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Topic: batik with indigo and procion dyes  (Read 3053 times)
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ptarmic wumpus
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« on: April 20, 2010 10:49:09 PM »

I took a weekend class in African batik using indigo dyes the other weekend.  We made a bunch of smaller sample pieces on muslin which were dipped in the indigo vat (using dried indigo leaves).

Here are my pieces, four on white fabric and one on red:
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik3.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik2.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik4.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik1.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]

We used applicators made of cushion (open cell) foam, cut with scissors to make pencil shapes. You dip the pointy end in the hot wax, squeeze out some of the excess, then draw on the fabric. Enough wax is stored in the foam pen to write for a while without dripping. It was much easier to use than the tjanting tool imho.

http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik5.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik6.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]

After the class, I used the foam pens to make some batik pictures using soy wax and procion dyes. Both required three dye baths, although for the third (darkest brown), I used an alginate gel base to apply the dye instead of a bath. The soy wax allows more penetration of dye than the regular batik wax that we used with the indigo, so the lines aren't as crisp, and I ended up with more of the dark brown than I wanted. However, the soy wax is way easier to remove since it doesn't need to be boiled out.

Yak from a coloring book
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik13.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]

Owl from a 1979 Burda Batik magazine
http://decapod.home.silentsong.net/batik14.jpg [edited to change broken image to link]

I intend to play more with the procion dyes, but using batik wax instead of soy wax.  Hopefully I can get an indigo vat set up on my porch this summer as well.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013 09:46:09 PM by sweets4ever » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010 11:18:01 PM »

Very cool.  I especially like the Yak and the curly one on the left in the second pic.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010 11:19:06 PM by suereal - Reason: I thought of more to say » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010 12:00:26 AM »

pretty friggin awesome!   I like the blue ones and the yak, as well.  did you take this class at a local college, or a special school?
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010 12:02:15 AM »

This is soooo cooool! It doesn't even look too terribly difficult either. I'm familiar with the process of batik but I've never done it myself. Now I'm inspired to gather together some supplies, especially dried indigo leaves. I can't imagine why I don't already have a jar of them.

I was working on printing on fabrics in my printmaking classes just before I finished university and it's something I haven't really continued much, but hopefully that will be changing soon.

I really like how you used a traditional method to make original designs. That's what true creativity is!
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010 05:33:10 AM »

These are amazing.  I've never really tried batik before, but you've inspired me.  All due to that yak and the curly blue one (looks like a PITA piece).  But mostly because of the yak.   Grin
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010 06:44:38 AM »

This is amazing.  I need to look into this method of dying.  I love it.
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2010 07:03:26 AM »

I have a ton of muslin and this sounds like soooo much fun!  Thank you!
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2010 08:55:44 AM »

These are gorgeous!
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2010 11:33:47 AM »

I am always swooning over your work Grin and that owl piece is nothing short of amazing!
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010 05:13:27 PM »

For comparison, here is one that I did last week using real batik wax:


The batik wax held up much better than the soy wax, even though I used more dye baths. It was a bit harder to get the wax temperature right (I used a small "little dipper" type crockpot, the kind with only one temperature setting, and it took a long time to get hot enough) but removing the wax was pretty easy.
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