Handmade Artists' Blog

Serendipitously Resisting

Painted FabricI was looking through some old sketch books looking for a couple of old drawings for a reference for a new project, a painted quilted wall hanging. I came across an article I had tucked into one of the books about a Japanese man who makes beautiful silk kimonos and uses a rice paste as a resist. I need a washable resist, so this sounded like something worth exploring.   After looking at a few articles, I decided, this seems to be more work than I really want to do for a resist that will only last a few days once made.  More exploring and I found mention of pastes made with  cassava roots, yams, and  flour.  I don’t want to spend a lot of time making a resist,  I want to paint!  After researching the flour paste resist I found a couple of blogs that talk about their process, basically I found that most people use equal parts flour and water and mixing it until it’s free of  lumps.  One person uses a pastry bag with a small tip to pipe  on  squiggles.  After drying overnight, she  lightly cracks it so she gets a great batik effect.   I don’t want cracks, I want nice smooth lines, so on with the experiment.   I mixed the flour and water into a smooth paste and painted it on with an old paint brush.    I also tried a medicine syringe which made a nice rounded barrier,  and also made the material pucker.   Note: do not try to straighten out the puckers, it makes the flour paste crack.   Somewhat frustrated by now, I made another search of my supply closet and finally found the commercially made water based resist I bought several years ago.

Then I put the material in a hoop and once again applied the flour paste along with the commercially made resist.  I painted the material while it was still in the hoop, with much better results.

Flour paste resist applied with medicine syringe Results of flour paste resist applied with medicine syringe
 Flour paste resist applied wtith medicine syringe  Results of flour paste resist applied with medicine syringe
Painted flour paste resist Results of painted flour paste resist
 Painted flour paste resist  Results  with painted flour paste resist
Flour paste resist applied with medicine syringe, on the project. Results of flour paste applied with medicine syringe Note: the dried paste cracked
 Flour paste resist applied with medicine syringe on the project  Results with flour paste applied with medicine syringe on project
Flour paste resist & commercial made resist applied with material in a hoop Result of flour paste and commercial paste, painted while in the hoop
 Commercial resist and flour paste resist applied with material in hoop  Result of commercial and flour paste resists painted while in hoop

Conclusion:  the flour paste works quite well as long as it doesn’t get cracked.  If you are after a batik affect, it’s a great inexpensive alternative for the resists that need to be dry cleaned or need special processing.  If you want nice clean lines and easy removal,  I recommend the water based resist by Jacquard.

Written by Lisianblue




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