Learn the characteristics of each resist
There are a host of substances that can be used as a resist and each has different properties. Some are more water-soluble than others. Some crack when dried. Some remain permanent on the fabric even after washing. You are more likely to be pleased with your results if you choose a resist that matches your intended application and dye technique. For example, to achieve a finely detailed image with crisp edges, a silkscreen or thermofax is the perfect tool. That eliminates using oatmeal, flour paste or soy wax as a resist, because none of them go through a silkscreen easily. Commercial water-based resists, acrylic medium and gel glue are the perfect consistency for screen printing and each will yield a slightly different result.
The cloth below was screen printed with Jacquard water-based resist and with acrylic medium, then brushed with thickened dye. The acrylic medium left a softer, ghostly image and the Jacquard left a more pronounced image.
This cloth was created using flour paste applied with a squeeze bottle. Many resists could have been used to create a similar effect, however flour was chosen for it's cracking properties. The cracks add interest to the circle images.
This cloth employs both soy wax and flour paste resists. The soy wax was applied with a stencil. Then flour paste was applied with a rag, creating a scumble effect. After the flour paste was dry, the cloth was immersed. The soy wax holds up better than flour paste in an immersion, so the leaves retain more of the original fabric color.
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