Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Soy Wax Printing

 I signed up for an on-line class about soy wax printing. Soy wax is supposed to be more eco friendly than normal batik wax printing, so I thought I might as well try it as I like to know ways to achieve texture on fabric.

Here I am melting the soy wax flakes in my old electric frypan.

Melting the soy wax flakes

They don't take very long to melt.

I got out some of my hand dyed fabric and drew some wax lines and shapes on the top and then painted over the top of that with some blue Procion dyes.

Printing with the soy wax

Here are the results.

The top fabric shows the before and the bottom fabric shows what it looked like afterwards. Not really much of a result for the work involved.

Then I tried using freezer paper as a resist. I cut some freezer paper circles and fish shapes and ironed the negative shape onto yellow fabric. Painted wax in the shapes and then over painted with green dye.

I wasn't very impressed by those results either. Soy wax is obviously a very loose technique and you are not supposed to get crisp edges.

I think I can get better texture with sun printing and painting with dyes and paints or even the flour resist that I used last year.

I don't imagine that I will do soy wax resist printing again. At least I gave it a go. Apart from the ordinary results, I hated washing out the wax. Here is a photo of some fabric soaking in very warm water in a bucket.

rinsing out the soy wax.

You are supposed to rinse out in very warm water in a bucket to loosen the wax and then you can wash in a hot cycle in a washing machine. I rinsed out in very hot water and scrubbed the fabric with my hands but I found the wax very hard to remove. No matter how much I wash out that bucket with hot water, I cannot get the wax off the inside of the bucket. There is no way I would want to put that soy wax in my washing machine.

I had some left over blue dye so I dyed some white PFD fabric and got a nice light blue with texture!

It was light though, so I cut it up into 3 pieces and over-dyed one in the same blue and the other piece in Turquoise dye.

Here are the results.

Blue dyed fabrics

I was happy with them and must do some more dyeing while we have a bit of warm weather left.

So, I gave soy wax resist printing a go and can cross that off my list of techniques.

Bye for now,


jude's page said...

Good try, unless you have a go, you don't know what works. Where do you get your pfd from?

Linda Steele said...

Hi Jude, I got the PFD from Lilly Patches, a shop here in Melbourne. I think she might get it from Victorian Textiles.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

It seems like a pretty messy process so I think maybe I'll give it a pass. It was interesting to read about your results though and to see what happened. I remember trying something similar using a flour paste and I ended up throwing the entire mess into the garbage.

Linda Steele said...

It wasn't very messy to do Magpie Mumblings, the trouble rinsing off the wax made it a no go for me though. Better to know than wonder what if!