(from Glitzy Quilts)
Stitch resist is a traditional technique used in the textiles of the Far East, from India to Japan. A pattern is stitched into the fabric using running stitch, then the thread is pulled tight to gather up the fabric, and the fabric is dyed.
When hand stitching for this technique, you need to use a strong thread such as buttonhole twist, as the thread is put under a great deal of tension when it is pulled tight. Ordinary sewing thread breaks too easily.
The beauty of stitch resist is that you can draw designs and patterns onto cloth before you start to stitch. This gives more control over the final result than tying, clamping or binding the fabric. The fabric can be used single, double or folded.
1. Draw your design onto the fabric using a pencil.
2. Stitch along the lines with a running stitch. When you reach the end of the line leave the thread hanging.
3. When the whole piece of fabric has been stitched, pull the threads as tight as you can and knot all the threads together in a bunch.
4. Soak the fabric in warm water, squeeze out the excess, then dye in the microwave or on the hob, as described on page 6 or 7.
Stitch resist by machine
The sewing machine can also be used for stitch resist. Set the machine to a large stitch (straight or zig-zag) and loosen the tension. At the beginning of the stitching, reverse stitch to secure the ends. Leave the ends hanging. When the stitching is finished complete as above, Steps 3–4.