Resist printing tests

Intrigued by my previous research into resist printing I decided to experiment with the techniques and see if I could come up with a modern resist recipe that would work successfully.

Resist test 1


flour and water

I felt my first experiment should be with the most simple resist recipe that I found. 1 part flour to 1 part water. This is easy to produce and goes onto fabric reasonably well but it warps the fabric and can crack. It also dissolves very quickly when added to the dye bath so is only really suitable when painting dye onto fabric.

Resist test 2


Das air dry clay mixed to a paste with water

My next experiment was with Das air drying clay mixed with water to form a paste. This was slightly more successful but was still quick to dissolve in the dye bath.








Resist test 3


1st resist recipe

Next using some of my research I made a basic recipe using similar ingredients to a recipe for the (Dabu) Indian resist recipe that I had found:

  • River bed clay
  • Calcium hydroxide (Chuna in Hindi)
  • naturally pounded wheat chaff (Beedan in hindi)
  • Tree gum (gound in hindi)

The dug out mud from the dry pond is soaked in water in a separate tank overnight. The mud resist is freshly prepared before every printing. A mixture of beedan and gound are added with mud and mixed to make a sticky paste.

I used:

  • 1 part kiln fire clay
  • 1 part household flour
  • 1 part gum arabic
  • 1 part calcium hydroxide
  • 4 parts water

Resist test 4

substituted wheat gluten

substituted wheat gluten

For my last initial test I substituted the flour for wheat gluten which because it it entirely gluten has a concentrated glutinous texture which I imagined was the reason for its addition. This was the most successful of my experiments. it gives the most uniform white resist.

NB: for each of these tests I sprinkled wood shavings onto the wet printing to aid the drying and set the paste. Ideally I would use sawdust but have found it very difficult to find.

This was an exciting first exploration into resist printing and I felt I have achieved some interesting results to take further.


After these tests I decided to see what layering could look like based on some sketchbook work exploring eyes.


I printed the resist past onto alum mordanted cotton. when dry I dipped into an indigo pot rinsed and dried the repeated the process.

resistThe results are really exciting!



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