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I love multi-color batik work, but I do mostly single color stuff. The only reason that I generally do single-color work is that I haven’t found a great way to apply the colors. In the past I have mixed up small batches of the same dye that I use in the tub bath and hand-painted them onto the fabric, but those need a soda ash solution under them to make them colorfast,* and that means that the wax outline has to be applied first, and even then, sometimes the colors travel outside of the lines anyway.

I tried out dye markers next, for a less complicated way to get the dye onto the fabric, and I love the control that a marker provides. But, in honesty, I haven’t yet found a marker that I really love. All the markers that I’ve tried so far seem to start drying out on me midway through the project, so I wind up with bright colors in some places, and then dull colors where you can see the streak lines in other places.

And then I picked up some markers a few weeks ago that I really had hope for – they have squeezy barrels, so when you start getting that dry, raspy effect, you press them for more ink.** The only problem is that the tip on these dye markers is so wide that they turned out to be impractical for the detail work I was trying to accomplish.

But then I realized something – the tip of the markers actually comes off \o/ Meaning that I could pour some of the dye off and use it to hand-paint the design.*** So let me show you how to do it:
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December 2012