Friday, August 22, 2008


Today our High Fiber Diet group had a play day to explore the mysteries of soy wax batik. Gerrie ordered the wax and got us all organized ahead of time with our supply list and did a little demo at the beginning.

She is using things like old potato mashers and a springy whisk to dip into hot soy wax and then press onto her fabric. The marks made by the wax will be a resist when the fabric is painted later. People brought all kinds of oddities to make marks on the fabric with the wax. Seemed like lots of us have nice wooden carvings that are actually used for batik in Indonesia, but when it came down to it, some of the unconventional things worked the best. I made some bent wire forms that worked pretty well for me.

Bonnie (white shirt) brought some blocks she had made many years ago for a batik class. The designs were cording (like clothesline) glued to a wooden block.

This is a long strip of fabric I was using to test different tools on. Later I used it to blot up excess paint when I was painting my "good" pieces. In the end it may be the nicest piece I made! That's it on the bottom right below.

The triangular piece on the left started as orange with a subtle woven pattern. I waxed it using a couple of my wire thingies and like how it turned out too. The two white pieces on the back of the bench have wax, but have not been painted yet. I think they will get some more wax too.

It was great to take a day to do something like this. We have a good group right now and I think everyone enjoyed the day. I went through a batik phase years ago, but I was using a combination of parafin and beeswax, which I painted with a brush onto the fabric, then dyed. It was a hot and messy process and I could never get all of the wax out of the fabric. The advantage of the soy wax is a lower melting point, which makes it easier to work with and it can be washed out of the fabric. I like the idea of the "stamping" of the wax as well. Lotsa fun!

I'll show you some of my finished fabrics and my wire mark makers one of these days.

There are more pictures on Gerrie's blog.


  1. How cool! I want to come and play with you guys!

    What kind of paint did you use after the soy wax was dry?

    I have Rayna's book so I'm going to have to try this.


  2. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Have played with this in Aug using dyes and also using wax on black & then bleach bath. WONDERING what kind of paint you used. lOVE RAYNA'S BOOK! joyce in MT

  3. I just love what you did! Beautiful pieces. Isn't soy wax fun!!!


  4. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Oh boy! That looks like fun. I was never interested in batiks or dyes as I thought it all had to be dye buckets in the back yard, urea, soda ash,etc. But you painted on the color! Very neat. Even I might be able to do that--and have fun in the trying.

  5. Terry, you deserved a day like this - just play, just for yourself - it's the best therapy!

  6. I will have to purchase Raynas book! My experience with batiks is like your earlier one, messy and the wax never left the cloth to my satisfaction. Soy wax... will have to try this out!