website stats

Thursday, November 10, 2005


This is a cotton batik (or faux batik) tie from Banana Republic. The batik process involves covering parts of the fabric with a resist (usually wax), then dyeing the fabric. The areas covered by the wax remain the original color ni the midst of the dye color. Often the whole fabric is coated with wax, balled up, then dyed, leaving crinkle-like streaks of the dye color throughout the piece. Indonesian batik can be very complex, with the wax applied in thousands of tiny dots with an instrument called a "canting." The thin white lines on this tie are actually series of dots (click picture for enlargement). I don't know if this fabric actually came from Indonesia, as the color scheme is more American Boardroom than traditional batik. But if not, the allusion is there, strengthened by traditional curving flower and frond patterns.

Does Banana Republic even sell ties like this any more? Remember when it was mainly a travel-themed clothing catalog business, before The Gap bought it? Do they sell anything other than rebranded Gap clothing now? Remember when the Gap was primarily a Levi's retailer? And when they brought out their own brand of jeans, it was a cheaper alternative to Levi's? How times have changed!

No comments: