After meeting with Rob Jones of Romor Designs last year who showed me how to make simple paste resist I have been working and experimenting with paste resist.
I made some stencils and transferred paste through them on to fabric to make a couple of straightforward designs. I am eager to try more experiments, it is a very pleasing process. And a lot faster than shibori stitch resist!
Let Me Tell You About My Experiments With Paste Resist and Indigo
1. The Paste
Traditionally one uses a special Japanese rice flour and bran which I cannot obtain here in the UK. I could buy it at an outrageous cost from the USA but I need to find a recipe from affordable ingredients I can obtain here. It also makes it more accessible to others.
I followed the instructions on John Marshall’s website here. Using glutinous Thai rice flour instead of the mochiko and oat flour instead of komon nuka in his recipe in a proportion of 3 to 2. I bought the calx and glycerine too, all easily available from a builder’s supplies and a chemist shop (drugstore) respectively. I found a steamer in a charity shop (Goodwill).
2. The Stencil
The special Japanese paper for stencils is very expensive too and I can’t obtain it here so again experimented by using watercolour paper and varnishing with a matte paper varnish like Liquitex. I used 3 coats allowing to dry between each. Again further experiments to be made to avoid the use of acrylics. I used an ordinary craft knife to cut my designs.
3. The Results
My simple paste resist was a bit sticky but it worked well enough to make a few prints.
I played with a simple flower design and a bunch of grasses to see how it would all work out. Above shows the paste applied to the fabric and then left to dry for a few hours before dipping in indigo.
My simple paste resist was not entirely successful, the mix was a bit wet and the paste fermented after only a week but I know what mix I will try next, it needs to be a little dryer. I will update you when I have played further and found a better mix of ingredients.