Sunday, June 03, 2007

gum arabic resist tutorial

i've been experimenting with gum arabic as a resist and there are some advantages that i've found.

  • safe
  • not messy
  • easy to remove-no dry cleaner or laundry
  • easy to use
  • it works really well on silk
  • it won't coagulate with acid dyes
First take the fabric and stretch it very well. If not the resist will pool and touch your table.
Mix your gum arabic with equal parts of tepid water and mix until dissolved. It won't thicken as alginate, but it will become less runny in around 20 minutes.
Use a brush for painting large areas or you cn also use a tjanting as you would with liquid wax. Paint a light even coat heavier for cotton. You can add on coats and layers as required by your design

Wash brushes while the resist dries. You know when it's dry because it becomes transparent and brittle on the fabric. Handle the fabric carefully because as the resist is brittle it can tear lightweight fabrics.

Paint or stamp your fabric. You can also screen print it.
Avoid however immersing the fabric in water or any liquid since this, as with any other water soluble resist, will dissolve it .

Rinse the fabric in tepid water until the resist is eliminated. You may have to rub it off lightly depending on the fabric or leave it in water for a while.
So far i've stamped Pebeo fabric paints , airbrushed Dekasilk and printed with thickened Procion MX.
Do not eat, drink or -heavens no!- smoke while carrying on the process. If you do it's at your own risk!!! And of course do not ingest.Leave that to the soft drinks and food industry as they are major consummers of the substance.
Experiment with this resist and let me know how it goes.

neki desu


  1. great tutorial, thanks!

  2. FABULOUS tutorial and I actually have some Gum arabic in my stash of stuff!!!

  3. Brilliant tutorial, both visually and written. I too have some of this - unused - now I know what I can use it for! Thanks.

  4. Thanks for this Tutorial now I know what to do with the Gum arabic I got for using in painting and never got round to using.

  5. Great tutorial! I have to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I know I have Gum Arabic around here somewhere - Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!

  7. thanks for the tutorial - looking forward to trying it, but just as a note, in your slide show you may want to edit the one that says how much water to add to the gum arabic - it says qt instead of part (I'm guessing you might want to spell part, since pt could be interpreted as meaning pint, although that would be better than mixing a quart - lol)

  8. Anonymous6:13 PM

    What about using this with dyes that are steam set? COuld the gum arabic make it through the steaming process?

  9. anonymus,
    i really don't know about steaming as i don't steam my fabrics, i batch them.
    the only way to know is do a test run.


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