Last Dye Day

Yesterday was my last planned dye day at my house. That doesn’t mean I won’t be doing any more. Just that I won’t be setting up my garage as an open studio.

Dye day photos are always pretty much the same, but I promised to always have my camera…and this time I played with soy wax resist and I learned quite a bit from my experiments.

I ordered these tjaps from Artistic Artifacts and couldn’t wait to try them out. The one on the left has lots of tiny, delicate little nooks and crannys and my respect for batik artists rose about 1000% after I tried this one.

This is a little hard to see, but all I ended up with was big blobs of wax. Tried letting most of the wax drip off before stamping, but then it cooled and did not penetrate the fabric. Tried multiple stamping with the same stamp and by the time I could see the delicate parts, the wax was off half of the other parts. I thought I’d try the less delicate stamp and see if that worked better!

You can see those lovely little leaves much better, but I did start out with some big blobs. The key for me was to let lots of the hot wax drip off before I tried to stamp. My friend Linda also suggested using a much shallower level of wax to start with and I think that might have made a huge difference with that first stamp, but did not go back to check it out.

I tried a stencil. It had quite a bit of fine detail, too, and the wax really seeped under it and blurred all the details. Less wax and cooler wax still seeped under and also did not penetrate the fabric. I did not adhere the stencil to the fabric, but I don’t think that would have made much of a difference, because the wax penetrates the fabric and that seepage would still have gone underneath. So next time I’ll try a less detailed stencil.

My favorite stamping tool has been far from the fine lines of these tjaps. It’s the bottom of a wire basket and makes a great grid pattern on the fabric.

I’ve used this before and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. My quilting love started with geometric traditional patterns and I’m still drawn to strong lines in my fabric choices. And now I can make my own…quite a difference from tracing templates 40 years ago!

I’m going to go rinse out my fabrics and I’ll show you the ‘after’ in the next post…


8 thoughts on “Last Dye Day

  1. I have done all these things also, using soy wax. I found that the kitchen tools did the best job. I use my wood block as a stamp with fabric paint brushed on it. It works great.


    • I’m still not a big fan of fabric paint, but there are times when only painting will get you the result you want. I am also getting a big collection of kitchen tools and hardware store items that are dedicated to my soy wax experiments. It’s so much fun!


  2. Very interesting-I don’t dye so it’s fun to “watch” the process. Love the third photo down-wonderful result!


    • Almost gave up on dyeing early on until I learned more about the different types of processes. I thought my first efforts were going to end up like commercial batiks! I love it now and am totally in to the lucky dipping style! I love the surprises I get.


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