I washed it out to remove any fabric softener, and then stuffed the insides with cardboard. I mixed up a batch of toothpaste resist, which is basically a 50/50 mix of a white toothpaste and an aloe vera lotion, in a squeeze bottle. Actually, I presume any creamy lotion would work just fine with the toothpaste. I do not measure for accuracy; hey, when you are using silly materials like toothpaste and hand cream to make art, somehow it doesn't seem to matter exactly what the proportions are!
When I finished the front, and then the sleeves, I was tired of the whole project, and wanted to use my work table for other things. So I decided not to do toothpaste on the back, but instead to just jam it full with color. Here's the finished back.
When the back was complete, I let the whole project sit for another day to set.
And here's a couple more views of the finished shirt:
If you will be in NOLA for the NAEA convention, perhaps you'll see me wearing it there!
By the way, if you want to see what my students have done with the toothpaste batik process, there are several posts on the blog for you to see. Either use the labels at the bottom of the blog and click on 'toothpaste batik' or use the search bar on the right, and type in 'toothpaste batik'. There's lots to find both ways. And if you are reading the blog on a phone and can't figure out how to do this search, you'll need to click where it says 'view in browser' (on an iPhone it will say 'view in Safari'). Then you will see the complete blog, not just the posts! If I've confused you, and you have no idea what I'm talking about, come to the elementary blogging carousel on Friday at the NAEA convention, and I'll be explaining it to you then!
A couple more quick points - this is the same process you may have seen elsewhere using Elmer's blue (washable) glue. I have tried using the glue as a resist, and found it very difficult to wash out. I definitely prefer the toothpaste mix. You may test and discover that some hair gels will also perform similarly as a resist, but they don't flow as nicely out of a squeeze bottle. The magic of the toothpaste/lotion mix is the ease. I love authentic batik, but really, this is so much simpler and safer than dealing with melting hot wax, fumes, and then having to iron all the wax out when complete. For now, I'm a toothpaste batik addict, and I'm thinking about maybe finding a silky scarf for my next project.