Saturday, August 3, 2013

How To Batik A Scarf

After reviewing my files, I found that I really haven’t covered how to batik a scarf.
Batik is a  wax resist dyeing technique that is very ancient and has been found in archaeological sites dating as early as the  the 4th Century in Egypt, China, India and Japan.

The tools are very simple.
Of course there is wax bees wax is more commonly used, however  I used soy wax instead of bees wax because it’s easier to get out of the fabric and it’s easily washed out with hot water, (after the bulk of the wax has been ironed out) Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil and has a low melting point..

To apply the wax you can use different items.

Today I’m using hake brushes


PVC connectors for circles

Also available are Tjantings they are used to create fine lines  (I didn’t use them this time)

You can Batik cotton, linen, bamboo cotton and of course silk.
I soaked the scarves in soda ash solution and let them dry. I then put soda ash solution in a sprayer and used it to iron the scarves flat

I applied the wax using the circles.
You want to use something to catch any drips as you move the circle over the scarf.
When you get done, hang the scarf up so the wax will harden.

You can also paint shapes on your scarf using the Hake brush. I painted squares 
I also did lines and curves. (not shown as yet)

I hung them all up until the wax was set.

I decided to ice dye these scarves instead of painting on the dye.

I finally invested in an ice shaver! It’s an awesome tool and thanks to Mr. Wonderful it has a nice strong body that I can easily move my tubs under it.

 This baby can shave 145 pounds of ice in an hour...

 I had tossed the waxed scarves into the freezer for about 10 minutes to make sure the wax was hard. (it was at least 90+ degrees in my garage!)

I put a layer of shaved ice on the bottom of the tub. This shaver worked WONDERFUL for this.

After I finished with all the ice, I pulled the scarves from the freezer and laid them out on top of the ice.

Then I shaved more ice to cover all of these scarves.

can I say again how much I love this machine!!!

I sprinkled dry dye powder over the ice covered scarves.....

It looks awesome does it not?

After the ice melts, rinse out the scarves and air dry. When they are dry, you need to iron the wax out of them.

Make a layer on a hard flat surface, one layer of newspaper, then a layer of paper towel.

Lay your scarf on the layer of paper towel

Then layer paper towel, and then newspaper on top of the scarf.

Using a hot iron, move it over the paper layers slowly. You can see how hot the iron is because the newspaper is starting to brown.

When you lift the layer of newspaper you can see the wax absorbed into the paper towel.
This is how the scarf looks after the wax has been ironed out. 
After it's been ironed, since I used Soy Wax, I washed it in hot water with Syntharapol in the washer.
Below are the results of my color adventure.

The square and circles
Curves and Squares



  1. Hi Katherine, it's Alison from CMMAG. Gorgeous scarves. I swear you could take photos of the sprinkled dye powder and sell them. It looks like art!

    I forgot to mention that it's a great tutorial.

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