Pancake Batter Resist!

I’ve been trying to learn about different dyeing techniques, and recently, I tried a pancake batter resist.  Yes, pancake batter.  You’ve heard of using flour or other starches to create a resist for fabric dyeing. But I had a box of rather ancient pancake mix, so I thought Why Not?

I don’t have any ‘in process’ pictures, but the results were quite intriguing. The first two pictures show the front side of the fabric.

Results after using Pancake batter resist and  fabric dye, at

Pancake batter resist results – Yay!


Results after using Pancake batter resist and fabric dye, at

A Close Up View


Here’s what I did: I mixed up some pancake mix + water to make a medium to thin batter.  I took some white fabric, and pinned it to a foam board, to keep it flat. This is a must, as it will try to curl as it dries. Then I spread the batter on as best I could.  It takes A LOT of batter, it turns out, for a half yard of fabric, so some areas were thinner than others. I applied the batter to the foam board on my dining room table.  It was a real mess. Dried batter everywhere the next day (floor, table, chairs… did I mention I did this very late at night after some wine…).

In a few areas I did some drawing in the wet batter.  You can see a bit of swirls on the left side of the two photos above, and areas on the right where I dragged some fork tines through it.  So the marks showed up well in the finished fabric, although I didn’t concentrate of mark making too much.  I would have done more, but I didn’t start until I had spread batter on the entire half-yard, and by then much of it was starting to dry.

After the batter dried thoroughly, the fabric was very stiff. I very gently rolled it up and put it into a bucket, where I dyed it using Procion MX dyes mixed with a soda ash solution, in a low water immersion bath. The rolling surely loosened areas of the starch.  My results would have been quite different if I had dyed it in place on the foam board.  I don’t remember what dye colors I used, but it looks like a purple and a gold.  The white areas are where no dye penetrated.  Don’t you love the crackle effect?

Reverse Side: Pancake Batter Resist, at

This last picture shows the back side, where the results were softer and more subtle.  I like both!

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