The Batik Adventure

a few weeks ago i said that sebastian and i were embarking on a new craft adventure. and as it sometimes happens with new and exciting adventures, you meet a few challenges on the way…

here we are setting up our batik table on the veranda, complete with an old electric frying-pan for melting the wax…


we had bought three different sized 'cantings' (batik tools) in bali after sebastian had done some batik with balinese friends. as it turned out, the smallest canting has a hole and is dripping wax everywhere. and the two bigger ones leave large blotches of wax on the fabric…


but we persisted with it anyway, incorporating lots of wax dots into our designs. sebastian was practising on an old cotton singlet and i had a silk top from the op-shop.

although a bit frustrated with the results, we decided to colour them in with bright silk paints…




the next challenge was to get the wax back out of the fabric after the colour had dried.

i had melted the bees wax from my own bee hive. but i think it might be too thick. i washed and rinsed the fabric in hot water several times, but had a hard time to get all the wax out.

after all of that we needed a break!

but after a week or so we were ready to give it another go. sebastian's christmas present for paul and me was to batik us a cushion each. so we got out the fabric that he had bought and tried to paint the wax outlines on as fast as possible to avoid big blotches. here's sebastian working on paul's cushion…


i also gave it another go, but haven't coloured it in yet…


in the end sebastian had more fun when i taught him how to use my sewing machine to sew up the cushion cover, then with the actual batik making…


and we were all very happy when the cushion was finished…



i guess we will have to ask a few more questions on our next trip to bali to improve our technique 🙂


3 thoughts on “The Batik Adventure

  1. When I did this a LONG time ago (so I might not remember correctly). To got the wax out by using sheets of paper on top and below the fabric and ironed it. The wax melted, and the paper soaked the melted wax up. We did this a few times till it was all out.
    Gorgeous by the way! Makes me want to try it again!

  2. Hix I think if you hold the ‘cantings’ closer to the nib, you may find it easier. Also you can only wash soya wax out of silk, beeswax needs to be ironed out by placing newspaper on top of material. Then keep changing it as newspaper gets transparent. Do not put paper under the silk otherwise you will never get rid of the wax. hope that helps. Also if you have used silk dyes or other dyes, you need to fix them before washing. if you need more helps just yellxxlove your end workx

  3. Beautiful beautiful work, drips and all! That finished Hibiscus pillow is really stunning, as is your second design…I want to see it when it is colored in! It is so fun to see you seemingly endless creativity, and your special time with your boy! xo

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