How to Dye Fabric with Chickpea Flour – Quilting Daily

Looking to stir up a little fun in the kitchen? Try dyeing with resists from the kitchen! You can create many of the same effects as wax batik techniques using resists off your pantry shelf.

Flour paste resist is one of the most popular of these dyeing techniques. Just mix plain flour with cold water in a 1-1 ratio, spread it on fabric, and let dry. Gently scrunch the fabric and then paint dye over it. Let dry completely, rinse out the paste, and machine wash.

You can create similar fabric resist dyeing effects with baby rice cereal, potato flakes, or oatmeal.

Chickpea flour resist dyeing technique by Sandra Spagnuolo.
The right side of the fabric still has the dried, crackled flour on it;
the left side shows the resist rinsed out.

Another, lesser known resist dyeing substance is chickpea flour. Sandra Spagnuolo shows how to dye fabric with chickpea flour in an upcoming issue of our sister publication, Cloth Paper Scissors.

“I developed this gluten-free variation out of necessity. I wanted to share the magic of traditional flour-based resist with my students, but was concerned about removing the paste at the end of the process. Gluten-based flours are very sticky when wet and should not be rinsed down the drain. I wanted to find a way to avoid the mess,” writes Sandra.

hand dyed batik fabric with chickpea flour spagnuolo
Some of Sandra Spagnuola’s hand dyed fabrics.

“I experimented with a number of products to find a paste to use in my classes that would clean up easily and be inexpensive to use in large quantities, but still create the same wonderful effects as traditional flour paste. I decided on chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour.”

Sandra often uses the finished pieces layered and stitched on a card or to create an interesting batik background on a canvas journal cover.

I can think of a hundred ways I could use faux wax batik fabric in my art. What about you?

I always find mixed-media fabric and stitching projects I love in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. Subscribe and find out all the mixed-media fun you could be having.

P.S. Need more dyeing how-tos and inspiration? Check out our Adventures in Fabric Dyeing Collection and  Vibrant Color: Combining Soy Wax and Dyes for Brilliant Results.

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