ARTS(IB)301 Intermediate Batik, Kathy Knippel, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS(IB)301 Intermediate Batik, Kathy Knippel, Fall 2019


There is a studio fee of 120 Euro to cover all inks, dyes, wax, and most of the fabrics.  Also tape, paper for wax removal, sketching, some sewing supplies, course related photocopies, dry cleaning of the batiks, wear on the equipment.  

Materials to Purchase

Students will purchase personal drawing supplies. Extra amounts of fabrics if the fabrics are different from the normal type, more expensive, or excessive amounts over normal consumption. Items for embellishment, beads, gold threads, some embroidery threads.

Portfolio (cartella) of 50 X 75 cm to place designs.
Small sketch book for ideas and planning.

Course Description

Textile Dyeing / Batik II is a continuation in development of textile dyeing and painting techniques, designing skills, concepts and craftsmanship.  Projects involve more complex ideas and hand skills.   At this level development of a theme, direction or style is encouraged.  Challenges in projects of a more complex nature; more colors, more layers, larger scale, other dyeing techniques not explored in the previous semester are some of the many possibilities. If the intermediate student has not covered some of the techniques in their previous beginning course that I normally offer in the beginning level, their first project should cover this technique. In this course extra embellishing techniques will be introduced to further elaborate on the dyed project, such as sewing, quilting, embroidery. Techniques not included in the beginning level can also be explored, such as natural dyeing with plants, solar dyeing with plants, other fibers beside the silk used first semester, cotton, linen, wool yarn or unspun wool fibers to use for possible felting project.
It is necessary to interview the prospective student to know exactly of their experience in the previous course.  It would be very helpful to see examples of the work done in the previous course. This can be done by seeing their previous works on their laptop or photos on their cell phone. This review of their work will help in deciding which direction to go with the continuing work in Textile Dyeing / Batik.

Also because every studio has slightly different equipment and even differences in the inks and emulsion type, the student will need to do a small introductory project to get used to the supplies and equipment in this studio.  After that they can move on more quickly with their work. They should present the instructor with a theme or proposal of the work that they would like to accomplish in the session.

The student should be able to complete approximately three or four projects during the semester, on their theme, depending on complexity of the projects. The calendar will mainly follow the rest of the class, but with more developed projects and concepts.


Project 1:  Project using techniques that student may have missed in first course or to refine the dyeing or silk painting process with more complex techniques and ideas.

Project 2: This textile project, after the dyeing process, will be further embellished with some sewing technique that can include; quilting, embroidery, beading, and various sewing processes from fashion items and accessories to fiber sculpture manipulations.

Project 3: The third project will be a free choice from many of the techniques available, but of a complex nature. Example natural plant dyes could be done for this project.

Project 4: Depending on the complexity and time involvement of the other projects, a fourth project in an unexplored process, such as felting. 


20% of your grade will be based on cumulative work with final presentation.  Work will be evaluated on general progress, enthusiasm, involvement, and responsibility in cleanup of studio space and tools.

60% of the grade will be based on the projects artistic qualities.

20% of the grade will be based on attendance.
Attendance follows SACI regulations. 

Graduate Students
​Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to complete additional assignments and to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are graded accordingly and, if they successfully complete all course requirements for graduate students, receive graduate-level credit for the course.


WEEK 1, SEPT. 10 - 11
Introduction to class / go over course description /  tour of studio and equipment /  go over examples with explanations / start working on drawing for first project / silk painting technique, with wax resist.                  

WEEK 2, SEPT. 17 - 19
Continue designing for first project, silk painting. drawing design on paper / transfer of design to silk scarf.
Demonstration of how to set up for waxing / with practice using waxing tools on practice fabric, when comfortable with waxing tool work can start on actual project. 
WEEK 3, SEPT.  24 - 26
Continue work on first project. Second class, demonstration on painting the dyes on the wax outlined silk. Practice or testing on practice fabric first/ then on project. Drying and layering of colors.

WEEK 4, OCT 1 - 3
Continue with first project, finishing with iron out of wax demonstration. Pieces then are dry cleaned.

WEEK 5, OCT.  8 - 10
Class critique on first silk painting project. Possible quilting or embroidery embellishments on first project Introduction and explanation to second dip dyeing project in 3 to 4 related colors to be on long silk scarf. Explanations about color layering. designing and thinking in negative.    
WEEK 6, OCT.  15 - 17
Designing and planning of the dyeing project transferring from the paper to the silk and stretching on frame.
This project will use the waxing tool for details and brushes with heating pot for larger areas.

WEEK 7, OCT.  22 - 24
Working on second project. Teacher assistance with dyeing of the scarf in the dye baths.  Dye baths are prepared by the teacher, but explanations about different types of dyes and how they work will be given.  

WEEK 8, OCT.  26 - NOV. 3

WEEK 9, NOV 5 - 7 
Work on and finishing of second project, class critique.  Introduction to third batik project with contrasting colors, and explanations of the necessary steps to achieve the complex color scheme. Project can be done on large silk scarf or simple clothing item that student will sew if they have the necessary sewing skill.

WEEK 10, NOV.  12 - 14
Work on the third batik project.  There is always a lot of drying time, so some small projects in the Shibori dyeing techniques will be introduced, one per week / pole wrapping / stitched shibori / folding, clamping, pleating. 

WEEK 11, NOV. 19 - 21
Working on the third batik project and the shibori techniques. A lecture about natural plant dyes, and some small experiments with plant dyes and teas using shibori techniques.

WEEK 12, NOV. 26 - 28
Working on third project and the smaller exercises, also natural plant dyes.

WEEK  13, DEC. 3 - 5
Working on third project and the smaller exercises, also natural plant dyes.

WEEK  14, DEC. 10 - 12
Working on projects. FINISHING all projects. 

WEEK 15, DEC. 17- 19
Student art exhibit in the studio—date to be decided.  Final class group critiques.

Field Trips

(Dates to be determined)

  • Visit to Palazzo Vecchio to see the Tapestry exhibits.  During class time.
  • Visit to the Villa Bardini with the wonderful gardens. During class time.
  • Visit to the Ferragamo Museum.  During class time.
  • Visit to the Prato Textile Museum (will have to be on a Saturday).

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