Batik using fleur de lis stamp.

Batik using fleur de lis stamp.

I’m interested in batik. But beeswax and parafin are problematic. Parafin is petroleum-based. Beeswax is a limited resource. And both are a bear to remove from the cloth. (Hot irons, paper towels, over and over–isn’t that wasteful?)

Recently, I have been reading about soy wax. It has a low melt point, which means it’s easier to melt and it’s easier to remove (hot water can remove it!)

So I gave it a shot. It melted easily (and at a low enough temperature that I could dip a foam stamp into the wax). It solidified pretty quickly (I thew the silk in the refrigerator to facilitate). And then I did a low-immersion dye of the silk. (Note: soy wax would definitely melt in a hot dye bath.)

The wax didn’t come out quite as well as I had hoped, but it may be much easier to remove with a really hot wash. I plan to try the technique on cotton. That way I can wash the heck out of the fabric without fear of ruining it.

I think I’ve got the bug. Batiking here I come.