We use Procion cold water dyes which are ideal for using with batik as they don't need hot water (which would melt the wax) to produce beautiful vibrant colours. If you are dyeing paper they need only to be mixed with water and applied, but for cloth which may need washing, you should fix them using a soda solution. All the instructions are given below.
Remember to use these dyes only on natural fabrics - pure cotton or silk or rayon. These dyes will not take on anything with polyester or nylon in it.
You can use dyes in at least two ways. You can either make up small quantities and simply paint them on, or you can dip-dye.
Paint on dyes
To make up dyes in concentrate form for painting onto cloth, mix about a quarter of a teaspoon of the dye powder with 2 tablespoons of the soda solution. Once mixed together this will last for up to 2 hours at full strength. You can make colours by mixing two or more dyes together when in powder form.
To make the soda solution you need to add a heaped teaspoon of soda ash (about 10 grams) into one and a half pints (900ml) of warm water and give it a good shake.
This will keep in an airtight container such as a plastic bottle in a cupboard for a couple of months.
To dye up to 150 grams of cotton (approx 2 metres) you will need to make:
A Salt Solution
150 grams of salt dissolved in about 100ml of warm water.
A Soda Solution
12 teaspoons of washing soda (or 6 teaspoons of soda ash) dissolved in about 100ml of warm water.
A Dye Solution
Between 1 and 6 level teaspoons of dye powder depending on the depth of colour required. The colours can be mixed.. Mix these with a little warm water into a smooth paste.