Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum-The Fengxiang Batik Technique

Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum

The Fengxiang Batik Technique

by Live in Guizhou

Image Source: Eyesnews

The Fengxiang batik technique is a traditional local skill from Huishui and Majiang counties in Guizhou Province and is one of China’s national intangible cultural heritages. The production process of Fengxiang batik is complex, typically involving steps such as pattern drawing, color application, dye vat immersion, high-temperature degreasing, rinsing, and sun-drying, ultimately resulting in the finished Fengxiang batik products.

The essential ingredient for Fengxiang batik is maple oil, secreted by the red wood of maple trees, which turn red in autumn. The method of extracting maple oil is similar to tapping rubber: incisions are made in the maple tree with a knife or axe, and the flowing maple oil is collected in a container. Then, it’s boiled with water, filtered through a fibrous brown skin to remove debris, and the maple oil that floats to the surface is collected and cooled to solidify.

Blue and white are the soul elements of traditional Fengxiang batik. The simple combination of indigo dye and maple oil, whether with a blue background and white flowers or a white background with blue flowers, along with the naturally occurring ice crack effect, gives Fengxiang batik a charm akin to blue-and-white porcelain. The shades are naturally formed, exuding an elegant fusion of humanity and nature.

Fengxiang batik is one of the two main handicraft skills of the Yao people, with a complex and meticulous process. The patterns are exaggerated and exquisite, reflecting the Yao people’s wisdom, rich imagination, creativity, and aesthetic awareness. Fengxiang batik products are mainly used for clothing, straps, quilt covers, etc., displaying solemnity and simplicity, elegance, and reflecting the Yao people’s dignified, elegant, and understated traditional character.