Basic Batik

A simple guide to batik. 

Step 1

Pin the fabric tightly to a frame using silk pins or drawing pins. Draw the design on lightly using a pencil.

Step 2

Mix up a dye base using 1 litre warm water with 10 tbsp Urea and 1 tsp of Calgon. Mix 1/2 tsp Lemon Yellow Procion MX dye, 1 tsp of Soda Ash and 100mls dye base. Paint the design onto the fabric. Leave to dry.

Step 3

Put the tjanting into the hot wax and allow to heat. If the bowl is hot the wax will stay hot and ensure that it penetrates the fabric. Draw wax onto the fabric to retain areas you wish to remain yellow. 

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 & 3 with each additional colour. Using wax to retain each colour. We used Lemon Yellow, Scarlet Red, Magenta, Red Brown and Indigo building up the colours from light to dark. 

Step 5

Paint wax onto all areas you wish to retain. It is advisable to turn the frame over and coat the underside to ensure no gaps. 

Step 6

Paint the entire design with Indigo Procion MX dye. If you would like a crackle pattern on the design you need to remove the fabric from the frame and screw up the fabric to crack the wax before painting.

Step 7

Leave the dyes to react with the fibres for at least 24 hours. Leave to dry and then iron out the wax using a hot, dry iron and brown paper. Rinse and then wash the design using Colsperse to remove excess dye. 

Step 8

The finished piece!

Paper Stencil Screen Printing

A quick introductory guide to screen printing with a paper stencil. You can download a printable pdf. here!

You will need:

  • Screen
  • Squeegee to fit
  • Paper to cut your stencil – photocopy paper is good – layout paper is better
  • Craft knife
  • Water-based fabric ink such as Speedball
  • A padded surface to print onto – a folded sheet is good
  • A Garment
  • Newspaper

Step 1) Draw the outline of the image you wish to print.

Step 2) Using a craft knife, cut out the image. You want to keep the outline of the image and any infill pieces. 

Step 3) Stuff the garment with a sheet of newspaper to stop ink reaching the rear of the garment. 

Step 4) Position your stencil where you want the image to be, remembering to position any infill pieces. 

Step 5) Lay your taped screen onto the stencil. Check there are no gaps around the outside of your stencil. If there are add an extra layer of tape. 

Step 6) Put a thick bead of ink along the top edge of your screen. 

Step 7) Flood your screen with ink by pulling the squeegee across it lightly at a 45′ angle. Then repeat with a little force, when you have printed correctly there should be no ink on top of the mesh and the noise of the squeegee pull should sound a bit like a zip! 

Step 8) Lift the screen from your garment by pressing on one side and lifting the other (a bit like opening a book). Leave the garment to dry and then iron to fix. 

Jacquard Screen Ink Discharge

This new product landed on our shelves a couple of weeks ago and we are very impressed with the results. Printing on a dark colour is always difficult and opaque inks feel much stiffer on the finished article. Using Jacquard Screen Ink Discharge you can lighten pre-dyed fabrics at the same time as printing.

This product was designed for use with Jacquard Screen Inks but will work with other water-based, translucent Screen Inks such as Speedball or Permaset Aqua. Mix 7% of the Screen Ink Discharge into your ink of choice. 7% is roughly 3/4 teaspoon per 50g of Ink. The Discharge additive is liquid so if you use too large a percentage it will make the inks too runny to print with.

Screen your selected image onto your T-shirt as normal. We used a 43T mesh and a commercially dyed T-shirt. Leave the ink to dry for 30 minutes. 

Steam iron at the highest temperature appropriate for fabric until the image is developed enough – you can see this happening in front of your eyes. A strong odour is given off during steaming, we would recommend using in a well-ventilated area with a mask. 

The T-shirt can now be washed as normal. As you can see the image is much brighter than you could usually achieve when printing a translucent, water-based ink onto a dark T-shirt.

Tie Dyeing 5 Ways – Part 3 – Scrunch Dyed T-Shirt

One plain white, cheap cotton T-shirt, made to look very Isabel Marant!

Here was our inspiration:

  • Take one plain white T-shirt and soak it in water.
  • Scrunch the T-shirt up and tie into a bundle.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of Charcoal Procion MX Dye with 100mls of warm water.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of Soda Ash into 100mls of warm water.
  • Mix the two solutions together.
  • Pour the mixed solution into a squirty bottle. And squirt the dye over the T-shirt. When the T-shirt is covered put into a plastic bag and leave for at least 2 hours for the dyes to react with the fibres. The longer you can leave it the better.
  • Rinse the T-shirt under cold running water. First rinse it whilst it is still tied up and then when the water runs clear undo the knots and rinse again.
  • After the water runs clear you can wash the T-shirt in a washing machine. We would recommend using Metapex on a 60′c wash. Metapex will remove the any remaining excess dye. (If you don’t have any Metapex you can use a non-biological washing powder/liquid).

The finished T-shirt!

Tie Dyeing 5 Ways – Random Dyed Leggings

These black and white leggings were purchased in the sale at New Look but never worn.

  • We mixed up three squirty bottles of dye putting 1 teaspoon of Soda Ash, 1 teaspoon of dye and 1 teaspoon of Urea in each along with 200ml of warm water. The dyes we used were Golden Yellow, Scarlet Red and Bright Royal. (We used Urea as this was not an immersion dye and, as Urea is a humectant (sucks moisture in from the air), it would help keep the leggings damp which would assist the fibres to react with the dyes. 
  • We then squirted the dyes onto the leggings, making sure that enough was put on so it would soak through to the other side, but not so much so that the leggings would be swimming in dyes and that the colours would all mix together. 
  • We covered the leggings with a sheet of plastic (bin bags work well for this) and left for two hours. Then we rinsed the leggings under cold running water until the water ran clear. Then we washed the leggings on a 60’c wash with a teaspoon of Metapex.

The finished leggings!

Tie Dyeing 5 Ways – Spiral Dyed T-Shirt

Here is the last instalment of Tie Dyeing 5 Ways and it is a bit of a classic. We used the method for a Spiral Rainbow Tie Dye but only used two colours Scarlet Red and Bright Royal.

  • We took a dry plain white T-shirt and placed a fork where we wanted the centre of the spiral to be. We then started twisting (as if putting spaghetti on the fork).
  • When all the edges were in the spiral. We took some elastic bands to secure the twist. 
  • Then we made a solution made from 2 litres of water and 2 tablespoons of Soda Ash and left the T-shirt to soak for 15 minutes. 
  • We made up two dye solutions. One bottle of Bright Royal and one bottle of Scarlet Red. Each bottle had 200mls of warm water and 1 teaspoon of Procion MX dye. First, we squirted just over half the circle with Bright Royal (turning over the T-shirt to make sure we covered both sides), then we squirted just over half the T-shirt with Scarlet Red. We wanted the colours to overlap and blend.  
  • We wrapped the T-shirt in clingfilm and left for 24 hours for the dye to fix well. (You need to leave for at least 2 hours, but the longer the better).
  • After 24 hours we remove the T-shirt from the clingfilm and rinsed (whilst still in elastic bands) under cold running water, until the water ran clear. Then we undid the T-shirt and rinsed again until the water ran clear. 
  • After the water runs clear you can wash the T-shirt in a washing machine. We would recommend using Metapex on a 60′c wash. Metapex will remove any remaining excess dye. (If you don’t have any Metapex you can use a non-biological washing powder/liquid).

The finished T-shirt! 

I was sent this lovely pic from Hannah Clay – they followed our guide and look what they made!

Tie Dyeing 5 Ways – Part 2 – Dip Dyed Denim Waistcoat

Next up was a cropped denim waistcoat. We wanted to dip dye it. This method can be used for a huge variety of garments.

  • First we gave the complete waistcoat a good soak in a bowl of water.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of Procion MX Turquoise into 100ml of tepid water.
  • Dissolve 3 tablespoons of table salt into 1.5 litres of water.
  • Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Soda Ash into the Salty water.
  • Mix the Dye Solution into the Soda Ash/Salty water solution.
  • Squeeze the excess water from the waistcoat and then put on a hanger. You need to allow the bottom 5cm of the waistcoat to sit in the dye solution. The waistcoat will need to stay in the solution for at least two hours. The dye will gradually creep up the waistcoat. When it has reached your desired level it can be removed.
  • After two hours the fibres should have reacted with the dyes. Remove the waistcoat from the dye and rinse the excess dye out under cold running water. Be careful at this stage not to allow the excess dye to touch undyed areas as the dye could stain. Rinse until the water runs clear.
  • After the water runs clear you can wash the waistcoat in a washing machine. We would recommend using Metapex on a 60’c wash. Metapex will remove the any remaining excess dye. (If you don’t have any Metapex you can use a non-biological washing powder/liquid).

The finished waistcoat!

Tie Dyeing 5 Ways – Part 1 – Scrunch Dyed Denim Hotpants

This weekend I tie-dyed some clothes with my two daughters. They had seen some Isabel Marant styled clothes in Top Shop and we thought we could give it a go ourselves.

First up was a pair of sad and tired jeans.

  • We dipped them in a 10% bleach solution scrunched up for about an hour (whoops forgot to take a photo) and then machine washed them ready for dyeing.
  • We cut off the legs and then placed the denim hotpants to soak in a bowl of water.
  • We added 1 teaspoon of Deep Purple Procion MX dye to 100mls of cool water. Making a paste from a little water and the dye first makes it easier to dissolve the dye fully.
  • We added 1 tablespoon of Soda Ash to 100mls of water and stirred until it had all been dissolved.
  • We mixed the Soda Ash solution into the Dye solution.
  • We poured the Dye and Soda Ash Solution into a leakproof plastic bag. Putting the bag inside a tub makes this step much easier.
  • After squeezing out the excess water from the hotpants scrunch them into the bag and tie the top. Give the bag a couple of squeezes and then leave for at least two hours. (We wanted the the depth of colour to be stronger in places, so giving the couple of squeezes ensured the dye was spread about inside the bag, but allowed the folds in the hotpants to act as a natural resist to the dye).
  • Remove the hotpants from the bag and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Then put the hotpants on a 60’c machine wash to remove any excess dye. (We use Metapex for this as it will remove the excess dye. If you don’t have any Metapex you can use a non-biological washing powder/liquid).
  • Ready to wear!

Open Access Print Studios

Below is a list of open access print studios, facilities and cost varies per location – if you know of anymore please let us know so we can add them to the list.

Aberystwythprintmakers – Wales

Art Academy Print – London

Bainbridge Studios – London

Black Church Print Studio – Dublin, Ireland

Boden Print Studios – Buckinghamshire

Cardiff Print Workshop

Cork Printmakers – Ireland

Double Elephant Print Studio – Exeter

Dundee Contemporary Arts

East London Printmakers

Fife Dunfermline Printmakers 

Glasgow Print Studio

Green Door Printmaking – Derby

Handprinted – Bognor Regis

Highland Print Studio – Inverness

Hot Bed Press – Salford

Ink Spot Press – Brighton

Inky Cuttlefish – East London

John Howard Print Studio – Cornwall

Leicester Print Workshop

London Print Studio

London Printworks

Marshfield Print Studio – Nr Bath

Northern Print Studio – Newcastle upon Tyne

Ochre Print Studio – Surrey

Omega Printmakers – Portsmouth

Oxford Printmakers

Print Club London

Printmaking Afloat – Hertfordshire

The Print Room – London

Red Hot Press – Hampshire

Sidney Nolan Trust – Powys

SLAUGHTERHAUS Print Studio – London

SONSOLES Print Studio – London

Spike Print Studio – Bristol

Swansea Print Workshop

Thames Barrier Print Studio

West Yorkshire Print Workshop

Yale College – Wrexham