Rainbow Batik Silk Scarf Using a Teazle!




About: Hello my name is Jennifer Douglas and I have been a textile artist for the last 25 years since graduating from West Surrey College of Art and Design. I specialise in making and teaching silkpainting and bati...

I 'm not sure how I first got to know about how good teazle heads were to use with wax, but they are really a perfect shaker for tiny wax spots and I thought it would be good to show how easy it can be to make a fun scarf.

Step 1: What You Will Need.

A thermostatic wax heater, mines made by Tixor and is very safe and reliable.

A wooden frame the size of your project.

I'm using habotai 8mm silk

Steam fix fabric dyes, by Dupont or try iron fix paints by Pebeo Setasilk

Some plastic pipettes

Some foam brushes

A few silk pins

A steamer and lining paper, or just iron fix( if using iron fix paints).

A nice teazle head or you could substitute with an old tooth brush

Step 2: Stretch Silk Onto Frame

Stretch your silk fairly tightly on to the frame with 3 point silk pins.

My scarf measures approx 12"x56"

Step 3: Painting the Silk With Steam Fix Dyes

I decided to use all my shades in this scarf for the full rainbow effect! Starting with yellow I placed a pipette full of concentrate with equal amounts of water.It's important not to use a concentrate dye at this stage as you need to cover all these colours with a darker shade later.

I worked down the length of the silk with different proportions of the dyes at random.

Step 4: Working With the Wax and Teazle Head

These wax pots are very safe and warm the wax up quickly, within 5/10mins. I put the setting usually on 5,which seems nice and hot to get into the fabric.Place a teazle head in the hot melted wax and wait a few moments,it will fizz a bit,that's normal (fried teazle!)

Lift the teazle out and shake some of the wax back into the wax pot, then shake a further few times on a pile of old newspapers next to the wax pot.

This is important to release surplus wax which could spoil the spotty effects with a massive splurge on the silk Beware !

Step 5: Applying the Wax With Teazle Head.

Once you've done enough shaking on the paper go straight on to the silk and shake lightly, holding the teazle 5/6" above the silk. Work your way across the scarf looking to get a good balanced covering of spots.

Step 6: Applying the Darker Background Colour

Here I'm getting the darker background colour mixed, I wanted a dark blue/purple colour which would show up the bright coloured spots.I added a bit of water to make it go a bit further and applied with a foam brush. The coloured waxed areas are protected from the dark blue dye,it's just like those magic colouring books I used as a child!

Luckily I managed to mix up enough dark dye for this project, always something to consider as remixing mid flow can be tricky.

Step 7: Wipe Off Any Excess and Leave to Dry

I use kitchen towels to dab off any surplus dye and then leave to dry in the sun if you have some.

Step 8: Steaming the Silk

First take the silk off the frame and using lining paper roll onto a cardboard tube. Place water in the first compartment of the vertical steamer, attach the second compartment and place tube inside. Place third section ontop and set for 2hours.

Step 9: Take Out the Silk and Wash

Unrol the lining paper to reveal the silk, most of the wax has been steamed out, but to remove the rest use white spirit in a jar. Place the whole silk into this and shake for a few minutes. After which soak in warm soapy water and finish by adding soft fabric softener to make the silk smell fresh!

Step 10: Finishing Off

Towel dry the silk and iron damp for best results,I used a length of kitchen tissue to protect the ironing board from any dye, but nothing came out. A good sign!

Step 11: Alternatives

I made these two scarves a while ago, they were made the same way but I just worked on white silk with the wax and painted one colour which I enjoy wearing. Hope you have found this interesting and maybe you'll look at teazles in a new light!

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    14 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 11

    Great idea, I don't have teasel heads in my area, however I'm sure a nature walk will help me find something similar.

    I can't wait to try this idea.



    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comment, hope you can find something suitable,I have loads in my garden in the autumn,worth growing as they attract bees and chaffinches love the seed heads too :) May be I could send some if you can't find anything?

    Danang JKT

    4 years ago

    Awesome "modern contemporer batik", aunty. I will vote for you.
    Batik is a traditional textile of Indonesia although it usualy has a repetition patern such as flowers or birds. But nowadays, they also create an abstract patern. Have you never been in Indonesia before?

    1 reply

    Thankyou you very much! Yes I spent some weeks in Indonesia some 20 years ago and studied Batik at the National Institute in Yogyakarta- great fun learning lots of traditional batik,I hope to return one day.


    4 years ago

    absolutely beautiful! I've never seen anything like this ?

    My Pleasure! I have my 17yr old son to thank for introducing me to Instructables just a week ago! He's been teaching his Ma how to use her computer and it has been so much fun and a great incentive getting lovely feedback sharing the crafts I love with others.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really gorgeous final result! I've done batik before but never quite like this.

    Pavithra Arunkumar

    4 years ago

    Very Clear instructions! It's beautiful. I liked it a lot. Thanks for sharing!