(Applied Arts Student Work from Waconia High School)
I am always looking for alternatives to batik wax that are cost-effective and safe. I’ve tried mixing toothpaste and aloe vera lotion once, but I’ve found that mixture does not stay on the fabric very well as you try to add the color (I used watered-down acrylic). And then I read about using the Blue Gel Elmers Glue (glitter or no, both work the same). It is great because all you need is some hot water to take off the glue and the bottles already have an easy to use cap for resist application. Also great for all ages!
Batik is a resist technique. A substance is put on the cloth (typically wax but in this case Blue Gel Elmers Glue) and once it is dry you either dip or paint the fabric. Wherever the substance or “resist” is, dye or paint cannot hold (the substance RESISTS the paint). A simple example that most people have seen is how crayons/oil pastels on paper resist paint when you paint on top of the paper. In batik, one can also do multiple layers of this resist without taking off earlier layers which is pretty cool too. As you can see, we only, for time’s sake, one layer of resist.
All you need to start is some Blue Gel Elmers Glue, some fabric (T-shirt, sheets, cloth bag, pillow case etc) , watered down acrylic (dye or fabric spray), masking tape, cardboard, and a tub of hot water for the next day.
Steps and Supplies:
- Gel Elmers Glue,
- Fabric – I bought a white sheet and cut it up, but you could use t-shirt, pillow cases, cloth bags etc.
- Students create a design or print one off the internet. My students created 2 different designs.
- Trace the design onto you fabric LIGHTLY!
- Tape fabric to a piece of cardboard and outline everything you would like to stay “white” with the glue.
- Let fabric lay flat and dry overnight.
- Water down acrylic paint slightly or use dye and apply to fabric.
- Let paint/dye dry (may use a hair drier to go faster).
- You can, once dry, add another layer of glue if you wish. This layer would retain the color you just painted. You then repeat the steps and ink/paint the remaining areas.
- If you are only doing one layer of glue, use a bin and fill with hot water. Place fabric in the hot water. Let the fabric soak for at least 10 minutes. Then you can rub off remaining glue until the fabric is no longer sticky. You may even keep the bath hot by running hot water after the 10 minutes.
- Let fabric dry and enjoy your art!
Here are some other materials/websites I found helpful for this unit:
Below – A great video of wax batik the general process