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DIY Batik

24 comments
DIY Batik
I am happy to announce my workshop collaboration with artist, Cherlyn Mark of art@home. We will teach you how to upcycle with batik. Do drop me or Cherlyn an email if you would like to take part! It's  happening on the 5th and 12th December at Pearl's Hill Terrace (China Town MRT).

DIY batik upcycling workshop

What is Batik?
Batik is a very traditional form of textile art in South East Asia. Wax is used applied to the fabric in a technique called "wax resist dye" before colour is painted to dye it.  Areas with wax will resist the dye.  The most well known form of batik is Indonesian batik.

It's like Chinese Calligraphy
My experience with it so far is that it is like Chinese calligraphy. I had so much fun trying out the technique with my white top.  

Upcycle Clothes Using Batik?

Yes, you can! Pssst, no sewing involved!

Here's this gorgeous white top which, unfortunately, became extremely blotchy with yellow patches. I really don't know how to get rid of them - I tried vinegar, baking soda, and even bleach.  When Cherlyn told me about her batik workshop, I thought it would be a good idea to some batik.



What's Needed
You will need a double boiler, batik wax, batik dye, a canting (see middle image below) and a paint brush. I got all my supplies from Art Friend!

DIY batik upcycling
Draw Design, Melt Wax
First I drew a design on my top using a pencil.  While I was doing this I melted the wax in a double boiler.

Draw Wax onto Design
Very carefully I transferred the wax into the canting using a spoon, but eventually I decided that it was too slow and submerged the whole canting into the hot wax (be careful, it's really hot!).

I had to be very quick with my drawing - too slow and the wax would cool down and harden; too fast and there wouldn't be enough wax to penetrate the fabric.

DIY batik upcycling
Time to Paint!
Once the wax had cooled down, I started painting. After air drying for 24 hours, I added more colour before removing the wax pieces by hand. Any remnants were removed by sandwiching the garment between paper and  running a hot iron over it.

DIY batik upcycling

What NOT to do

  1. Melting or handling the wax with utensils and pans that are used for cooking. Removing wax is NOT easy! [Note: I suddenly thought of the Sichuan hot pot scandal in China where they added paraffin wax to the hotpot soup!!]
  2. Leaving your work space unprotected - wax alert!!
  3. Letting your wax boil - wax is flammable and will burst into flames.
  4. Forgetting to put a protective layer between the front and back panel of the garment (unless that's the effect you want!)

You might end up with something that looks entirely different from what you had in mind, but that's the beauty of batik. It is a very fluid technique - I really love how the paint moves and interacts with the fibers.  Here's my final piece - now I have a new outfit!

If you would love to try out batik, do come and join us. Drop us an email!

DIY batik upcycling

DIY batik upcycling

DIY batik upcycling

DIY batik upcycling

Linking up to:
Creative Corner Linky Party
Pinbellish Pin Party


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Abdelghafour

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24 comments

  1. Love, love, love this!! You did a fantastic job! So from start to finish, how long did this take? I notice you took off some of the ruffles too....very nice! jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. Oops, I forgot to mention the ruffles, but I took them out as they ended below my bottom.
      It took me about 3 afternoons from drawing to removing the wax. I think the wax was the tricky part. :)

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  2. Such a fun result! I did a DIY batik with Elmer's glue and acrylic paint, but this is definitely much more professional and beautiful. I'd love to give this a try!
    http://passportcouture.com

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    1. Wow, Elmer's glue is multi-functional!!! The result must have been really interesting.

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  3. Thsi turned out great! I love the color combo. Very cute.

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  4. Oh WOW! What a fun project! I LOVE it. I am definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Wow, I love this! Such a neat idea.

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  6. GET OUT! This is amazing! I've never head of this! Your design with the wax is so perfect, great job!!! Love your new top! :)

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  7. Agy, that is beautiful! I once did some batik at an art workshop as a child.

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  8. How fascinating, I have never heard of this!

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  9. Agy, I'm impressed!!!
    I was reading the post and scrolling down the pictures trying to figure out what the end result would be. What can I say? I'm beyond impressed. It's simply beautiful!!
    Pinning it and sharing it all the way.

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  10. Love your after Agy! I bought a tool while in Asia now to just be brave enough to use it. Wish you weren't so far away because I'd join you for this workshop.

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  11. Amazing! I love your blog I learn something new each time I read it. What a beautiful technique to use on clothing.

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  12. Wow this is stunning! Love the vibrant nature.

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  13. Love this shirt, it's such a pretty design! I always see Batik at Joann's and now I understand how it's done, though I'm not sure I'm bold enough to deal with hot wax. Pinning for my followers!

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  14. That is so beautiful! And although I had heard the term "batik" before, I never actually knew what the technique was!

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  15. These are stunning! The colors of them are beautiful. This is such a great way to bring new life into old clothes.

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  16. I love the look of batik. This is an amazing transformation, very clever and beautiful.

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  17. This is so wonderful!!!Love,love,love.. Thank you!!

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  18. Hi Agy, This looks really beautiful. I love batik! I am curious to know what material your top was made of. Is it all natural or synthetic material? Also, what are the dyes made from?

    Thanks,
    Holly

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    1. Hi Holly! The material was woven cotton. Unfortunately, I am not too sure what the dyes are made from but they were labelled as Batik Dye. You should be able to get them at any craft / art shop.

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    2. Hi Holly! The material was woven cotton. Unfortunately, I am not too sure what the dyes are made from but they were labelled as Batik Dye. You should be able to get them at any craft / art shop.

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  19. Agy, you explain the technique so clearly... I always thought is something very complicated (the wax still seems tricky to deal with, so I presume it's developing the skill). Thank you for the article! I love the colours of your finished project, great example to follow!
    Mariana

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  20. so amazing,,, i like the procesing :)
    let me i introduce my product :)
    original batik

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