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How to Batik a Pillowcase

Batik is a wax resist dyeing technique. Wax is applied to fabric using brushes, or special tools such as the “canting/“tjanting” copper stamps, or brushes. Java and Bali in Indonesia are famous for their intricate designs.

Florentine Garden
Example of a 2 color, 5 shades Batik Florentine Garden by WuQing Hipsh

What You’ll Need
1 Natural Fiber (Silk, cotton) Pillow Case
Ability to Melt Wax: Melting pot, double boiler, electric wax pot, or frying pan
Paint brush
Tub Dye


Step 1: Make a Design

Step 2:
Pre-wash your fabric to remove any impurities that might interfere with dyeing. We recommend using Synthrapol for this.

Step 3: Transfer Design to your fabric w. a pencil

*Create Your Dye. I used this tutorial from dharma trading*

Transfer w. pencil
Transfer with pencil

Step 4: Melt Batik Wax in a melting pot, double boiler, electric wax pot, or frying pan at 220-230 degrees F

Step 4: Place a Piece of Cardboard inside your pillow case to keep it taught or stretch it on stretcher bars

Step 5: Apply wax with a thin paint brush over the areas that you want to stay white. (The wax needs to be hot enough that it soaks into the fabric, so it doesn't immediately cool and rest onto of the fabric.)

Wax over the Areas that you wante

Step 6: Place your pillow case in a tub full of  dye. All unwaxed areas will be dyed.

Place Fabric into Dye Bath

Step 7: Pour the dye out, and fill the tub with clean water. Rinse until the water runs clear.Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 1.31.31 PM

Step 8: Hang it up to Dry. As the fabric dries, the color will become lighter.

(Step 5-8 can be repeated to create a layered or multi color look)

Step 9: Iron out the wax between layers of news paper. A thick stack of newspaper should be placed under the fabric to absorb the melted wax. The top layer of newspaper can be a few sheets, and as they absorb the wax, they should be replaced.

Ironing Out Wax

* In practice the top sheet of newspaper should cover the whole area that you will iron on. For the photo the newspaper only partially covers the pillow case to illustrate that the pillow case is between newspaper layers.

Alternative Step 9: OR You can boil the wax out!

Step 10: It is difficult to iron out all the wax, so it is good to dry clean the final piece before use.

All done! Enjoy your Batiked Pillow Case!


Tutorials & Techniques