How to Use Jacquard Permanent Water Based Resist in Silk Painting
Some folks want me to share how I use resists, hence the following instructions.
Dye spreads every-which-way on silk unless resist lines contain it. Dharma Trading Company, a major retailer of fabric-art supplies, says, “Of all the products Dharma carries,…resists are the most technically difficult to use.” I hope my little how-to helps:
I apply resist using a resist applicator bottle.
A syringe is an easy way to get resist into that little bottle. Otherwise, it can be messy and difficult. I also wasted a lot of resist trying to get it into the little bottles before a friend told me about the syringe. Cut off some of the syringe tip, or its opening will be too narrow, because resist is very thick.
All resist lines should connect and be unbroken. In other words, they should never end mid-space. But dye spreads so much on silk that it will bleed past a tiny gap in a resist line. After applying resist, I hold my silk so it is backlit, to see if there are any little gaps. If so, I fix that.
When the resist is dry, apply your dye. Use the smallest size silk-painting brush. If you can afford a good quality brush, it helps keep bits of dye from straying outside your lines. Use a tiny non-silk painting-brush if you have tiny spaces to fill.
Use something to raise your silk above the work surface. For example, when I paint on silk hoops (metal circles or squares that come with the silk glued on, see the pic to the left), I might put small bits of cardboard at the edge of the hoop to raise it. Otherwise, your silk rests directly on the work surface; then the dyes can puddle on the work surface and up against the silk; that puddle can run past your resist borders. Or I hold the hoop a bit off the table with one hand, brushing dye on with the other.
Brush on just a bit of dye in the center of a resist-defined space. If too much dye is applied, it pours past the resist. Wait a minute to see how much the dye spreads. If more is needed, apply it. If you touch your brush right up against resist, the dye may overflow.
If dye does bleed past a line, go with the flow. Nothing is perfect.
You might want to start using resists just to draw, or as accents on a dyed or painted piece. See pic to the right. Drawing with resists is good practice before using them to block spreading dye. If you do this, wait until the dye and paint are dry before applying resist.
A friend of mine who is a successful commercial artist has no luck using resist, except for accents. However, her six-year-old daughter uses resist like a pro. And, after my first dismal attempt at it, I caught on very quickly. So if you want to use them, jump in and just try. See if they are for you. Have fun!
And please post below, if you find all this technical stuff and discussion of supplies useful. It will encourage me to blog more of the same.