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Batik-Inspired Dyed Scarf

Batik means "wax writing." In the traditional form of this technique, linens, cloth napkins, and roughcut cotton squares are patterned with waxed imprints of household objects; the shapes remain white where the wax resists dye. In our quick modern method, you can achieve a similar pattern with a kitchen pantry staple: chickpeas.

Batik Inspired Dyed Scarf

Photography: Manal Aman

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from our friend Manal Aman, who shares with us an innovative dyeing technique using chickpeas.


  • Fabric for scarf (rayon blends or cotton work well)
  • Dry chickpeas
  • Embroidery floss
  • Small scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Tailors chalk
  • Dye
  • Container for dyeing
  • Rubber gloves
  • Optional: Fabric bonding tape


  1. Lay out your fabric on a table or work surface and tape the edges of the fabric to the table. Be sure to lay out the backside of your fabric, not the front.
  2. Plot out your design using a ruler and pencil. You can create any design you like but here, we created a pattern of 5 dots evenly spaced out in one row, 4 dots spaced out in the next row then again 5 dots in the row after that and so on.
    Batik Inspired Dyed Scarf
  3. Once you’re done lightly marking your dots, remove the tape securing the fabric to the table. Take the fabric in your hand, put a chickpea where you made a dot and enfold the chickpea into the fabric. Use the embroidery floss and wrap around the chickpea several times, finally securing the floss with a knot.
    Batik Inspired Dyed Scarf
  4. Continue to wrap chickpeas in the fabric, tying each with embroidery floss so it resembles a puckered fabric as pictured.
    Batik Inspired Dyed Scarf
  5. Prepare fabric dye according to package instructions. Wear rubber gloves and dye the scarf in a container according to package instructions.
  6. Once dyed, it’s time to remove the chickpeas from the scarf. Use small scissors to carefully cut the embroidery floss tied around each chickpea. Be sure to not cut the fabric!
  7. Hang to dry and voila - you have a patterned scarf! If desired, you can edge finish the scarf with a sewing machine or fabric bonding type.

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