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