Homemade Batiks

The 2011 FunLab Summer Camp has officially started! Since the theme of the first week of camp was “Under the Sea”, we spent a week exploring different arts and crafts techniques dedicated to the ocean and its inhabitants. One particularly fun activity was the creation of a personalized batik. The kids are familiar with the concept of “resists” in that we have done oil and wax resists in past workshops but a glue resist on fabric was a twist that no one had created before. First, we showed them some examples of the beautiful artwork that can be created on fabric and the origin of this unusual technique. Then we explained that they needed to come up with a simple image to paint on their fabric using washable white glue. I gave each of them a scrap of white muslin left over from a quilting project, we put on our smocks and GOT STARTED!

The downside to this project is that there are long drying periods but our camp lasts a week so we were able to dedicate a half an hour to the creation of the batik for a couple days in a row. After painting the image with glue you need to let it dry overnight. The kids tend to put on a lot of glue and so it might need to be dried in front of fan the next day. Then we painted over the glue image with fabric dye. This is a very liquid paint that is completely absorbed by the fabric – meaning that you need to protect the surface under the fabric.  In fact, we covered our table with our faithful drop cloths! You need to remind the kids to completely paint over their image.  Since they are beginners at this technique, we had them paint a square of a single color for a better result. Hang your batiks up and let them dry at least overnight.

The next day the kids will be a little bit puzzled because it is hard for them to understand exactly what the glue has done.  Where is their image?  After assuring them that the project was not ruined, we started washing the batiks in warm water. The kids could not believe the “magic”. Their image appeared in white! Take a look at our before and after washing pictures!

Before washing:

After washing:

After the fabric is dry, iron and your batik is finished. Our little artists were very proud to show Mom and Dad their creation!

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