Batik pillow

Batik pillow Batik pillow
Created by Alena Isabella Grimmichov, grimmich.cz

The principle behind batik lies in covering parts of the fabric with wax. Wax is resistant to dye and once removed, the base colour of the fabric is retained in the areas that were covered with wax. This way you can create multicoloured compositions on the fabric through repeated dying and waxing. This technique is relatively complex and time-consuming, but there is no need to be afraid of it. Each step has to be thought out in advance and it is necessary to understand what will be visible and what colour it will be once the wax is removed.

Materials: Cotton pillowcase; dyes for cotton; round and flat brushes; beeswax; paraffin; metal bowl and pan; packing paper; newspaper; iron

Prepare batik wax by mixing equal parts of beeswax and paraffin. Warm in a water bath to a temperature high enough so that when the wax is on the brush, it is translucent and can penetrate the fabric.

Wash and iron the pillowcase in advance. Pad the inside of the pillowcase with cardboard or a thick layer of newspaper. The paper has to protect the wax from seeping through to the back of the pillowcase, but at the same time it should not crumple the fabric as this would distort the pattern during painting.

Batik pillow
1 Using a brush dipped in wax, paint the first part of the pattern onto the fabric. These areas will remain white. Dye the entire picture yellow and orange. When using the technique of gradually covering the entire fabric with wax, always start with the lightest colours.
Batik pillow
2 After the dye is bone dry, continue to paint with wax. Remember to always change the newspapers inside the pillowcase.

Batik pillow
3 Now paint with red. In our case, it was not necessary to cover the entire pattern with dye to achieve the resulting effect.
Batik pillow
4 Repeat the process, first using wax to complete the picture, then colouring the remaining area green. You can use as many layers of dye as you wish.

Batik pillow
5 Once the dye is completely dry, use a wide flat brush to brush wax over the entire surface.
Batik pillow
6 Allow the wax to harden then carefully break it on the fabric. Take care that it does not crumble off; if it does, wax has to be reapplied to that area.

Batik pillow
7 Straighten out the crumpled pillow case and pad the inside with newspaper once again.
Batik pillow
8 Using a flat brush, spread the dark blue dye, mixed with a little washing-up liquid or other detergent that cuts through grease, into the crevices left by the broken wax. Swirl the brush in all directions.

Batik pillow
9 Blot up any excess dye by placing the pillowcase between sheets of packing paper. Allow the pillowcase to dry well.
Batik pillow
10 Given that there is a large quantity of wax on the pillowcase, try to at least crumble part of the wax off. This is a relatively lengthy process and will create quite a mess, so it is necessary to take this into consideration beforehand. After this, place the pillowcase between sheets of white packing paper and put 2-3 layers of newspaper on either side of the fabric (the inside and outside). Place an old cloth on the ironing board and put the pillowcase on this. Using an iron set to medium heat, iron the pillowcase to remove the wax. As soon as the paper becomes oily from the wax, exchange it for clean paper. Continue until the wax has been completely removed. Remember to change the newspapers inside the pillowcase. At the end, carefully wash (it will be soiled from newspaper ink) and iron the pillowcase.

Batik pillow
11 TIP: If you can use a sewing machine, instead of purchasing a finished pillowcase, the entire process is easier if the pillowcase is sewn after the fabric has been batiked. At the same time, in this case it is recommended that you sew the pillowcase out of natural silk. Colours stand out better on silk and do not wash away. (In this case, of course, use dye for silk instead of for cotton.)


Batik pillow - see also

Christmas table linens - Christmas table linens
Scrunch dyeing - Scrunch dyeing
Square print scarf 3 - square print scarf 3
Square print scarf - square print scarf