The BGroupÔ Collection
of Zimbabwean Batiks & Custom Bedding

The batiks, bedding, pillow covers and place-mats are hand-crafted in Zimbabwe, a country in the southern region of the African continent just north of South Africa.

Click Photo to Enlarge - Collection Available Online June 30th
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Before a piece can be created, natural dye baths, paints and sudza (a hot porridge like starch made from corn meal and used as a substitute for wax) are prepared. These are the tools of the artisan.

To transform the cotton canvas into a work of art, a sketch of the image to be created is drawn onto the canvas in pencil or sudza. The artisan then visualizes the mood, feelings and colors they what to present as they plan where each color will be applied.

The first color to be applied to the canvas is selected and the areas not to be dyed/painted are covered with sudza. The canvas is then soaked in the color dye bath or painted. When the color has been sufficiently absorbed, the canvas is removed and laid out to dry before scrapping off the layer of sudza.

The artisan repeats this process of selectively applying the sudza, dyeing, painting, and removing the sudza, progressing from the lightest color dye or paint to the darkest. When all of the dyeing is complete, the piece is washed, dried and ironed.

The final breath of life is infused into the canvas with hand painted accents added to the images and patterns to bring spirit to this soft textured medium of contemporary African art. These pieces can often be found hung from a wall to add texture and soften a room, or sewn into a pillow cover, place-mat or duvet cover.

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Photo ©Copyright Elliott M. Blades, 1999, 2000. All Rights Reserved
©Copyright BGroup, 1998, 1999, 2000. All Rights Reserved