A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “Alta Batik,” 20 May 1969

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20 May 1969


 GUIDEPOST cover, 20 May 1969


“Batik” is a complicated design-dyeing process that has been on the Fashion scene for over 2,000 years. The “número uno” rage in Paris and Rome for several seasons, the technique only just reached Madrid, and has caught on so quickly that Inez Lezama Ovejero, (who started it ”as a hobby” in her General Pardiñas flat) cannot cope with the overflowing orders from top national boutiques.

Sri Lankan Batik

The attractive “mother of four” housewife hails from an Argentine family of couturiers and ran her own fashion salon in Buenos Aires. But when she relocated to Spain, she found the custom tailoring market entirely too competitive, and switched to “papier maché”. When the popularity of the handicraft dwindled, Inez decided to have a go at the “Batik” business, and attributes her immediate commercial success (in but 6 months) to a tip that High Fashion designer Marbel Jr. offered. At that point she had only thought of Batik’ing fabric but thanks to the suggestion expanded to cotton, silk and ban-lon Cruisewear like long “Coastal” gowns, mini-cossacks, T-shirts and trouser sets and gift items from scarves to wall scrolls.

Batik shop, Malaysia

Undying patience is the keynote for the preparation of each ensemble, and some take up to a day. Clothes are expertly cut from original French patterns in plain white material. The fun begins when “one-of-a-kind” floral or abstract motifs are pencil-sketched on the stitched styles. Markings are then sewn with a cord, using a separate one for each color. This is pulled, tied, and the creation, (resembling a strange-looking bundle at this point) is dropped into the boiling dyes. The witches’ brew must be hand-stirred for several hours.

Breathtaking colors

Breathtaking colors blend yellow/orange, pink/red, yellow/chartreuse, red/black, beige/toast, and toast/black on white backgrounds. Drop over to boutiques like Fancy, Odile, Danae and Donlebun, where you can purchase the “Agnes” collection.




Images (generic)
Featured image/eGuide Travel, CC BY2.0 via Flickr. Cropped. Partial face blot-out supplied.
Sri Lankan batik/Amila Tennakoon, CC BY2. via Flickr
Batik shop/Nazir Amin, CC BY-SA2.0 via Flickr, cropped
Batik breathtaking colors/Travelling Imageman, CC BY-SA2.0 via Flickr