Resists are used in the decoration of fabrics to control the spreading or placement of dye or paint. They help in the creation of imagery, intricate patterning, and interesting dye effects. There are many resist types and techniques, some as old as dyeing itself and some brand new with undiscovered potential.
A resist may be a liquid substance that once applied to the cloth penetrates and dries or solidifies on the fibres to form an insoluble barrier that stops the flow of dye or preserves a whole area of fibre during in the dyeing process. Liquid resists may be water based, solvent based and from natural and synthetic sources.
A resist may also be a physical manipulation of the cloth as in the case of “Shibori” (tie dye) where methods of tying, stitching, folding or clamping secure the inner areas and leave it unaffected in the dyeing process.