Resistance Is Futile

I couldn’t resist that title, since I just tried two methods of applying a resist to fabric. One art quilt group I belong to has been making noises about trying Elmer’s blue gel glue as a resist. Since I had some as well as a bottle of Jacquard resist I decided to declare last Friday an experiment day.

I used my circus tent design for the gel glue, and a lines sketch for the Jacquard.

Gel glue resistJacquard resist

The gel glue was applied directly from the bottle, while the Jacquard was put in a small bottle with an applicator tip. I put my drawings underneath the fabric and traced the lines.

Then I used Pebeo Setacolor light (transparent) paints to fill in the shapes. I quickly learned that too many small shapes give the paint lots of opportunities to breach the resist.

Gel glue resist being paintedI painted both pieces at the same time, using mixes of the colors you can see at the bottom of the photo above.

Once the paint dried and the fabric sat for several hours, I heat set the paint with an iron per the manufacturer’s instructions, and washed the fabrics in a bucket of soapy water. While the Jacquard product came off easily, the gel glue was recalcitrant. It’s a glue after all. I ended up scrubbing that fabric with an old toothbrush, but found I still didn’t get all the glue out.

Here are my results.

Gel glue resist finishedGel glue resist detail

Jacquard resist completedJacquard resist detail

In both you can see some bleed through. I got smoother lines with the Jacquard resist, but I think it’s because I used a fine tip applicator. The gel glue bottle was more awkward to hold so the flow of gel wasn’t as smooth, at least in my hands. If I use the gel glue again it would be for a simple design, possibly dashed lines, that I would paint over with a color wash. Also, as you can see from the Jacquard piece, I made some lines too thick for fine detail to show.

I don’t know if I’ll use this technique again soon, but I did get to recycle some of my master class designs.


Filed under Fabric Printing, Techniques

6 responses to “Resistance Is Futile

  1. I like these both and am glad to see the output. Have you tried plain ol’ Elmers white glue? And would it wash out more easily than the gel? (Of course, that’s of no matter if it doesn’t work.)

    Thanks. Always fun to watch from the sidelines.

    • No, I haven’t tried white glue. Gel glue was recommended as it doesn’t spread as much. You wouldn’t want the Elmer’s school glue as it wouldn’t stand up to the paint. There’s a trade off between how easily the resist washes out and how well it keeps your paint from spreading. I’m always happy to experiment so others don’t have to.

  2. I have used both of these techniques and you seems to have gotten better results. I would say the fine tip, for me, gave much better results. Really making sure the resist penetrates clear through to the back is important with these two products. I do think I didn’t have enough patience and did not allow a long enough dry time. That is a problem I have! Maybe someday we’ll see a quilt containing all of your Tent experiments (?).

    • I did let both dry overnight before I applied my paint. And it’s hard to determine how much resist to use to keep the paint from spreading too far. I did go over both pieces to make sure I had no gaps. As to my circus tent, my original idea was to cut out the tent in different colors of felt and sew them to bright silk solids. That is on hold until I can do that much cutting without injuring my arm.

  3. I’ll probably never try these techniques so I am sort of living vicariously through your experiments! I think the circus tent turned out really well!

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