Soy Wax Batik and Fashion Spray

Today I wanted to show your my results with soy wax and Marabu Fashion Spray.

In the past I’ve used Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow and fiber reactive dyes with this technique (and they work great!), but I wanted to see how well these sprays would hold up. If you’d like to see how I used these sprays with stencils, check out this post.

If you’re not familiar with soy wax batik, check out this post for what you will need and the setup. It also includes a couple videos.

That was just a basic post on using soy wax with just one layer. This time I’m working with multiple layers. It’s important when working with layers to work from back to front. So if you want a certain color to show, put more wax over it when you add the next color.

I started with a piece of white fabric. For my first layer I added wax with a brush. I tried not to have such a heavy hand because I just wanted streaks. When making my first marks, I always check the back of the fabric to make sure it has bled all the way through.


Here is what the fabric looked like when this first layer of wax was completed. Looks like my goal of a light hand wasn’t working!!


It’s important to wait a minute for the wax to dry before adding the first layer of paint. Also use lighter colors first. I started with Sunshine Yellow.

After the fabric is covered with the first color, set it aside and let it dry. This is where working on several pieces at a time comes in handy. If you want to speed up the drying, you can take a heat gun or hair dryer to the paint. Just be careful not to melt the wax.

Once the fabric is dry, it’s time to add more wax. I’m using a cookie cutter to make circles on the fabric. Now is the time to remember how much of each color you want to show. I wanted a lot of yellow to show through so I added quite a bit of wax to this layer.

I also used a wood tool to make circles. (This picture’s color of yellow is more accurate than the above picture.) Now to wait for this layer of wax to dry which again only takes about a minute.

Now to add Reseda 061 (light green).

Once I’m happy with the green coverage, it was set aside to dry. Once dry, we add another layer of wax. This time I’m using a potato masher.

I was wanting to tone down the green, so this layer is sprayed with Sky Blue.

I ran short of the blue so I didn’t quite cover it as well as I would have liked to. Now to the last layer.

After that layer was dry, I added a bit more wax using a square wood dowel. You can see by the picture that the blue did not really change the green. I’ll talk more about this at the end of the post.

Now to spray the last paint color Marine Blue.

Let the finished piece dry for a couple hours. Then iron between newspaper until all of the wax is gone.

This will take a bit of time, but well worth it. Keep changing the newspaper until no wax comes off on the newspaper when you iron it. After most of the wax is off, iron directly on both sides of the fabric to set the paint. According to Marabu you need to iron the fabric about 3 minutes to heat set the paint.

After that is done, wash in hot water with two rinses, dry, iron and there you have your own soy wax batik fabric.

Both green pieces were done as the tutorial describes. The middle piece I only made three layers – Tangerine, Pink and Plum – painted in that order.

Now some thoughts on this process:

  • These Marabu Fashion Sprays work great. Because they are sprays, it is easy to cover the fabric in color in a short period of time.
  • When layering always start with the lightest color first. When I painted the third layer over the green, I was using the lighter blue that couldn’t overpower the green. Also, since the fabric was so saturated with color, I’m not sure there was enough space on the cloth for additional color. Even using the darker blue layer at the end didn’t cover over the green. Painting just three layers would have been enough. I am happy with the middle piece that is only three layers.
  • In my old tutorial I ironed on fabric to remove the wax. The newspaper is the way to go.
  • If you want to see cracks in the fabric, wax the whole piece, put it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, remove and scrunch up and then spray with black.

It’s such a fun technique and the tools you use to make marks are almost unlimited except they can’t melt.

In my quest to use some of the fabric I dye/paint, I decided to sew on a scarf I dyed green years ago. I’ve never worn it. I just didn’t like the color. I thought it might be nice to cut some of my fabric strips and sew to the scarf to give it some more color. If I didn’t like it, I’d give it to the thrift shop. I really like it and plan to wear it soon. It’s also a great way to show some of my favorite surface design techniques. From top to bottom: ice dyeing, marbling, dry brush dyeing, shibori sun printing, and soy wax batik. Now to see what else I have in my closet that needs some fabric added to it!


Thanks for dropping by. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring!