Friday, January 25, 2008

Glue resist batik

This is started out as a piece of plain white cotton fabric, which I painted with Elmer's "Washable School Glue No-Run Gel." It looks light blue in the bottle. This technique does not work with regular white Elmer's glue.

I allowed it to dry completely, which took about 4 hours. I put mine on top of the dryer while a load of laundry was tumbling, just to make sure it was really dry. It's hard to tell, because it is still a bit sticky even when it is dry.

Then I took Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow fabric dyes and painted them on. The spots where the color is most intense is straight dye. The pastel places are where the dye is watered down. I was a little bit surprised that it really worked; I had expected the dye to wet the glue enough that it would sneak into those areas, but the glue must really saturate the cotton fibers. Pretty cool.

I allowed it to dry, then heat set the dye by ironing it with several layers of paper towels on both sides (because of the glue). Some of the paper stuck to it, but that was okay, because after that, I thoroughly rinsed it in warm water to get all the glue out, peeled off the bits of paper towel that had stuck, and then dried and pressed it.

This would be a really fun way to make quilt blocks for a kid's quilt. Or for one of those kindergarten quilts (you know, where the teacher finds out you are a quilter and suddenly you are in charge of helping 25 kids make a quilt?)

I wonder how it would work on a t-shirt...


  1. You are really on a roll trying these new techniques! I think I like this one the best so far, but maybe that's because I love batiks more than any other fabrics. I'm glad to hear you're keeping up on your laundry -- although I suspect that's mainly because you needed a warm place for your glue to dry.

  2. Good to know this works with fabric paints; I had heard it works with the MX dyes, as long as you don't submerge the fabric and paint/print on it instead (since submerging will wash out the glue, of course). You can SEE the top of your dryer? Wow. Now I feel really guilty :-)

  3. I learned how to do this in an online class with Susan Sorrell. I loved it and created alphabet letters to be used in an alphabet quilt. I am pretty sure I just used regular elmer's glue though and it worked fine. I need to go check my paintbox and see... it's been awhile.


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