Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sugar Resist Tutorial and Fabric Giveaway




I’m excited to be a guest on the blog today. Thank you to the “Fire” crew for inviting me and for focusing on resist techniques this month! I’ll be giving away a sample set of resist-dyed fabrics.  Details on how to enter and a photo of the samples appear at the end of this post.

Before the “sweet” talk begins, I have to do a little bit of resist evangelizing. Working with resists is kind of like magic. After applying the resist and then the dye or paint, you end up with a stiff, ugly, strange-looking piece of fabric. You have no idea what the final piece will look like. Then, once you wash off the resist and excess dye, the pattern appears, seemingly out of thin air!  

I fell in love with resists about eight years ago. A friend invited me over for a play day in her garage.  We experimented with flour paste, potato and corn dextrin and soy wax.  I wasn’t impressed until I washed out my fabrics at home.  The fabrics I created that day were beautiful.  They had so much depth and texture.

After that initiation, I started experimenting. Over the past eight years, I’ve tried most of the commercially available products and just about anything available from the grocery store that forms a paste. One of my favorites – sugar – is the subject of today’s tutorial A lot of people are avoiding sugar these days, but here is a low calorie way to enjoy it.  The only weight you’ll add is to your fabric stash!

Resists are usually allowed to dry before you apply the paint or dye because they can more easily breach the resist while it is wet. Sugar syrup works very well for wet-on-wet techniques.  Part of the appeal is the way the dyes mix and mingle with the syrup. It creates soft edges as the dye/paint blends with the syrup. Plus, sugar syrup is available in the grocery store – no waiting for your internet order to arrive!


 
Below is an overview of the process. Download the pdf tutorial for more detailed information.

Sugar syrup is easy to mix by heating equal parts confectioner’s sugar and water on top of the stove. I like to let it cool a bit before using – it becomes thicker as it cools.




There are lots of ways to apply it.  You can drip it from a spoon or syringe.  You can drizzle it over the entire cloth, then spread it with a notched spreader.  You can use a found object stencil and brush the syrup through the openings. Whichever method you choose, make sure to leave some areas of the cloth without any resist.  Part of the effect is the way the dye spreads on the fabric and how it reacts when it reaches an area with the resist.

Sugar syrup dripped from a spoon

Sugar syrup applied with kitchen scrubber

Sugar syrup applied with notched spreader

Dyes or paints are applied with an eye dropper while the sugar syrup is still wet. Apply the color to the white areas of the fabric and on top of the sugar syrup. The liquid dye interacts with the liquid syrup and moves and changes.



Once the fabric is dry, or almost dry, it can be washed. (See the tutorial for a note on using dyes vs. fabric paints.) Don’t let the cloth dry completely before removing it from your work surface – the syrup acts like glue! The syrup washes out easily in warm water. 

I usually work with dyes rather than paints, but I'd like to show you a sample I did recently with fabric paint.  I generally suggest Dye-Na-Flow, a very thin paint that is the consistency of dye.  I was out of Dye-Na-Flow, so I used Pro Chemical's ProFab paint thinned with their paint thinner. 

Here is the right side of the fabric.


Now, look at the wrong side.  Notice the wonderful rivulets that appear in the paint.


Now, on to the fabric giveaway! The resist-dyed sample set includes 7 pieces of cloth, totaling about 1 yard of fabric.  


 The set includes cotton, silk noil, rayon and silk/cotton.   If you would like to enter the drawing, leave a comment on this blog post. The winner will be drawn at random from those who leave a comment by August 6.



62 comments:

  1. Just beautiful,dyeing, I think I'll be trying the sugar syrup soon

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  2. Your book is going to be front and center at our group's dye day on the 13th! I've not used resists much at all and can't wait to try your techniques. Especially great because it's readily available ingredients. Thanks for sharing here.

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  3. <3 Thanks for sharing the wisdom. <3

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  4. Wow! Thanks for the tut. I love resist but have never tried sugar. And your fabric is beautiful. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  5. Amazing! I love the fabrics, can't wait to try some sugar resist, and look forward to reading your tutorials! Thanks much for sharing about resists!

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  6. love the red/blue/purple fabric: how was it made?
    Katherine

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  7. I have gotten back to fabric painting and am using the Dye-Na-Flow paints... I will have to give the sugar a try... It looks like such fun! Beautiful fabrics!

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  8. Thanks for all your comments! Kathy - have fun with your dye group.

    Katherine - that cloth was done with two layers of oatmeal resist.(One layer dyed and washed out, then another layer)

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  9. I am always looking for a new resist to apply to my unsuspecting fabrics. Thanks for this wonderful information!

    glen

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  10. Love your work and am excited to try your sugar syrup resist! Thanks for all that you do and share with us! Cheers, B

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  11. Wow! Such beauty and creativity!

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  12. I learned so much from reading this! It's very unique. Love how it turns out :) Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Thank you so much! I'm going on a dyeing workshop tomorrow but after I shall definitely be trying this!

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  14. This looks like a lot of fun, and the fabrics are wonderful. I love the way your brain works. Dyeing with a sugar resist is something I never would have imagined. Thank-you so much for sharing this with all of us. Hugs, Diane www.dianem.wordpress.com

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  15. Gorgeous results! I wonder if my hummingbird will come and help me disperse the syrup! LOL! Thanks Lisa! (Your book is being read and notes are being taken. It is fabulous.)

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  16. As a Southern Girl I'm going to have to try the Grits Resist!!!

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  17. Definitely not a resist that I would have thought of. I'm in the process of trialing several things...unfortunately I have an idea of what I want...not serendipity this time. Your blue, green rivulets are close...I'm going to get the sugar out! Thank you!

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  18. great results, I have never thread resist dyeing
    Before, but this looks doable!

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  19. thanks, but if I work outside with sugar won't we get ants?? tee hee !

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  20. This looks like great fun Lisa. I can't wait to get started. I haven't had my dyes out for quite some time.

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  21. ohhh cool technique! Love this blog!! you really could start playing with what's in your cupboard and see how well it resist!

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  22. Beautiful stuff. Why did you choose confectioner's sugar? Would regular table sugar work as well? Or natural sugar? I ask because confectioner's sugar contains corn starch, corn being one of my allergies!

    Suzanne Riggio

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  23. Great question, Suzanne. You can use granulated sugar - you just have to make sure not to overcook it or it turns into candy! It is also more likely to crystallize, which doesn't seem to affect the look too much, just the consistency.

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  24. Looks like an interesting process. Would love to win some fabric. Mary Alice (maz)

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  25. I"ve read your magazine articles on kitchen resists - sugar looks like it gives really interesting results! Would love to win the fabric bits, too. :)

    Linda

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  26. Awesome technique and beautiful fabric. Thank you for sharing!

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  27. This sounds like a lot of fun and the fabric looks so pretty!

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  28. What a cool technique! Beautiful results! Will certainly have to try this.

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  29. What an exciting new technique. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the PDF tutorial. Please enter me in the giveaway!

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  30. All of your work is so exciting -I had to purchase your new book. I am looking forward to trying all of techniques. Thank you for sharing.
    I would love to win some of your dyed fabric. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Donna

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  31. Really interesting results! I especially love the sample in the lower right.

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  32. Just luscious samples of your resist fabrics. I am a big fan of resists and work with it as well in my watercolor work. I would use these fabrics to cover some of my handbound books...would they look great or what!!!

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  33. I have sugar, I have Dye-Na-Flow, I'm ready to try this! Wasn't aware of sugar resist (or this blog - thanks so much, Beth.)

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  34. Hi Lisa... Just received your new book in my mailbox and it is wonderful. Belong to a great group of fibre arts enthusiasts who are all about using resists. We will give your tutorial a try at our upcoming weekend play date Aug 18-20... you make things so clear and consise! THANK YOU. Would love to have some time with you one day soon - maybe San Antonio?
    Bethany Garner in Kingston, ON Canada

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  35. Nice experiments. The fabrics in your give away really turned out nicely. I'm sure I could use them in an art quilt. Thanks for the tutorials too.

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  36. What a fun technique! I'll have to try it.

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  37. Wow, that is a very interesting technique. I am going to have to try that sometime in the near future!

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  38. Never, ever, thought of using sugar as a resist. Thanks for a great tutorial and I'll be trying it really soon.

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  39. I would love to have these fabrics, they are fabulous!
    Nancy
    nygilpin@gmail.com

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  40. okay google hates me today, 3rd try.
    I love your fabric and the sugar resist technique is really cool.

    Thank you for the chance to win.

    Susan Parker jdprkr@pacbell.net

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  41. Thank you for the wonderful post, I've just discovered your blog, it's great!

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  42. I was just directed to your blog and it's wonderful! I love all the techniques.

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  43. What a sweet solution! I love the idea of using a household ingredient in a creative way. Your bright colours and textural effects are fascinating. Thank you for such clear instructions and beautiful photographs. Best wishes, Sian

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  44. I can't wait to try this idea!

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  45. I love the effect the sugar syrup uses. Very nice.

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  46. Looks like fun! Thanks for the tutorial

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  47. So beautiful it's almost a shame to make something out of them.

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  48. I have wondered if sugar syrup could be used as a resist, now I know and I will be playing with sugar. Thank you for sharing!
    Diane Kinsley

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  49. Thanks for the fun tutorial! I'm going to be doing some fabric painting soon, and I'll have to include some sugar syrup resist, for sure.

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  50. Thanks for the great tutorial. I haven't tried "kitchen" resists yet, and in fact just getting into the resist arena and the sugar resist sounds irresistible (sorry!). Diane Weeden14B

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  51. Great idea, and I would love to win the fabric.

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  52. You're inspiring me to try this again.

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  53. this technique you are showing is so new to me and so interesting! thank you so much for sharing!!! I love the results and cant wait to try it on silk.
    Mariel

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  54. I've only done one class on surface design, it was on using bleach, and it was great fun. I've been reading about resists for a while, and I thought it would be expensive to do, so I hadn't tried it yet. But, using sugar sounds within my budget, and since my husband is now diabetic, this is a great way to get rid of the powdered sugar in my cupboard! Thank you for your tutorials.

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  55. Thanks for the tutorial... I plan to try this method! Would love to win the fabrics.

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  56. Sugar resist - how sweet is that?

    I would love to win

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  57. This looks so fun. Your book is next in line for purchase! Thanks for sharing.

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  58. Thank you for the giveaway, I'm amazed at all the different techniques there are to dye things, I hope I get up the guts to try one soon!

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  59. What a great tutorial, I like how the fabrics look. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  60. Just catching up on reading the quilting arts post. So glad I saw your posting. The dyed fabric is wonderful Thanks for sharing your technique. Hope I win.

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  61. Hope I'm not too late for this. That fabric is amazing. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  62. Lisa, I'm curious whether the fabric should be dry after the soda ash soak (before adding the syrup) and what difference that might make in the final results.

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