The dewaxing method in adire making simply means melting the wax off the fabric.

Artisan using wax resist and a stamp to create designs on fabric.

Before proceeding to dewax a fabric, you first have to apply your patterns/design across the fabric using wax which serves as a resist to help prevent the dye from taking over all parts of the fabric. 

Artisan reaching for the wax melt to imprint on the fabric.

The wax has to be on low heat and in close range to the artisan while work is in progress. After covering all the desired corners with the wax, proceed to the dye bath.

It is essential that you mix the dye properly.

After dyeing the fabric, rinse it out 3-4 times and then transfer it to the pot/pan of boiling water to remove the wax.

To dewax the fabric, choose a pot to become your official wax pot that will comfortably hold your fabric. Fill up the pot with water and a handful of detergent (depends on the quantity of the fabric).

The essence of the hot water and detergent is to help ease off the wax and any excess dye away from the fabric.

While your water simmers add the fabric and stir using a long wooden spoon, to avoid getting too close to the pan so the hot wax/water doesn’t hurt your skin. Keep the fabric submerged in the pan of hot boiling water and after a few minutes, the wax will melt out of the fabric and float to the top. 

PS: You can reuse the wax for your next project as long as the water has dried out of it.

Rinse off afterward and let it dry.
Iron your fabric after it has dried to remove all trace of wax residue.



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