hand-dyed fabrics

potato dextrin resist

Potato dextrin is an amazing substance!  Basically starch, it comes as a powder, and is cooked up into a substance about the consistency of mayonaise.  One stretches the fabric, and then spreads the dextrin mixture on it.  As the dextrin dries, it shrinks a bit, making cracks in the surface of the resist.  The really wonderful thing is that the cracks are of differing fineness, depending on how thickly the dextrin was applied.

I'd like to give you a link to a page full of wonderful pieces made with potato dextrin.  Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka make marvelous fabrics for quiltmakers and others, and have done a lot of experimenting with potato dextrin.  (Their pictures are also much better at showing the cracking than mine are!)


Above are two closely-related pieces. On the left is the fabric as I first made it, showing the dextrin resist with an overlay of redish and greenish dye. On the right, you see the cloth after I've vat-dyed the whole thing orange.

Something that tickles me about potato dextrin is that it's non-toxic, and so can be applied directly with hands. (did you guess?)

Below are two parts of the same cloth. For this one, I simply poured the dextrin on using a ladle. I left most of the big round blobs as is, but some (including the one on the right) I manipulated to make a thinner, more jagged shape.

<< Previous technique | Next technique>>

Back to fabrics index page

home | store | studio & archives | gallery | fabricsmore information

© 2006 Colorquilts. All rights reserved.