The Way of the Rozome

Rozome (pronounced row-zoh-may) is an ancient wax-resist technique of applying molten wax to a fabric to block out areas that would resist dyes. Rozome has a documented history that dates back 2500 years. In 1875, wax-resist cloths dating back to the seventh century BCE (Before Common Era) were discovered in burial mounds on the north coast of the Black Sea

Wax-resist dyeing was seen in Japan in the seventh century CE (Common Era). The technique migrated across Asia through China to Japan where the process became known as, rozome. About the same time, the technique moved southward to India and Indonesia where it became known as, batik.

In ancient Japan, rozome was used to design intricate patterns of brilliant colors for kimonos. The cloth for a kimono was created in a kobo, a workshop where up to fifteen artisans were assigned to a specific task by the master kimono designer. Occasionally, the kobo creations of several artisans made way to individual artistic expression and used as a technique for two-dimensional art.

Today, American artists have adopted rozome as a method of expressing their art using textiles, dyes and wax to create three dimensional renderings, paintings and smaller media such as artistic cards for greeting cards. Rozome has become a popular technique for contemporary fiber artists of all ages and types. These days, artists have traded the old method of removing the wax through dry cleaning which uses dangerous chemicals for the more environmentally safer, soy wax. It is using traditional rozome with a contemporary twist.

Source by Billings Farnsworth

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