A printing and dyeing technique, in which certain areas of cloth are treated in such a way that they ‘resist’, the dye that colours the rest of the cloth. Prior to dying, the areas of resist are either treated with a substance, such as wax, or knotted, sewn or stapled according to a pre-determined pattern. In two coloured patterns the dye colours the ground cloth and the undyed, resist, patches create the pattern.
The art and skill of the dyer is crucial to the success of the project and the level of precision required by a particular technique. Poorly constructed resisting results in dye leakage that can spoil any pattern, yet the best resist dyed works can be very fine, of great elegance and museum quality.
Resist dying at its best is a very high art form–among which are the Ikats and double Ikats, along with bandhani, shibori. Almost all of these techniques, wherever that are in the world are dyed with indigo
Each type of resist dying has its own endless permutations and patterns, but generally the methods are:
a) Batik: wax is used to paint the pattern onto the cloth, protecting the areas that are to be left undyed
b) Tie–dying: areas of cloth are tied up so tightly that the dye can’t penetrate. Bandhani is a controlled technique to gain regular spots, other tie dying can be extremely random.
d) Silk printing: a wax pen outlines the areas between the designs to prevent the applied dye running into the adjoining area.