
- Made by: Zhengying Yang
- Due to the nature of handcrafted goods, slight variations are embraced