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One of the major problems of artists in general here is that of finding the right materials and tools. For the batik artists, you have to rely on fellow artists for a good deal and product, except for the cotton fabric which is readily available in textile shops around town.

When it comes to dyes and wax, it's a real nightmare looking for these in downtown Kampala. It all comes down to one word, 'genuine'. It becomes tricky because it's hard to tell a fake DYLON dye from a genuine one as they all look similar. So when you buy, you have to take them home and test them before use. I once looked for a Dark blue dye for 2 months without getting the right one. It's the same case with yellows. There is a place near the old taxi park where printing materials are sold. In this place, one has to ask around the many shops for a particular dye in vain. I was eventually directed to a good dealer who sells dyes at a higher price but the dyes are genuine. I don't compromise on dyes as a good piece of work can be spoilt by poor dyes.

As for wax, genuine bees wax is hard to come by, therefore paraffin wax comes in handy. I used to by blocks of wax in the past but the Chinese candle wax works much better. I encouraged fellow artists to do the same. In conclusion, you have to know someone who knows someone with the right stuff, other than wasting valuable time walking up and down looking for what you need.


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