Weekend Projects: Batik Inspired Napkins, Part 1

Wow, it’s been a while since we did a Sunday Project.
Lately I’ve been inspired by Batik designs and patterns. Batik is a type of Indonesian tie dyeing and wax resisted pattern designs. That is to say you paint with wax on the fabric and then place the piece in a dye bath.

Designs can be very elaborate, but I thought i’d keep it simple for my try at it.
I chose 100% cotton napkins. I washed and dried them to get rid of the sizing used when they were packaged. Then I dyed them a base color.

Materials:
Fabric (100% cotton or silk)
Large stainless steel pot
Rubber dish gloves
Large kitchen garbage can
Fabric dye (I used Rit Brand Fabric Dye)
Kosher salt

Recipe for dye bath #1
I used a combination of the Bucket and Stovetop methods
1 package Rit fabric dye.
1 cup Kosher salt
8-12 cups boiling water
In a very large stainless steel pot, bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in fabic dye and salt. Leave over heat until salt is dissolved, stirring occasionally.


So, now you have about a gallon of boiling hot, brightly colored, fabric dye. I did mention you should wear old clothes? Put on your rubber dish gloves now too.
Place the garbage can into the bath tub or kitchen sink or any place where, if it should tip over it’s not going to be a disaster.
Carefully pour the hot dye into the clean garbage can.
Submerge your fabric into the dye (carefull it’s hot!) and swish them gently around, making sure it all gets saturated.
If the color seems too dark or intense add more clear water until you’re happy with the color.
Allow fabric to soak for 30 minutes.
When you’re happy with the color achieved, rinsed the fabric with cool water until the water runs clear and ring out as much of the water as you can.
Dry, either on a clothes line or in your dryer.
If you choose dryer, remember that the color will bleed, so put the fabric in there alone!

Now you have your base color! Pretty! Nice job!
Next time, we’ll move on to penciling in our pattern and applying the wax and taking our fabric for another dip in the dye bath!

Stay tuned.

Oh and, a little bit of Soft Scrub cleaner gets rid of dye in your bathtub…

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