Make Your Own Fabric with Easy Resist Dyeing – Quilting Daily

Fabric designed with baby rice cereal,
by Lisa Kerpoe.

pokey boltonI just love to design my own fabric. Sometimes, I love it so much, I get all mushy.

That’s when you’ll find me whipping up resists in the kitchen using mashed potato flakes, oatmeal, or even rice cereal for babies.

I learned these resist dyeing techniques from Lisa Kerpoe, who has been writing a series on kitchen resists for Quilting Arts Magazine and who also was a guest on Season 8 of “Quilting Arts TV.”

Lisa’s methods give her fabrics the look you might achieve with batik techniques, and they are so easy.

Here are the basic directions for mashed potato resist:

1. Prepare your fabric for dyeing by machine washing with 1⁄2 teaspoon of Synthrapol and 1⁄2 teaspoon of soda ash to remove any sizing. Spread the fabric out on a protected work surface. Pin it down so that it’s fairly smooth; this makes it easier to spread on the resist.

resist dyeing
Resist dyeing with instant
potato flakes.

2. Mix 1/3 cup mashed potato flakes with 1 cup hot water. Spread the mixture onto the fabric. You can use a squeegee or a spoon-it doesn’t have to be perfectly even.

3. Using a skewer, draw patterns onto your fabric. Writing on fabric when covered with this paste is also fun, and you can use kitchen tools and other implements to make impressions.

4. Let dry completely. This can take about 24 hours, depending on the humidity.

5. Paint on your thickened dye. (Be sure to wear a mask when mixing the dye and wear protective clothing while mixing and applying the dye.)

6. After the dye has cured, rinse the fabric in warm water and scrub off as much of the resist medium as possible before putting it into the washing machine.

I love these resist methods because they are inexpensive, readily available, and completely low-tech. Perfect for making fabric on the spur-of-the-moment, or for when you want to design on one day and dye the next. Plus, the resulting fabrics will be uniquely yours.

I had such a good time making fabric designs with Lisa on “QATV.” Even if you don’t like to get all mushy, there are plenty of other talented artists demonstrating surface design and stitch techniques in Season 8 of “QATV.” You won”t want to miss a minute, so be sure to pre-order you copy of the “QATV” Series 800 DVD set today.

P.S. Do you use kitchen resists? What’s your favorite? Any artistic results you’d like to share or funny mishaps you can relate? Leave a comment (and a link to an image) below.

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