Batik Part 3

Batik Part 3
Batik Tutorial Continued.

When you have made your sketch, stretch the cloth across the frame and fasten it with drawing pins. You can prop the frame up with a book to make it easier to work on.

To Prepare Wax, use either the double boiler or a boiling ring. The latter is more useful since you can keep it beside you while you work. Otherwise, you will need to work beside the cooker.

Safety Hints: hot wax is very flammable so it is wise not to heat it directly. Insulate the wax pan b using a double boiler, or by putting it in a large pan with about 2.5 cm (1") water in the bottom. The water will need replacing as you work, so keep a jug nearby. Try to prevent the wax from reaching a temperature where it begins to smoke. As soon as the wax is bubbling gently, turn heat to low. When the wax is hot enough to use it will penetrate a test piece of cloth, sealing it on both sides so that light readily shines through and the fabric has a wet look. If the wax looks whitish and opaque, it has probably not penetrated.

Place the wax beside you-to your right if you are right-handed, and to your left if left-handed-to avoid reaching over your work and possibly dripping wax on it unnecessarily.

Painting With Wax: You will need to work quickly as the wax cools and dries rapidly on the brush. Stir the wax frequently with your brush, and let excess wax run off before removing the brush from the pan.

Fill in the design with wax, following your charcoal lines. Let the width of your brush determine the thickness of the line.

Do not go over the same place twice-this has no effect-but paint on boldly, continually renewing the flow of wax on your brush.

You can also make dots and lines by dripping wax directly on to the cloth from lighted candles, and this is often a good way to get your first sense of the wax technique since virtually no preparation is needed.

If the shape you have made suggests any further shapes to you, add them.

Dying: When your sketch is finished in wax you are ready to dye. Unpin the cloth, crumple it a little to encourage the wax to vein and crack, and immerse the waxed cloth in the dyebath for the period of time suggested by the manufacturer.

When you remove the cloth from the dyebath, hang it up to drip, preferably over a bowl or sink. Do not rinse, wring or dry by artificial means-impatience at this point is only rewarded by pale and uneven dying. Leave the cloth to drip dry thoroughly. Remember that all dyes look several shades darker when wet, so don't worry if the fabric looks excessively dark when wet.

Multi-Colored Dying: If you want to enlarge on the design by adding more color, do not remove the wax. Instead, when dry, pin it to the frame again and wax any new areas. Bear in mind that these areas will retain the color of the first dyebath, and that in the unwaxed areas the color of the second dye you have used will blend with that of the first by absorption into the pores of the material itself. If you are dying the cloth the same color the second time, remember that you can only dye to a darker shade-light blue to navy, for example.

To remove the wax: Iron it off between sheets of newspaper or boil it off in water. Wax can also be scraped off but this is not recommended for beginners since it is too easy to cut the cloth and ruin the whole project.

After scraping, boiling or ironing, a small residue of wax will still remain on the cloth, giving it a wet look, which you may find desirable for wall hangings and other decorative devices, but for clothes and soft furnishings all traces of wax must be removed. This is done by dry cleaning or soaking cloth in strong detergent.

Clean Up: It is worth being rigidly neat about putting away dyestuffs and cleaning up after you have finished work. Use a sieve to empty the dyebath, since wax would accumulate in the drain and cause a blockage.

That's all..........have fun with this Batik project.

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