The 3 Best Types of Wax for Batik (Batik Wax)

If you’re looking to start batiking, you’ll need to choose the right type of wax.

The three best types of wax can be used for batiking: traditional batik wax, beeswax, and paraffin wax. Each type of wax has its unique benefits and drawbacks.

The 3 Best Types of Wax for Batik (Batik Wax)

In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each type of wax so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you!

The 3 Best Types of Wax for Batik

tjanting
Traditional batik wax and tjanting. Credit: canva

Traditional Batik Wax

This batik wax contains a mixture of natural ingredients, including beeswax, paraffin wax, and plant resins that act as dye-resistant agents.

The batik wax is ideal for batik textiles because it melts at a low temperature. The resin can be applied in various ways, including tjanting, which is done with a metal or bamboo tool that has a tiny cup on end.

However, traditional batik wax can be quite expensive. It’s also challenging to find in many areas and must be shipped overseas from Indonesia or Malaysia.

Beeswax

The 3 Best Types of Wax for Batik (Batik Wax)
Beeswax blocks. Credit: canva

Beeswax is a natural, renewable resource used for centuries in various applications.

When it comes to batik, beeswax is ideal for creating delicate lines and detailed designs. It’s also effortless to remove from fabric once your design is complete.

It can be challenging to work with to create the exact designs you’re looking for, as it is not very malleable.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a synthetic wax derived from petroleum. It’s much cheaper than beeswax and can be easily found at most craft stores.

It is excellent for large area coverage and for creating three-dimensional objects.

However, it can be tricky to work with, as it does not tend to burn evenly. Additionally, it is more difficult to remove from fabric than other types of wax.

Vegan Alternative: Soy Wax

The 3 Best Types of Wax for Batik (Batik Wax)
Vegan soy wax. Credit: canva

This soy wax is made from soybeans and has few benefits over other waxes.

Soy wax is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and it’s biodegradable. Soy wax is also great for large area coverage and can be easily removed from fabric once your design is complete.

Batik Drawing Process

The 3 Best Types of Wax for Batik (Batik Wax)
A woman dipping the tjanting into the wax to create a batik design. Credit: canva
  1. If you’re interested in batiking, the first step is to choose your wax. Traditional batik wax, beeswax, or paraffin wax are all great options, depending on your needs and preferences.
  2. Once you’ve chosen a type of wax, start drawing your design onto fabric using a pencil or other hard, non-toxic marking tool.
  3. Next, apply the wax using a tjanting or another method that works for you. You may need to reheat the wax and reapply it as needed throughout the process.
  4. Finally, dip your fabric into dye to create your desired design.
  5. The fabric is then dyed after the layer of wax has been applied. This can be done by dipping the fabric straight into the dye or by applying the dye with a brush.
  6. After your design has been fully dyed, use heat to melt away the wax and reveal your beautiful batik design!

FAQs

Can I use candle wax for batik?

Yes. You can use candle wax for batik. It melts readily and evenly and is relatively cheap.

How do you melt wax for batik?

  • If you’re using a double boiler, put the wax in the top pot and heat it until it’s melted.
  • If you’re using a microwave, put the wax in a microwave-safe container and heat it for 30 seconds. Stir the wax and then heat it for another 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the wax is melted.

How hot should wax be for batik?

The wax should be hot enough to create a seal, so the dye doesn’t penetrate the fabric. However, it should not be so hot that it melts the fabric. The ideal temperature range is between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.