Gutta Resist vs. Water-based Resist: A Few Opinions and Experiences Shared

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time and money on silk painting resists.  In this video blog, I share a few things I’ve learned in hopes of making a more efficient and pleasurable silk painting experience for you.  You’re welcome, Darlings…  enjoy!

(see links mentioned in video below.)

Link to eBook info:

Link to Applying Gutta video blog:

Link to Dharma Trading’s website:

  • Liene Kikute

    Thank you for information just made scarf with old gutta and it is no good. Line looks like gold in middle and white on both sides.

    • pglose

      You’re very welcome. Sorry about your scarf, it sounds like what little gold you have there will end up flaking off before too long. Thanks for sharing, it may help someone else in the future.

  • Patricia Pope

    Thank-you, Pamela, for such excellent information. I will have to come back and take notes, as I first listen for info.
    I have your first e-book and am ready for the second. Have made two samples, working on the third. Appreciate your sharing.

    • pglose

      It’s an honor to help you along your silk painting journey, Patricia. Thanks for buying the ebooks, and I’m so glad to hear that you’re practicing; that’s the absolute best way to learn. Most of what I know has been acquired through practice and experimentation through the years. Have fun! I look forward to hearing more from you!

  • Diane

    Hi. If you are going to frame a silk piece, and you use clear gutta, does it have to be dry cleaned? Or can you just wash, iron, and then frame? Thanks.

    • pglose

      Hi Diane, Yes you definitely need to dry-clean it. The clear gutta leaves a slightly sticky, tinted, dirty-colored line. Once it’s dry cleaned, you’ll have a snow-white line with not residue at all. So worth it!!

  • Thanks Pamela, gutta can be such a problem at times. I like painting my silk with light colors and than add guttal lines. I was just getting ready to gutta a 78″x 22″ pre painted crepe de chine scarf with jacquard black – so what a help your video was. Have you ever used Marabu gutta! At one time dharma sold it just long enough for me to love it! Now I have to buy it overseas. The marabu gold is fabulous and wears well, also the pearl, but the black is disappointing. Thanks and have a happy thanksgiving. I’m in heaven because my beloved San Francisco Giants won the World Series!

    • pglose

      Hi Karen, thanks for the tips on Marabu guttas! I have not tried them, but it’s so great to know there’s a gold gutta that wears well. The pearl sounds beautiful too. Funny how different guttas can be under various manufacturers, isn’t it. Glad you are in heaven about the Giants, I don’t follow baseball (I’m a football girl) but understand why you are so happy. The World Series is the “Super Bowl” of baseball, so I can understand your elation! You have a happy Thanksgiving too. (Root for the Cowboys for me, will ya!)

  • Karen Nein

    I’ve been hand-dying silk and silk-rayon scarves for close to a year and decided to branch out to stamping and painting. I have a water-based resist, and I understand what you are saying about how it works/doesn’t work. I make the dyes from powdered chemicals, and found that I cannot use the same dyes made for dying as for painting. I have to create the dye and add activator in it but then the shelf life is about a half-day. Usually with the dyes, I don’t have to heat set them (according to the instructions i have). I hand wash with synthropol. I have a couple of questions. If I can find a local distributor (haven’t so far) for the gutta, and I decide to use the black, with my current dyes prepared as ‘paint’, do i have to do anything special to set the gutta? Also, with some of the pearlescent paints i am using on my dyed scarves, the instructions are for heat to set the paints. The silk setting on the iron is so low… how safe are other sources of heat to accomplish this task? (clothes dryers, hair dryer, etc. I have a heat gun with two settings i use for other projects) Thank you for this site and your expertise. I am interested in the ebooks but all i have is my computer.

    • Hi Karen, Gutta does not need to be heat-set or steam-set, it’s good-to-go right out of the jar. An iron won’t hurt your gutta, especially if it’s set on low heat. Black gutta only smears under an iron that’s very hot, especially if it’s old gutta. You could also use your heat gun or hair drier on it, no problem. It doesn’t sound like you’d be using those on high heats either, but if you do, just do a test piece first. I wouldn’t put it in a clothes dryer, there’s no need (and you risk gutta smearing onto the inside of your dryer). Hope this helps!

      • Karen Nein

        Thank you for your quick response. I’m anxious to try to something new and different!

  • Pat

    Can I use clear water based resist next to water based black resist? That would be after the black dries. I want to outline something in black, then outline it in white. Thanks much!

    • Hi Pat, I don’t have much experience with colored water-based resists. Do an experiment on a scrap of silk and see how it goes. I’d be interested to hear the results! Thanks, Pamela

  • Sadhana

    Great useful tips
    I have been painting scarves with floral designs and am getting interested in stamping and fine line drawings on silk. Have heard that sodium alginate is good to use. Any tips on that? Will the colour catch onto silk if mixed with sod alginate? What proportion etc?

    • Hi Sadhana, I have not used sodium alginate with silk painting. I do have an unopened package of it, though, and the directions say that it’s a dye thickener for hand painting or silk screening. You have to mix it with chemical water (water + urea). Thanks for bringing up this question, I just might give it a try and do a video blog on it. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  • oshymirna

    HI Pamela, I am watching all of your videos and you are a very generous person sharing your knowledge and experiences. Long time ago, I started painting on silk using Water base resist and Resin gutta resist ( Jacquard). In this video, minute 3.34, you said that the clear gutta resist ( not the water base one )can be used over a painted area. Does this technique ( i dont understand the name) can be used to protect the edge of a painted area from other colors dyes that would be apply next to it or in a background, if dont want the white lines left by the clear gutta? and does the
    painting has to be dry clean AFTER steaming ? . … I will appreciate if you write the name of the technique . Thank you

    • pglose

      Yes you can use the clear resin based gutta on top of dried dye on your silk painting. The gutta will protect the dye underneath. When you steam it and then dry-clean it, you will have a colored line instead of white. You must dry-clean clear resin-based gutta after steaming. You can also do this technique to avoid white lines with water-based clear resist, which does not have to be dry-cleaned after steaming.

  • S H Desai

    Has anyone tried sodium alginate to thicken paint and sort of create an edge? I did and it seems to work.

    • pglose

      Thanks for the input. I have not tried that. You might like to post your question on the Silk Painters Int’l facebook page (SPIN). It’s a great forum and many helpful people would be glad to answer your question and see your comments.

  • Blessed & Co.Studio

    Hey Pamela, I noticed your galaxy design on one of the other scarves in this video; I couldn’t find a video tutorial. Did you use any gutta for that one? It’ll be interesting to learn how to create that one.

    • pglose

      Hi! I thought I’d answered your question awhile back, but I don’t think it ever went through. Just now noticing your entry has gone unanswered… So sorry about that! For that galaxy design, I used Jacquard clear gutta for the small dots and melted wax for the larger dots. I used a mixture of beeswax and paraffin (don’t remember the exact ratio but you could google it). You could also use clear water-based resist, but you’d have to be more careful to paint around the dots and not get any dye on them. Dye stains water-based resists but is (mostly) repelled by gutta. You also have to be careful not to paint over waxed areas, as dyes will stain them too.

  • Misty Monet Mitchell

    I am painting on 100% cotton…what resist would work best?

    • pglose

      I usually paint on silk, but did paint some cotton several years ago using water-based clear resist. These days, my favorite brand is Jacquard. It’s a bit thick when you first open the bottle, so I suggest taking out a small portion and adding a little water. The ratio I use for silk is 9 parts resist to 1 part water. You may need to adjust this formula for use on your cotton.

  • Meri Hakobyan

    Hi Pamela
    Thanks all your advise. Please can you help me. I am painting scarves. And I am using gutta. But I don’t want the gutta to be cleaned from scarves when I wash them. And first please can you tell me how to give color to clear gutta. And second how to do so when I wash the color of contour will stay on a scarf. Please

    • pglose

      Are you using a water-based clear resist? If so, you can add dye to the resist to give it color. The color should stay in the lines when the resist washes out.