DIY, craft, materials, and such / Paper and cloth(ing) as a medium

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This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

Paper and cloth printing/transfer

This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)

Heat transfer

Designs on clothing





DIY batik

Technically, batik is resist-dyeing that uses wax.

Basically, you need a cloth, dye, wax, a thermometer, and a large pot you probably won't use for cooking.

You can use most any type of wax - in theory. Some practical things you may care about:

  • The wax needs to not melt at the dyeing temperature. Specific dyes have specific needs, and this probably relates somewhat to how much the dye will stick around in the long term.
  • The cloth needs to be able to stand the temperatures you wash out the wax at (which will be higher than the dyeing temperature).
  • Harder waxes can be cracked after application for a cracked-line effect, softer waxes make for more solid lines.
You probably want softer waxes when you have detailed designs, while the crackling can add a nice bit of structure to simpler designs.
Paraffin is a hard wax - and common. Pure paraffin will probably crack too much.
Softer waxes include beeswax and microcrystalline wax.
Soy wax works too, and doesn't need to be as hot. This means the wax washes out more easily, which can be nicer for some materials, may also means you need to pick your dye by its temperature requirements

A double boiler (bain marie) makes for a good heat buffer and makes it much easier to control the temperature of the wax, and so avoid burning it while you're not stirring or not paying attention. Some waxes can be microwaved - but it's probably good to do so as slow as possible and/or stir regularly.

It will take some practice to keep the bulk of wax at a good temperature, and also consider the method of application, so that by the time the wax hits the cloth it's still at a temperature where it easily penetrates the fabric.

When you'll spend a while - fine detail, or when you want to batik regularly - you might want a setup that keeps the wax at a certain temperature. You might want to invest in something that can be fine tuned, such as a decent laboratory hotplate.

Fine lines can be made with a tool like the Indonesian canting (pronounced something like tsyanting) (something like a small metal funnel-like cup at the end of a handle), you can use brushes to cover larger areas, and you can apply repetitive patterns using some form of stamp (wood block, wire, etc.).

Other relatively practical tools can be:

  • sturdy eye droppers - you can reheat the wax in them by holding them in the heated wax
  • foam brushes
  • hair brushes (good for smallish detail, but can harden quickly)
  • bottles with small application snouts (hardening can be troublesome)
  • canting-like constructions - on soldering iron-like heaters

Removing the wax can be done with hot water, but because the dyes may still need some time to settle, you can get most off by ironing using paper towels, newspapers and such. You can also use warm water, probably with a solvent, such as soap, to get the wax to separate better.

Multi-color batik can be done in several ways. You can isolate areas with wax and apply ink to each. You can use multiple ink baths, covering areas with wax multiple times as necessary.

Clothing sizes

Reasons for confusion

Slender, tall, built, and such

Countries and clothing sizes

You can make a general split into countries that follow similar/distinct sizing systems:

  • US numbered sizes 4 - 24 (2 and 0 also exist, but are relatively rare)
  • US named sizes - XS, S, M, L, XL. Not well defined, so not very consistent. Mostly seen on T-shirts.
  • U.K. sizes
  • German sizes, Dutch sizes (mostly the same(verify))
  • Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal (mostly the same(verify))
  • Italian sizes
  • Australia, and New Zealand mosty follow the same system

Things to measure

Bra sizes

Glove size

Shoe size

See also


  • ISO 3635:1981 Size designation of clothes -- Definitions and body measurement procedure
  • ISO 4416:1981 Size designation of clothes -- Women's and girls' underwear, nightwear, foundation garments and shirts
  • ISO 5971:1981 Size designation of clothes -- Pantyhose
  • ISO 8559:1989 Garment construction and anthropometric surveys -- Body dimensions
  • ISO/TR 10652:1991 Standard sizing systems for clothes