Traditional Batik with Whitney Meredith

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Learn all about the ancient art of batik, a technique used to decorate cloth using wax and dye! Join our Facebook Group, the BLICK Creative Community, for a Traditional Batik Demo with BLICK’s own Whitney Meredith on 5/11 at 6 p.m. CST. Follow along as Julie demonstrates how to create a beautiful ho...

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Instructions

  1. For best dye results, pre-wash your silk fabric to remove any dirt, grease, or chemicals.
  2. Mix the first Jacquard Procion MX Fiber Reactive Cold Water Dye color, Bubblegum. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of dye and ¼ cup of plain salt (without iodine) in two cups of hot water. Add 6 cups of cold water and 13 cups of vinegar. Allow silk to soak in dye bath for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
  3. Rinse silk in cool water and hang dry.
  4. Plug in the Batik Funnel Pen. Use a knife to cut small pieces of wax from the block of Jacquard Batik Wax, and begin adding small amounts to the pen’s well. The detachable pen nib works as a gravity well and should stop the wax from free flowing, though it may drip a bit. It’s best to have a piece of foil under the pen to collect wax for re-use.
  5. While the wax heats up, stretch the silk over cardboard. First place the cardboard, then the template, then a piece of plastic to protect the template. Finally, use push pins to secure the silk on the top.
  6. Use the batik funnel pen to trace the first layer of the template. Be sure to hold the pen upright and tilted at a slight angle. When the pen nib comes in contact with the surface, wax will flow. There is no need to press down, gravity will do the work for you!
  7. As the wax sets, begin making the second dye bath in Fuchsia, following the instructions in steps 2 and 3.
  8. Follow steps 4 through 6, tracing the second layer of the template.
  9. Repeat steps 2 and 3, again, this time using Burgundy dye color. Then trace the third layer of the template.
  10. Finally, follow steps 2 and 3 for the final time, using the Navy color in the dye bath.
  11. When the piece has fully dried, sandwich the piece between layers of newsprint and iron with no steam. The wax will melt and be absorbed by the newsprint. Continue ironing and replacing newsprint as needed until there is no longer any discernable wax residue.
  12. Rinse in warm water and iron out any remaining wax residue.