Batik is an ancient method of dying fabric using a wax resist.
Using a vinyl stencil to facilitate your design is a quick and easy way to facilitate the process. The wax may be applied using several different techniques, but I found an electric batik pen to be the most effective when working with vinyl. You could also modify this process using a brush.
What you'll need:
01. Vinyl Cutter
02. Fabric (natural fibers work best, I suggest cotton or linen, silk is also beautiful)
03. Fabric Dye (I used Dye-Na-Flow by Jacquard)
04. Batik Pen OR Wax Pot and Brush
05. Bees Wax -You can buy a special Batik Wax, which is softer and flows easily. Normal bees wax will work fine.
06. Clothes Iron & some scrap paper
This method is only recommended for small scale production.
Batik is a fairly labor-intensive process, if you are interested in producing larger quantities of fabric, I suggest screen printing instead.
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Step 1: Prepare Vinyl
Prepare your vinyl piece. Keep in mind that the vinyl will be used as a stencil, so the areas you weed will be painted with wax (and therefor resist the fabric dye).
Detailed instructions on how to create your vinyl sticker here.
Step 2: Apply Resist
Apply your vinyl sticker to the fabric. It can be tricky to align the vinyl accurately, so I prefer to trim my fabric after applying the vinyl.
Once your wax is hot, begin painting the fabric. Leave a slight overlap over the vinyl, to ensure that you cover the entire stencil, but it is important to work in broad, smooth strokes. Be careful not to rest in one spot too long, the wax will seep under the vinyl and create blobs. In this case, I wanted a rougher/handmade quality, so I didn't worry about it too much.
Step 3: Dye Fabric
The wax will cool very quickly, and as soon as it is dry to the touch, you can remove your vinyl.
Apply your fabric dye (you can use any kind of dye you like, this one is painted on)
Step 4: Remove Wax
Let the fabric dry completely. Then sandwiching it between several layers of paper, use a clothes iron to remove the wax. The wax will seep into the paper, leaving your fabric slightly stiff with wax (super durable and has a nice texture!) If you want to completely remove the wax, you can boil it out.
Step 5: Hand Dyed Textiles!
Ta-Da! Handmade textiles.