A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The February Challenge is here!!

As announced last week, the February challenge will be batik. This is a tutorial I did a few months ago on batiking using thinned fabric paint. You can use any colorant you'd like but you have to remember that not all paints will give you a soft hand. I used water thinned (ProChemical's) ProFab paint. SetaColor, Dyna Flow and other fabric paints should give you color with a soft hand too.
I was challenged to batik with dyes by my friend Marcella who owns Mace's store in Rockland, Maine where I buy all my hippie clothes. She came over one day with a yellow and a blue gauze shirt, handed them to me and said, "Dye these." Here is the result. With the dyes, the outcome of overdyeing will be unknown until the fabric is finished, wax removed and washed in hot water. On the blue shirt, I started with the potato masher (oval with lines) which appear blue - the color of the shirt at the beginning. I dyed the entire shirt Khaki (Dharma) and everyone said, "Why did you dye it brown?" OK, so it was a bit dull but I like blue and brown. I hung the shirt and let it drip dry. When it was completely dry I used my oval car sponge with the center removed and dyed the shirt purple. I just let them soak in the dye a few hours then let drip dry. I did wring them by hand which gave me some lovely cracking of the wax. When I had ironed out the wax and washed in hot water and syntrapol, the brown looked olive. The purple/olive combo is my favorite combination of colors. Needless to say, I LOVE this shirt.
Why not get a "Goodwill" shirt or an old one from your closet and give batiking with dye a whirl. I am already planning a trip to Goodwill for my challenge piece this month. Pre-made silk scarves are wonderful and pretty cheap for a painted batik project. I will probably batik a silk scarf too. That same friend, Marcella, gifted me with an AMAZING antique potato masher and I want to do another scarf using it. so stay tuned....


  1. Great tutorial, thanks! I love the batiks you're showing.
    It'll be interesting to see the results of this challenge.

  2. That's one of my favorite ways to make new clothes - start with something at goodwill and dye it! If it doesn't turn out, you don't mind because you didn't spend a fortune on it.


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