Batik using Wax and Glue

Batik is a technique in which wax and dyes are used to create effects on textiles. It originated in India and then spanned its reach in many countries such as Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and Thailand. At present, Indonesia is leading in encouraging the Batik form on textiles.

A few days back, we were given an activity to explore the art of Batik in our subject – Fabric Science. We didn’t use only wax but also, glue to create our samples as wax might wouldn’t have been available at everyone’s home during the lockdown. I am writing about both here.

Batik using Wax:

I specifcally tried the crackle effect of batik which can also be called reverse-batik because in this technique wax is not used to draw a design on the fabric but the entire fabric is coated with wax and then crumpled to remove some wax randomly. The fabric is then soaked in cold dye/colour for about 6-8 hours so that the dye/color is well absorbed by the fabric. The final sample looked like this:

  • I took a 10*10 cotton fabric and coated it entirely with molten wax.
  • Once the wax on the fabric had hardened, I crumpled the fabric and then removed the portions of wax that were leaving the fabric. The fabric looked like this:
  • And finally, I took a table-spoon of dye turquoise green dye powder in 400 ml of water (room temperature) and added 1 teaspoon of salt (for fixing the dye) to it.
  • After mixing the three elements mentioned above, I soaked the crumpled fabric in the dye-mixture for 6 hours.
  • I took out the fabric from the mixture and washed it under a running tap to wash off the extra dye. Then I left the fabric for 1/2 hour to dry.
  • After that, I crumpled the fabric again to remove the maximum wax possible.
  • Then, to remove the remaining wax, I placed the fabric in between two newspapers and ironed over the newspaper, one by one from both sides. This helped the remaining wax to melt.
  • Repeated the ironing part 3 times till all the wax was melted. And that’s it!

Batik using Glue:

This technique is not registered as a way to create Batik samples. But, it is equally effective as well as handy when it comes to making the design on the fabric. Glue can be used to make an ample of designs and creating a similar effect without having to handle wax which at times gets difficult. Here’s how my sample looked:

  • I took a 10*10 cotton fabric and made the desired design using a glue tube. It looked like this:
  • I left it to dry for 2 hours.
  • Then I took pink acrylic color and dabbed it on the whole fabric using a ball of cotton.
  • I left it to dry again for 1 hour so that the colour gets adhered to the fabric properly.
  • After that, I soaked the fabric in luke warm water for 20 minutes to soften the hardened glue.
  • Then I washed it lightly to remove the softened glue.
  • I ironed the fabric after it had dried properly. And that is how it was completed.

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