Intro to Batik

Intro to Batik


Batik is a wax resist fiber art. Hot wax is applied to fabric in a design. The wax serves as a resist, preventing the dye from reaching the fabric where it was applied. This technique can be applied in layers with different colors.
The Batik effect is unique in that the wax cracks during handling, either intentionally or not. In each dye bath, the cracks in the wax allow the dye to reach the fabric creating the unique batik effect . Batik can be done on cottons, silks and other natural fabrics. 

In this class we will be using simple block batik printing on cotton and Procion MX Fiber Reactive Dyes. Procion fiber Dye's are the dye of choice for batik on cotton because they are used with cold water.

Materials to bring from home:


  • Pushpins
  • Fine point Sharpie marker
  • Newsprint\ tracing paper large enough to draw actual size of desired batik
  • rubber gloves
  • scotch or masking tape
  • scissors
  • old newspapers
  • 1-2 yard 100% Cotton Fabric- prewashed with HOT, Hot water and line dried

optional: plastic storage container large enough to lay batik flat in colored dye solutions. Additional small artist brushes for possibly applying dyes in small areas.

Warning, batik dyes are permanent, and will ruin clothing. please wear old clothes.

A good overview of the batik process, examples of various batik artists and supplies can be found at


Wax melting pots with bees wax/paraffin (one per two students)

*Watercolor brushes

Procion Fiber Reactive Dyes with necessary chemicals, salt.

Plastic tubs for soaking fabric in dyes.

clear plastic cups for mixing dyes

Clothes line & pins for drying

Blow driers/fans

Newsprint /iron and ironing board

A take home information sheet with wax dye recipes and essential supply list for students that wish to continue on their own after the class.

Several books on batik to illustrate various styles and techniques of batik

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