How to: Rice Flour Resist

I’ve been working on a talk for the Indiana SAQA group on resists. I had it all finished, and then I ran across an article about rice flour which I’ve never tried, so I had to stop and play.

We don’t keep rice flour on hand, but we have a flour mill since Dave makes most of our bread and grinds the grain into flour. So he ground up some rice for me.

I added water to the rice flour, making the consistency as thin as possible.

Unlike flour paste, it is hard to spread it on the fabric. I kept watering it down until I finally just poured it on. I tried to spread it but it just wouldn’t spread.

So I thinned it more and spread it with my hands.

Now to let it dry.

It takes several days to dry. When it finally is dry it looks like a desert. Unlike flour resist where you have to crack it, rice paste cracks on its own.

That cool! However, adding paint was difficult. To help with the process, I watered down the textile paint. As I added the paint, pieces of the rice flour still would come up.

Here it is finally painted. Now to let it dry.

Unlike flour resist, rice flour is real easy to just scrap off once the paint is dry.

Since the fabric was still a little damp, I let it dry and then ironed on the wrong side to set the paint. Then I handwashed, dried, and ironed it.

Here is the finished piece.

Here is a piece using a stencil.

So what do I think about this resist?

Here are some of the negatives:

  • It’s hard to spread on the fabric.
  • It takes a long time to dry – a day longer than flour paste.
  • It stinks when drying.
  • It’s hard to paint. If you use a real thin paint like Dye-na-Flow it will just seep under the paste and the design will be gone.

And the positives:

  • It’s easy to remove. It just flakes off.
  • It creates an interesting design.
  • Using it with stencils creates a lot of interest.

Is it worth playing with? Of course. Is it something I want to do if I’m looking to quickly make some interesting resist fabric? Probably not. But I must say, I only played with it for two sessions. Maybe there is a trick I don’t know about. I do love the cracks on the stencil fabric. I could see doing much more fabric with this rice flour and stencils.

That finished fabric piece reminded me of Dendritic mono printing, which is much easier to create. Here is my tutorial on it.

Have you ever tried rice flour resist? I’d love to hear what you think about it. If you have any tips, I’d love to read them. Thanks for dropping by.