Homeade Batik Fabrics…Not Gluten Free!

 
I came across this really cool idea from an artsy parent website.  I am really sorry that I can’t find it again and share the original link. (I will have to get better about that.) For those of you who follow me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/goodwinscustomcrafts) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/goodwinscustomcrafts) you “may” have already seen some of these images. >insert heavy dose of sarcasm here<

Actually, you would have seen them over and over across the last IMG_9143IMG_9133couple of months as the project went from the initial phase to the complete one.  I had so much fun with this project and the unlimited potential for creativity and was so pleased with the outcome that I was a little obnoxious about it.  The kids each got a piece of fabric to do themselves, then my oldest and I worked on the large one together.  I debated about keeping the final product for myself, but I put a nice asking price on it, and honestly, I struggled to find a place to hang it in my tiny house.  I am reassured by the fact that there will be more of these in the future!!

I don’t really know how to do a tutorial other than list the steps and share pictures.  ( I would love to do some development in this area of my life!!)  So anyway, this IMG_9165was so easy!  Here is how we did it:

NEED:

squeeze bottles with small holes (I found some reusable ketchup and mustard bottles at the dollar store but you could also reuse actual mustard bottles…ketchup bottles have a little too large a hole); water and whole wheat flour in equal parts; organic sateen cotton fabric (works best because the weave is tight and it keeps the flour glue from soaking through as much); newspaper (to layer underneath to catch the moisture), 5 gallon buckets or large soup pot for dying, some sort of dye of your choice (I get mine at www.dharmatrading.com ), rubber gloves

Now, if you are asking yourself if whole wheat flour is really necessary, I have no idea.  It is what I read about and what I used, so I don’t know how this changes if you use regular white flour or regular cotton, but I suspect the process is flexible and would accommodate those variations with little trouble. I get my organic cotton sateen from www.organiccottonplus.com .

STEPS:

  1. Mix the water and flour together until there are no clumps, as they will get stuck in the squeeze bottles.  I suggest a kid who likes to whisk things! 🙂  You are basically making a flour glue or paste that is thin enough to squeeze out of bottles without running.
  2. Fill squeeze bottles, enough for everyone to have their own if you can, or you can share.  We aren’t good at sharing when it’s something really fun like this!
  3. Lay your newspaper down on the floor, a table, or whatever surface you are using.  The thicker the better.  I think I also opened up some cardboard boxes to lay down.  It gets VERY wet, so protect your surfaces!
  4. Spread out your fabric and GO. TO. TOWN.  I suggest doing a little research first on the history of batik fabrics because it is AMAZING and will totally inspire you to get creative and give your kiddos an appreciation for this age-old process.
  5. Now for the hard part…Waiting for the flour glue to dry.  The longer you can leave it to dry, the better your batik will be.  The flour should be mostly solid to the touch, but still slightly flexible.  If it gets TOO dry, it will crack and fall off in the dye bath.
  6. After fabric design has dried to the touch, fix your dye. I use five gallon buckets in the bath tub or kitchen floor, but you could do it outside too.  You might want some rubber gloves for handling the fabric while it’s IN the dye bath.  I gently dunked the fabric in the dye bath and didn’t agitate it too much, in order to keep the flour in place.  Stir it, but don’t WHIP it, if you know what I mean…
  7. I am not going to go into how to dye fabric because that is way too complicated and you can learn it on your own from whatever dye company you dye from…So yeah, you are on your own from here.  The take-away is that NOW you dye it.
  8. When the dye bath is finished, you will need to rinse out the remaining flour mixture.
  9. Open up your creation and ENJOY!  It will be beautiful!  Share you pictures in the comments, share on Instagram or Facebook and tag me because I would love to see it!!!
  10. Oh yeah…You have to wash it throughly, but that also has to do with the dye instructions, depending on the dye you used.  Fabric should be washed a couple of times just to be sure the dye is all out.  I wouldn’t recommend washing with other items.  Wash alone, dry alone, at least the first time.

That’s it.  I was very torn about what to do with my fabric pieces.  I thought about making a prayer flag banner, scarves, placemats, but ultimately, I made a quilt because that is what I love.  You could even frame them if you used small bits of fabric.

Thanks for reading and I really do hope you enjoy the process.  I know I did and the kids too.  DSC_0051