Tag Archives: Gutta



You have many options for supplies depending on your purpose.
Things to consider are:
silk dyes or silk paints
setting silk by iron, steam, chemical
resist such as gutta, water based resist, solvent based and how to remove or leave in

I recommend you read books or save yourself a lot of trial and error by taking the Online Silk Painting Course.

Here is a free sample class on materials: CLICK HERE

Resistad a Wonderful Resist Made by John Mitchell

Resistad from New Zealand



A globally unique GUTTA RESIST SYSTEM for silk painting which:

  • is supplied in concentrate form.
  • can be coloured with neat or pastel dyes.
  • DOES NOT IMPAIR the LUSTRE or SOFTNESS of the silk.
  • can be APPLIED with conventional squeeze PIPETTE or SCREEN PRINTED etc.
  • can CONVERT metallic and other TEXTILE PAINTS INTO GUTTAS.

I love Resistad especially since I can no longer get large bottles of any solvent base resist as the postal service will not allow it to go by air and I live in Alaska. So like many I have been on the search for the perfect resist. I heard about Resistad from silk painters at The Silk Painting Network and  on SPIN facebook sharing their favorite resist.

I have heard different version as to how and why to set it before painting. So I wrote to the man who invented it John Mitchell. He graciously answered my questions and said I could share the information with you all.


I love your resistad. I have read different instructions from various silk painters. I have heard it is recommended to steam set before painting on. I have always just ironed it. I have also heard some put it in the dryer first. Can you tell me what you recommend before painting with dyes? Thanks again for such a great product.



Hi Francine,

Excellent question which strikes at the very heart of getting the most out of Resistad:


There are 2 Resistad needs which require fulfillment prior to coloring the resist design in with dye:


1. Transforming the Resistad gutta from being water based into being water resistant. This requires heat. This is a unique chemical mechanism which allows Resistad to be water based for easy utensil clean up etc, while at the same time, being water resistant, for great resist performance. Any heat appliance should be as good as the next for this heat setting job. However because of the human factor some heat setting methods prove less problematic and more thorough than others. So from worst to best:

a. iron..why? it’s very easy to miss or under do part of a painting. Also if the iron temperature is set too high it will brown the guar gum component in the gutta and make it very difficult to wash this stiffened guar out at the final painting rinse thus leaving the silk’s softness impaired.

b. Dryer…Though this would be a choice method for thoroughly meeting Resistad’s heat setting requirement. The one big drawback would only occur if the gutta has been colored with dye. Once a dryer is contaminated with dye particles it’s almost impossible to clean it, and these small dye particles always have the habit of spotting the most precious silks any time during the current or subsequent dryer loads!!

c. fan heater…I like this option best (only for gutta that’s not colored with dark strong dye). why? because I can leave the painting on the stretcher frame in front of the fan heater, and I’m free to go away and do something else while the hot air is blasting the painting allover evenly…no chance omissions, and hugely reduced chances of browning.


2. All the above heat setting methods (a.b.or c.) do not address the second need within Resistad, if, and only if, it’s been colored with dark steam fix dye. The problem is that this dye inside the gutta is unfixed and when wet (color in) dye touches the gutta line edges it redissolves particles of dye on the line edge, and spoils the sharpness of the gutta outline. To fix this problem the only remedy is to steam fix the gutta outline design prior to coloring in, this design, with dye. Obviously, after steam fixation, the fill dye then cannot redissolve the dye inside the gutta because it’s fixed. Steam fixing the gutta design also simultaneously and very thoroughly satisfies the first Resistad heatsetting requirement at the same time as fixing the dye.

Double steam fixation is a labor intensive pain in the butt so I’d only bother with this measure if I have dark strong dye coloring my gutta lines.

Hope this is helpful and please feel free to quote or use the above, anywhere and anyhow you wish.







Thank you so much for your answer. I started Silk Painting Network and Tips for Silk Painting blog and would like your permission to share your answer with other

silk painters. That is how I found out about Resistad in the first place.


Regarding the problem of the dye inside of colored Resistad being dissolved is not steam set…could we use a paint like Dye-Na-Flow that only takes ironing to set as the color for the Resistad and just iron and then use heat set dyes for the rest of the design?


Warm regards,





Another great question Francine!


Big problem/bad idea:

Dye – Na – Flow is a paint

This means it’s a: resin = glue + color = pigment, system

For permanents paints rely on the bond of the glue in them to adhere their pigment particles to a given fiber

If you mix any paint with Medium or Thick Resistad (which contains guar gum thickener) the following glue spoiling situation occurs:

Upon heat setting the glue grips the dry guar thickener particles along with the fiber and pigment particles. But when you do the final rinse the guar gum thickener washes out and so the paint is left with it’s grip largely washed away….so the paint tends to fall off very easily…bad quality painting or garment!


If you want to mix paints with Resistad use only Thin Resistad which does not contain any guar thickener that will wash away. Always try to give paints an unobstructed grip on fibers if you want them to be permanent. Anyway silk is one of the hardest fibers for any paint to grip because of it’s sheer shiny slippery nature so don’t exacerbate this by adding Medium or Thick Resistad!


As said before share these answers anyway you like.





Removing Gutta Resist

Don Baker

Not sure where I read to do this, but it does work for removing Gutta resist.  Get a large pickle jar or something similar and pour about three inches of Naphtha (Available at most hardware stores in the US) into it.  Put your silk in the jar, put the lid on and shake a few times.  Let set for 10 to 15 minutes until the Gutta is removed.  Take the silks out and hang dry.  Naphtha is flammable and can harm you so be careful – wear rubber gloves.  I have to use this because none of the dry cleaners in my area will touch my silks.



This is a great tip Don as fewer and fewer dry cleaners use the chemicals necessary to remove solvent based resists like gutta.