Soy Wax Batik

My local surface design group met yesterday and we played with soy wax. I took fabrics that were previously dyed either naturally or with Procion dyes. I did have some white fabric but didn’t use much of it.

Soy WaxHere’s our wax set up and we used stamps, brushes and stencils to apply the wax. You can use almost anything to apply the wax so cardboard tubes, plastic bits from packaging, foam tubes and kitchen utensils were also used to apply the wax to the fabric.

Bunny Stamping with Soy WaxHere’s Bunny using a stamp to apply wax to her fabric.

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These are a few of my fabrics after they were stamped with wax. You can see that the fabrics are not very exciting. Most were ones that I had dyed naturally and weren’t very exciting. After the wax hardens, then you paint fabric paint over the surface. I used Dye-na-Flow paint. I did try walnut ink but it didn’t hold after washing so that piece didn’t work out.

Pieces DryingThis is a shot of some of our work drying. Carole”s pieces are on the left. I also tried a few sketchbook pages which are on the far right.

Bunny's Silk Piece

This is a piece that Bunny did on silk. It reacted quite strangely to the wax so it will be interesting to see what the end result may be.

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This slide show is of my finished pieces. After the paint is dry, I ironed the pieces between pieces of newspaper to melt most of the soy was away. Then I put them all in the washing machine with a hot water wash and laundry detergent. I then ironed the pieces again. This process is easier than traditional batik because the soy wax melts at a lower temperature and comes out of the fabric more easily. It was a fun afternoon and now I just need to decide what to do with my new batik fabric.

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10 thoughts on “Soy Wax Batik

  1. They are all beautiful, but I’m really torn between the turquoise piece and both the pink-orange with leaves and flowers.

  2. Very interesting! I love the leaf patterns – both the grey and the pinky orange. The abstract (bubble wrap?) ones work well too. It would be interesting to know how the silk piece turns out – was that the only silk sample?

  3. Thank you for sharing this Ruth. You achieved some good results there, I particularly like your flowers and leaves. You mentioned that one of the pieces had ‘bubbled up; as the wax dried – stretching the fabric on a frame before waxing would prevent this happening. If it’s just a small piece you could use a discarded picture frame.

    I enjoyed reading about using soy wax – I’ve only used beeswax (mainly because I have a ready supply from a beekeeper friend) which I keep in an old slow cooker – the wax, rather than the friend!! 🙂 I don’t have any stamps, just a selection of tjantings, but I may try some of your those more unconventional stamping materials. 🙂

    • You’re welcome! I’m sure we should do the whole process on a frame but we are just playing around at this point. I like the soy wax. The kitchen tools work great though!

      • They all turned out great, Ruth 🙂
        You’ll have a nice collected of fabric waiting for the right project.

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