I’m working on a batik wall-tapestry thing for my Painting and Dyeing Fabrics class. We were allowed to choose really anything we think we could accomplish. I chose a wall-hanging in shades of blue.

For those of you who are not familiar with Batik, it is a process of layer-dyeing fabric with a “resist” that prevents the dye from getting to the fabric. For Batik the resist is a wax that is applied to the fabric with a brush or tjanting. I used a mix of paraffin and bee’s wax that’s available at Dharma Trading Company.

To start I sketched my picture onto the fabric then treated it with a soda ash/water solution (to help the fabric take the dye) and is stretched onto a frame after it has dried. Next, I added the wax to the places that need to be white. I used the tjanting (a heated pen-like tool that enables for smaller, finer lines of resist)

Now that there is ample resist, the first light layer of dye is added. Another layer of wax is added once the dye is dry.

The last dyeing is a very dark indigo. In order to make sure that the color stays dark, we were told to cover the wet-dyed fabric with plastic wrap. All I could find was a trashbag, so that’s what I used.

When I finally got to this point I realized I was covered in blue dye. I have blue splashes on my shoulder, stripes on my arm and my fingertips were completely blue. I guess it’s good to I look like I was doing something artsy, eh?

There are a few more steps yet to get this project to it’s final stage. I will keep ya posted on what’s to come!

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