Getting started with fabric and fibre


Batik is a pattern or picture dyed into a piece of cloth. It is also a ‘resist’ process, where melted wax (under supervision) is brushed onto a piece of fabric. The fabric is sometimes crumpled to make cracks in the dried wax. The cold dye will penetrate these exposed areas and create the textured effects for which the technique is noted. When dry, the wax can be removed by covering the fabric with a sheet of brown wrapping paper or very old newspaper and ironing over it. The wax may be brushed on haphazardly in initial experiments, but these should be followed by more carefully planned patterns and pictures.

Tools and implements can be designed as stamp motifs to create new and unusual textural effects. More experienced children would be capable of several stages of waxing and dyeing. It is a worthwhile and enjoyable technique, because children often achieve colour and textural effects with relative ease in batik that might not be possible in other media.