1. What is batik?
2. How did Skye Batiks start?
3. Where is it made?
4. Who designs it all?
5. What is your customer service policy?
6. How do you market yourself?
7. What other goodies do you make?
8. Who did your web site?
In a nutshell, batik is a wax resistant dyeing method, you remember? Our designs are traced onto white cotton using carbon paper and then the design is waxed, using tjantings (batik tools). The waxes we use in the process are all paraffin waxes.
Is it all coming back yet?
Wax is applied to the areas of the design that we want to keep white. Once the wax is dry the piece is dipped into a dye bath, usually the lightest colour first, and then left to dry. Then another layer of wax is applied. This time we cover our original dye with the wax, to protect it from the next dye which is also the next darkest colour. Once all dyeing is complete, the wax is removed by boiling the piece.
See? You knew all along!
Here is a link to a short film of our batik workshops showing how it is done……
Skye Batiks was started in 1987 by Therssy and Gavin Major in Armadale on the Sleat Peninsula, Skye.
For the first two years all the batiks were made on the premises in a purpose built workshop. Almost at once it was difficult to keep up with demand, partly because the drying time on Skye can be measured in months and partly because some batiks take up to three days each to make.
Changes had to happen in order to survive and grow.
In 1990 the workshop was moved from Armadale, down the road seven thousand miles, to Therssy’s back garden in Sri Lanka. New facilities were built and have continued to expand as the demand on Skye for our unique style has grown. We have been producing our goods this way now for twenty years and in this day and age of ethically sourced goods we can proudly say that we have been providing employment for some less fortunate folk in a small fishing village in Sri Lanka all this time. We do not have conditions dictated to us by an umbrella organisation, rather we operate the way we do because we believe it is right and fair.
Click on the link below to watch a brief video of our workshop in Sri Lanka.
At the same time as the batik workshop moved, we began searching for exclusive fabrics. In 1990 we found them and began making our now famous & colorful handloomed cotton fisherman’s smocks. Four sewers are employed on Skye designing and making these wonderful garments.
Many of the designs we use in our celtic pieces have been taken from The Books of Kells and Lindisfarne, various standing stones and other ancient artifacts.
Each design has a certain cultural significance and a story to tell.
Certain products and designs have been suggested by customers and are now core items in the Skye Batiks range.
We enjoy talking to our customers and as a result of comments and suggestions in the shop, we are constantly looking for ways to improve what we do and give you what you want.
We recognise that revenue and potential goodwill doesn’t come into the shop through a secret chute out the back.
All visitors are potential customers and new found friends.
In the end it is the experience people have at Skye Batiks that is the most important thing to us.
We have outlined our terms and conditions as a separate link on our home page.
Quite often new customers come to us because they’ve seen a garment on a stranger in a supermarket, for example, and struck up a conversation. So be prepared to be approached by strangers when wearing Skye Batiks. We have our own Facebook page on which we all have a lot of fun chatting with our customers and friends. There’s a Facebook gizmo on our home page so you can join in.
We run a monthly photo competition, where we encourage customers to send us a photo including something from Skye Batiks; the best photo each month wins a small prize.
You can also find us and other brilliant island attractions at isleofskye.com and by clicking on the logo below
If you are already familiar with us you will know that we produce much more than what you can see on this web site. You might like to see more. If so then give us a call and tell us what it is that you are interested in and if possible give a brief description of size, colour and/or pattern.
We will happily take photos of what’s in stock based on this information and email pictures of them to you. From these photos you can easily choose something.
We can take card payments over the phone, you can use paypal or even send us a cheque (while we still are allowed to).
Our new website was built on the Isle of Skye by Pelican Design Consultants.
You can contact us here at the shop and will be happy to give you any of their contact details.