Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Working with Resists - Soy Wax

For years, I was drawn to the look of batik, but I didn't want to deal with the wax removal.  When I learned that soy wax washes out with hot water, I rushed to try it. Now I keep a supply in my studio at all times. Compared to some of the other resists, it is easier to maintain the "white space" with soy wax while hand painting. It does tend to break down somewhat in an immersion dye bath, but I love the soft look that creates. Soy wax can be applied with a variety of tools or simply brushed onto the fabric. Here are some of my samples. 

See how the white background was maintained. This feature allows great possibilities for over dyeing.

Even though it is a soft wax, it will crack to create an interesting texture.

This leaf was created by applying soy wax through a stencil.  After washing out the wax, a layer of dye was hand painted on the cloth to give it a hint of color.

When layered with other resists, you can achieve much depth and complexity.

You can even use soy wax for shibori. How have you used soy wax in your work?

Read my tips on working with resists.

Read about working with sugar syrup.

Read about working with acrylic medium.

Read about working with flour paste.

Read about working with oatmeal.

Read about working with potato dextrin.


  1. Lisa- What material would you use to make a stencil for soy wax?

    1. Hi Susan,

      My favorite stencil material is interfacing (the non-woven kind, like Pellon). It comes in several thicknesses and is easy to cut with an exacto knife. Then just paint it on both sides with acrylic paint to seal it.


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