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Glue gel resist fabrics

I've been wanting to experiment further with gel glue for quite some time.   I had one go-round Elmer's school glue gel and learned about some of the properties, but this time I wanted to do abstract designs on fabrics and then use them later in different projects. 

1. I chose habotai silk for the project, and ripped it into pieces that would be small enough to do on my counter top, near the kitchen sink.  I drew all over the silk pieces and let it dry for several hours.  The glue is still rubbery to the touch even after it's set.

2. The glue softens when you add water media, so I tried not to totally soak the fabrics.  Of course, if you've played with silk, you know it soaks up water and spreads it around like crazy, so just be aware that your design is not going to end up with hard sharp edges.  If that's what you want, use a different type of resist.  Paint you pieces darker and brighter than you want for the final fabrics.  I used diluted acrylics rather than fabric paints.

3. Let the fabrics dry completely.  Overnight is best.  Begin to remove the glue by gently scraping it off with your fingernails.  At some point you will have removed all you can in this manner, and you'll need to add water.  Water, with a bit of mild soap, will dissolve most of the glue.  It will also remove some of the color that you've added, leaving you with a paler version of what you started with.  That's ok.  It is what it is, with this technique.

4. Let your fabrics dry again, and iron them gently.  Use parchment paper to protect the iron and board surface from glue residue.  I love the sloppy uncertainty of this technique.  Here are a few more examples, the first one drying and last two after the glue has been removed:

Glue gel resist fabrics
Manipulated fabrics - part one
Manipulated fabrics - part two
Manipulated fabrics - part three

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Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Those are beautiful! This has been in the back of my mind for a project since the first time you played with it...eventually, I will get to that!
Very interesting. Thank you for all the tips, Cyndi.
Tammy said…
It has the look of batik!
Cyndi L said…
Thanks guys! Tammy, I think you're right, especially because washing them out softens all the colors.