Batik* for beginners

I was pretty excited last Wednesday; we were going to play with wax, hot wax how much more fun can you have on an evening? Arriving fashionably late again, this time work related, I slipped in just as the demo was starting. One pot of hot wax, a funny looking pipe type contraption (which I later found out is called ‘Tjantings’, a traditional batik tool you use to draw lines of wax onto your material) and a gaggle of  ladies gathered around the table and we were off.

Basically, you use your pipe in the same way you use gutta by drawing your design onto your fabric. Unlike a tube of gutta it is very difficult to control and has a nasty habit of spitting out spots of wax onto your fabric.

It does look a pipe

Once you have drawn your design (TT: keep it simple) leave it for about 30 seconds, remove from your embroidery hoop and scrunch it up in your hands; you have no idea how good the scrunching of tepid wax feels. Allow the wax to dry (if you are feeling impatient you can use a COOL setting on the hair dryer) and then just paint.  Again, dry and repeat the process; wax, scrunch, paint, dry. And now the fun part, or so I was told, the removal of the wax.  One warm iron, absorbent paper towels and newsprint and on bother sides of your fabric and you’re away.

The moment of truth… 

A bit cosmic

I was not impressed with my efforts. I think it’s a lack of control thing, the fact that you don’t know what you are going to end up with until after the ironing.

Still not impressed with my efforts!
We are continuing with this technique next week, making a wall hanging or cushion cover with a heavier fabric.  Although I am not really looking forward to this, I’m remaining opened minded and think lessons learned for my next class include; use bold patterns, kep it simple, ue bright, contrasting colours, don’t be precious and most of all just enjoy it! I’ll let you know whether I become a batik convert.

 *Please note this is batik within a time frame.  Proper batik involves submerging the waxed up fabric in dye not just using silk paints, just incase any batik purists are reading this 🙂


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