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.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Kind of Batik

I enjoy an easy method of batik called the paint on method. This method has few steps and allows for great variations of color and shade without having to master the complicated blending of successive layers of color. I paint on both cotton and silk using the Serti method. Both techniques are done basically the same. Wax is applied to outlines and any portion of the design that are to remain white later. Dye or paint is then applied in many colors to areas inside the waxed design, allowed to set and then the fabric is washed and dried.

According to what you use, i.e., paints or dyes, you may have to steam the finished product or just heat set the piece. I prefer to use Setasilk paints that only need heat setting.

Here are two pieces I am currently working on. The first one is on Charmeuse silk and the second one is on Southern Belle 100% cotton. The last piece is finished and is on Southern Belle 100% cotton.

This piece now has color on the bird's heads and a pale yellow background. I will hand embroider the background with light yellow and light orange silk thread.

This piece is also in process. Now the fun part of shading and enhancing colors come. Yeah!! This is a large piece that measures 30" x 45".

This piece is done with a hanging sleeve on the back.

Later I will post my shibori and the batik scarf I did with the original batik technique.


P.S. Please excuse the shift in print, I have not mastered that yet.


  1. Hey Rosalita. That still life is absolutely fantastic. Can't wait to see your other posts.

  2. These are really beautiful! I have painted with procion mx dyes on cotton, but have not tried silk yet. I have never heard of Southern Belle cotton. Can you tell us where you get it? And what are its characteristics?

  3. Hi Judy and all,

    Southern Belle 100% cotton made in China. It has a tight weave and a soft hand after dyeing, washing and drying. I purchase mine from JoAnn on line. If you sign up on their site, I think you get a 50% off coupon. Some of my friends and I buy it in 50 yard bolts with the 50% off coupons (the ones you get in the mail should also work). It figures out with shipping to about $2.37 a yard. I have tried Kona PFD cotton and found that it is too heavy and not as nice to work with. I have also tried Kona muslin and did not care for it. I guess it is each to their own, however, I have had great results with the Southern Belle. If anyone is interested in trying a piece before making a purchase, I will gladly send you a fat quarter is you will send me a stamped self addressed legal size envelope. My address is Rosalita E. Feero, 27 Stoney Ridge Road, Eddington, Maine 04428 Hope this helped.

  4. Rosalita, these are beautiful. Do you use beeswax or soy wax?

  5. Hi Laura,

    I use soy wax. I think it is a little easier to get out than beeswax although I have not tried it. I am not exactly happy with the white of the fabric left after heating the wax off. I am thinking about drawing the design on with Black Dupont water soluble gutta. The black stays so I would not have the white.I have seen a paint pen with a small compressor that takes gutta. Perhaps I could get a finer line with it. I use a Tjanting #1 now.

  6. Rosalita, I've never heard of black dupont water soluble gutta, but I've been wondering how to do a stained-glass type of batik with lots of painted-on colors and a black background. I don't like the white that's left in most batik patterns either, the only thing I knew to do was to overdye the fabric another color. Thank you for solving this problem for me! I'm going to google the gutta and see what I can come up with.

  7. Laura, the gutta also comes in gold, silver and copper. It's not truly water soluble, in that it must be set. But it looks beautiful. Dharma Trading Company carries it, and I believe they also have some tutorials on using gutta.


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