Batik may seem as mysterious as it is beautiful, but don’t let its exotic beauty fool you. Batiking is simply painting melted wax onto fabric, dying it, and then removing the wax. The areas painted with wax will remain the color of the fabric, and everywhere else will be dyed.
Once you’ve created your own hand-dyed fabric, show it off by crafting a simple but elegant floor pillow––perfect for living room lounging!
To batik, you will need:
2 pieces yellow 100% cotton fabric, 28 inches x 28 inches each (prewashed)
one-half ounce of beeswax pellets
4 ounces paraffin (household wax)
2 teaspoons powdered cold-water dye, red (Procion brand)
1 cup soda ash
8 ounce plastic squeeze bottle applicator
1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag
latex or rubber gloves
pan to melt wax in (wax can be removed later by melting and wiping with paper towels)
large pot to boil fabric in
liquid dish soap
To sew the pillow, you will need:
2 pounds pillow stuffing (or a 26-inch square pillow insert)
4 lime tassels, about 5 inches long
To Batik The Fabric:
Melt the beeswax and paraffin together in the small pan until very runny (but not smoking). Paint the melted wax onto the fabric following the chalk pattern. When the wax has hardened on the fabric, turn the fabric over and repeat on the back (you will be able to see the wax pattern from the other side). If you drip wax outside of the pattern, don’t fret—release your inner Pollack and add drips all over!
To prepare the fabric for dyeing, don your gloves and dissolve one cup of soda ash in a bucket filled with one gallon of cold water. (Soda ash tends to clump, so stir it thoroughly until dissolved.) Soak the wax-painted fabric in the soda ash bath for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the fabric from the bath and let the excess water drip off.
Mix two teaspoons of dye with eight ounces of water in the squeeze bottle and shake to mix. Lay the wax-painted fabric on a plastic-covered surface and squeeze the dye onto the fabric, soaking it evenly. Gently fold the dyed fabric, being careful not to crack the wax, then place inside the Ziploc bag. Let the dye set for 24 hours.
Rinse the fabric in cold water to remove the excess dye. Next, remove the wax by submerging the fabric in a large pot of water and bringing it to a boil. Add about a teaspoon of dish soap and swirl the fabric. Place rocks on top of the fabric to keep it at the bottom of the pot and let the whole thing cool. (The wax will rise to the surface and harden.)
To Sew The Pillow
Using a sewing machine and a straight stitch, sew all the way around the pillow cover one-quarter inch from the edge. Leave a four-inch opening on one side to insert the stuffing. Remove the pins.