You will need
o Dressmaker’s carbon & tracing wheel
o Batik wax
o Double boiler & wax thermometer
o Batik frame or canvas stretcher
o Push pins
o Fabric dyes & basin
o Small, stiff-bristle paintbrush
o Dull knife
o Iron & ironing board
Before you begin
• All batik begins with planning a pattern. Whether the design is a random application of colors or a specific motif, the layers of color must be thought out ahead of time. Plan design and coordinate color scheme on paper. Use crayons or colored markers to color paper pattern; use for reference.
• Cotton is an ideal fabric for batik since it dyes well. Smooth silk is another choice; avoid raw or textured silk with irregular weaves. Avoid synthetic fabrics.
• For dyes to remain true, use white fabric. When using pastel or gray fabric, the color of the dye will be affected. Make a test strip and dye each successive color over the preceding color.
• When planning colors, also plan the dyeing sequence. Start with lightest colors and work up to the darkest. Remember how colors combine. For example, fabric dyed yellow and then blue will turn a shade of green. Also consider the color of your fabric. Anything other than white or cream fabrics will affect the dye color. Once fabric is dry, paint with wax any areas meant to remain the color of the first dye.
• Use a photocopier to enlarge template (below) of sunflower to desired size. Transfer design to fabric with dressmaker’s carbon and tracing wheel, or use an air-soluble fabric marking pen. The color of carbon paper should contrast with fabric but remain visible after dyeing.
• To make a simple pillow from fabric, cut same size of fabric for back. With right sides facing, sew front to back, leaving an opening. Trim corners and turn right side out. Insert pillow form in opening, slipstitch opening closed.
• To add ruffle, stitch gathered trim to right side of batik piece before sewing it to back piece.
Although the batik craft does not require special tools, some tools will simplify the process.
• A tjanting resembles a drawing pen with a reservoir that holds wax and distributes it in long flowing lines or intricate designs.
• A batik wax pot keeps the wax temperature just right (270°). But, a double boiler and wax thermometer can be substituted.
STEP 1: Transfer design. Transfer design to ironed and prewashed fabric. Use push pins to position fabric on batik frame or canvas stretcher, or lay it over wax paper. Heat wax to watery consistency. Paint wax on outline of pattern. (Photo 1).
STEP 2: Add fabric to dye. Once wax is hard and dry, crumple fabric to create “veining” look. Submerge cloth in yellow dye bath for about 30 minutes or until desired color. Stir to help dye penetrate fabric evenly. Rinse in cool water. (Photo 2).
STEP 3: Paint wax. Once fabric has dried, paint wax onto all areas that will remain yellow. Submerge fabric in green dye bath. Wax all areas that will remain light green, such as outer leaves and center; dip cloth in green dye a second time. Rinse. (Photo 3).
STEP 4: Remove wax. Once cloth has dried, scrape off wax with dull knife or paint scraper. Iron off any remaining wax by placing batik between several layers of newsprint or other absorbent paper and press over papers. Continue pressing until all wax is removed.