Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Removing Wax from Batiks

What a Chore!! Removing the wax from the batik fabric that I did at the workshop, was a real pain! I had made about 10 pieces, some of them had a lot of wax on them, by the time I had put on 3 layers. I layered the ironing board with about 6 layers of newspaper, a piece of wet, wax fabric, and 3 more layers of paper. A hot iron over the paper melted the wax, and it was absorbed into the paper, which had to be changed frequently. More paper, more ironing, change paper again. It took about 3 times with new paper to get most of the wax off. I made a mess! Waxy paper all over, wet dripping fabric and the plastic it was wrapped in. Now I can put the fabric in the washer and drier to get off the last of the wax. The soy wax is water soluble, but I want as much off of the fabric before hand as I can get, so it doesn't clog the plumbing, we have old problem pipes. As soon as the washer is done, remove the fabric, and while it is still warm, wipe the inside of the drier to remove the wax ring build up. I haven't had any problems with the drier, and the fabric comes out soft and pliable, with no stiff feel from leftover wax. Using old fashioned bees wax for batik is a lot harder to remove, lots of ironing with paper, and then boil the fabric on the stove, let it cool and remove the wax scum from the top of the water. This may have to be repeated and it still leaves a stiff feel to the fabric. You can also dip the fabric in gasoline(outside!) as a solvent to dissolve the bees wax, but I don't think I want to do that to my fabric!! But one of the ladies in my Fiber Art Group did that and it came out ok, I would worry about the fumes and the residue! When the fabric is washed I'll post photos of the finished product.

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