Jul 29

Red Mehindi Batik Tee Shirt



I saw something like this on pinterest, where a woman showed how to use washable gel glue as a resist to batik dye a tee shirt. She wrote something on there, but I decided to use a mehindi design.

On the left, you can see where I’ve drawn the design in glue and let it dry. You’d think that with a built-in squeeze bottle with a small opening at the tip it would be easy to do fine lines, but the gel glue is just that: a gel. It beads up at the least provocation, and I had to go over some of the lines two or three times.

On the right, you can see the finished project. I like the way the batik lines look. They remind me of real henna, the way the thickness of the line sometimes varies. I find that appealing.

What’s not appealing is the dye. I used Rit dye, which is universally promoted as the one and only, the best home-dye, perfect for all your home dyeing needs.  As with every other time I’ve used Rit dye, it turned out poorly. 100% cotton shirt, brand new, soaked with 3x the strength of dye in as hot a water as the tap would provide, with added salt as a fixative.  It was supposed to be deep red. The box said “scarlet” and that it would do 1 lb, the equivalent of 3 tee shirts. This is more of a coral color, half the intensity.  In addition, it put spots of pink on several other items in my laundry, even after I’d washed it once with a load of red towels.

Rit ought to provide a chart for what color you get, based on what color the box is.  Black becomes sickly purple. Navy becomes sickly purple. Red becomes pink.

So, I’d call this project a conditional success. I like the design effect, but I don’t like pastels, and never wear pink. I’ve worn this a few times anyway, but I’m not happy about the hue.



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