Mixed media-??
  • I've done batik in the past, but never tried any garments because I had a hellacious time removing the wax (tsk to my art teacher, who went with the newspaper-and-iron method). I've since learned about boiling with liquid soap, and we won't even get into the headache that would have saved me....

    The hitch--In reading up to do a bunch of tie-dye, it seems like using procion dyes are best for such things, using soda ash, etc. In looking into alternate batik methods, though, I got excited at the prospect of trying a water-based resist, which (unless I misunderstood something along the way) wouldn't work out well for a project such as tie dye where there's a "soaking" time...I was considering using Dye-na-flow, but am uncertain as to how economical (money and time-wise) it would be to use it for tie dying. ((As a note, I'm a vendor at festivals, so in addition to making all our signs/flags, I'll be churning out a significant amount of garments to sell))

    Is there a way to marry the two techniques? If I'm going to use the Procion dyes, should I just stick with the wax resist method and hope for the best? Would it be better to go with the water-based resist and the Dye-na-flow, so I can paint when I want to and dilute the dye for tie dying? Will the resist stand up to the tying process anyway?

    So many questions--this is what I get for "doing a little research" before buying! :D
  • Just a little more, since I talked to my husband...

    The flag/signs will be out in direct sun a LOT, so any information about what type of dye will hold up the best in sometimes unforgiving conditions would be greatly appreciated. Also pointers as far as the efficiency of various methods would be helpful.
    Thanks again!!
  • I think you should try soy wax as a resist. It doesn't hold up as well as batik wax to extensive soaking in dye, but works well enough, and can be removed by washing in very hot water with Synthrapol or another good detergent. (Use lots of detergent in order to be sure the wax is fully suspended in detergent before it goes down the drain, as it could be expensive to fix if it merely melts and then lodges in a pipe somewhere.)

    Other water soluble resists can work if you don't soak the fabric in dye, but just pour it on carefully. No presoaking in soda ash, so add the soda ash directly to the dye.

    Procion dyes are pretty good in the sun, but all dyes will be damaged to some extent if exposed to enough light. Check out the vast amount of info on this subject on my Lightfastness page. Most vat dyes are better, but you'll find the application process more challenging. Most direct dyes are worse, but not all of them are. Among the more commonly used Procion MX dyes, orange MX-2R is the worst, ultimately causing weakening of the underlying fabric after months of sun exposure; you might want to substitute an orange made by mixing yellow MX-3R with magenta or fuchsia.

    Pigment dyeing, that is, using fabric paint instead of dyes, for tie-dyeing, gives different results than tie-dyeing with real dyes. Try a small sample, a single shirt, with some small jars of the paint, to see how you like it. Some pigments are more light-resistant than many dyes.

    -Paula