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Waiting with Bated Breath


I am sure everyone is eager to see the results of my batik experiment.

I used one of the tjaps I bought several years ago and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use. I thought the handle would get hot and I would need a hot pad to hold it—also that one dip in the wax would yield just one print—but I could get four out of each dip. I already knew I had to let the tjap sit in the hot wax for awhile to be hot enough to hold onto the wax and not just have the wax coat the tjap.

Getting the wax out is always a challenge but I put all the fabrics into a large dye pot, add some detergent and boil away for an hour or more—then put it in my washing machine with more detergent and two rinses.

The dye I used was quite old and had been through several seasons of hot and cold—and so I was surprised to see my results.

This is the hemp/cotton blend. This fabric is really nice to work it–it is crisp yet soft.

The next piece is the hemp/silk piece. This is glossy on one side and matte on the other. I haven’t worked with any of it yet but it promises to be equally lovely.

And then here is pure silk.

and finally here is just hemp. This is a coarse weave that raveled deliciously around the edges and took the dye beautifully.

As you may guess, I used some potato mashers as my tjaps on these pieces. Overlapping them is fun too, but I ran out of wax…..my bees will have to be busy this next spring.

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