Yes, you can! Pssst, no sewing involved!
Here's this gorgeous white top which, unfortunately, became extremely blotchy with yellow patches. I really don't know how to get rid of them - I tried vinegar, baking soda, and even bleach. When Cherlyn told me about her batik workshop, I thought it would be a good idea to some batik.
You will need a double boiler, batik wax, batik dye, a canting (see middle image below) and a paint brush. I got all my supplies from Art Friend!
Draw Design, Melt Wax
First I drew a design on my top using a pencil. While I was doing this I melted the wax in a double boiler.
Draw Wax onto Design
Very carefully I transferred the wax into the canting using a spoon, but eventually I decided that it was too slow and submerged the whole canting into the hot wax (be careful, it's really hot!).
I had to be very quick with my drawing - too slow and the wax would cool down and harden; too fast and there wouldn't be enough wax to penetrate the fabric.
Time to Paint!
Once the wax had cooled down, I started painting. After air drying for 24 hours, I added more colour before removing the wax pieces by hand. Any remnants were removed by sandwiching the garment between paper and running a hot iron over it.
What NOT to do
- Melting or handling the wax with utensils and pans that are used for cooking. Removing wax is NOT easy! [Note: I suddenly thought of the Sichuan hot pot scandal in China where they added paraffin wax to the hotpot soup!!]
- Leaving your work space unprotected - wax alert!!
- Letting your wax boil - wax is flammable and will burst into flames.
- Forgetting to put a protective layer between the front and back panel of the garment (unless that's the effect you want!)
You might end up with something that looks entirely different from what you had in mind, but that's the beauty of batik. It is a very fluid technique - I really love how the paint moves and interacts with the fibers. Here's my final piece - now I have a new outfit!
If you would love to try out batik, do come and join us. Drop us an email!
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