Where can you find cool one-of-a-kind kids clothing, make your own duds and have a birthday party? Hiho Batik. Not your average clothing store, this unique spot is located on the north end of Park Slope’s 5th Avenue strip. Inside you’ll find products – everything from baby blankets and bags to kid’s leggings and tees – adorned (by hand) with colorful batik artwork along with the Make Your Own studio where the whole family can batik. Keep reading to discover why you should go and try batiking and to find a coupon code you can use during Spring Break week.
If you’ve never heard of or seen batik before, we can tell you it’s an ancient art style that uses wax and dyes to create an image. The medium originated in Indonesia and the word batik comes from the Javanese word “tik” which means “to dot.”
All of the clothing you see in Hiho Batik is spiced up using the batik method – go figure. The inspiration for the artists? Everyday experiences. We got a glimpse of the latest, brightly colored spring collection and it’s all about transportation from bikes to tractors. And while something in the retail front section of the store may catch your eye, the real fun is hiding in the back of the store – the Make Your Own studio where you can try your hand at batik.
Why You Should DIY
Younger kids may need a little help, but in general, 5 year olds on up should have no problem making their own batik creation. Luckily, it’s a forgiving art medium so kids of all ages should be happy with the results. And how proud will your kiddo be when he’s wearing his own design?
We also love that this is a craft you don’t have to sit back and watch your kid do. You’re not making paper bag puppets here, you’re making fashion! Chances are, you’ll have just as much fun making your own stuff (an adult-size tee for yourself, a tote, a baby onesie for a gift, a tee for your kid, etc.) as your little artist will. In fact, your kid may have to drag you out of the Make Your Own Studio!
The cost of creating your own batik item isn’t much more than buying a pre-made one. Prices for the experience plus garment range from $20 to $45.
Easy as 1-2-3
What exactly will you do in the Make Your Own studio? There are three main stages as you can see above: first you draw your design, then you trace over it with wax and finally, you paint on color. After you paint, you select a background color and then the artists at Hiho Batik will finish the process by dying the background for you, at which point the wax gets washed out. This isn’t done on the spot, but it is done right in the store and typically your project is ready for pick up in a week or less. Visiting the store from afar? They’ll send your duds to you when they’re ready.
Good to Know: You can drop-in to the art studio to make a batik item, but you may want to call and make an appointment just to be safe. We love that there isn’t a time limit, which is great for kids (and adults) who don’t like to be pressured by having to make something brilliant in a short amount of time. And the store is stroller friendly, so feel free to wheel one in.
Party People Take Note
Hiho Batik offers up their Make Your Own space for parties and events as well. Crafty fashionistas would love a batik birthday party and it’s also a super-cute idea for baby showers as everyone can make a personalized onesie for the baby-to-be. Along with the opportunity to batik and take home one item, parties include an artist/instructor, stickers and a 15% off coupon for the guest of honor to buy something in the store.
As for cost, you simply pay for each guest’s Make Your Own item. If you book Monday through Friday instead of the weekend, you’ll get a 15% discount. Parties typically happen during business hours, but after hours events may be accommodated upon request.
184 5th Avenue
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm (the last Make Your Own typically starts at 6:00 pm, but call before you go to confirm)
**Visit Hiho Batik this week during Spring Break (Monday, March 25 through Friday, March 29, 2013) and tell them Red Tricycle sent you to get 10% off retail items and the Make Your Own experience. And while the store is typically closed on Mondays, they will be open on the 25th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm with the last Make Your Own session starting at 3:00 pm.**
— Julie Seguss
Images courtesy of Hiho Batik