I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Years ago I experimented with traditional batik methods but was never fully satisfied with the process, or the results.I didn’t enjoy ironing and re-ironing the wax soaked fabrics using reams and reams of newsprint. We used the resulting papers as fire starters for the family woodstove, but still it was a labor intensive procedure for results I was never completely happy with. Even after boiling or steaming the fabric, there always seemed to be a wax residue that kept my fabric from having a soft, flowing hand.

So, when surface designers started using soy wax for fabric batik, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. The process for removing the wax is still very much the same, but I have found the process much quicker and the results much more pleasing.

I have been experimenting with using soy wax as a resist with fabric paints and dyes. I have used very gentle ways of removing the resist and I have also tried very abrasive methods. If I want my colors to be bold I use more aggressive techniques to take the wax out. I use a strong hand and usually a scrubbing tool to first remove the layer of paint and then to assist in removing the layer of wax. Sometimes the results include some blurry edges that become incorporated as part of the design. If I want a clear solid edge, I am more frugal when I add the layer of paint and then it is easier to remove.

Soy batik with Seta Fabric Paints executed on solid black fabric
The flow of wax from a tjanting tool is somewhat similar to the flow of paint from a fully loaded brush. Achieving interesting shapes and lines is relaxing for me. It is a meditative action as my hands immediately kick into signwriter mode, my mind calms and my breathing slows.


  1. I also did this in larger yardage and have plans to expand the design now that I have some free time. Yippee!!