The last step lorod, or removing the wax requires successive dips in a large cauldron of boiling water with the addition of cassava flour. This was done over a wood fire by two women who are the experts in the village at this task. They had never removed the wax from a cloth this big. They work in synch in an amazing way, balancing the heavy cloth on bamboo sticks, lifting it in and out of the boiling water as the wax drips off the cloth. It’s hot and heavy work in the tropical heat and the heavy cotton required many repeats of dipping in the boiling pot alternating with cold washes. But there work was crucial to the finished cloth. Bu Surati and Bu Simpun shared their knowledge gained over years of removing wax. It was especially interesting to learn that certain colors on the cloth inhibit the release of the wax more than others.
After the wax removal, the whites of the free form areas were not pure white but showed indigo splotches where the indigo dye penetrated the original single application of wax on one side only. Consequently I finished off the cloth with one more immersion of a diluted indigo bath to color the white areas a lighter shade of indigo and even out and disguise the splotchiness.
The finished product:
The roots of a family tree begin with the love between two hearts.