International Textile Collection

Resists: exploring resist-dyed textiles across cultures

ajrakh samples

‘Resist dyeing’ or ‘resist patterning’ are terms used to encompass a wide variety of techniques through which fabric is decorated by allowing dyestuff to only come into contact with selected areas of either the yarn or the fabric’s surface. Variants of such techniques are found universally, but for this exhibition the emphasis will be on textiles from West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Japan and Indonesia.

The exhibition will identify the principal resist-dyeing techniques, and to identify the characteristics of the resultant products.  Techniques displayed will include batik, ikat, resist block printing, stencils, tie-dye and other stitched techniques.  It will present examples of ajrakh, English Wax, katagami and shibori.

The exhibition will draw from items within the ULITA collection, particularly showcase two relatively recent significant collections to come to ULITA: the Coleman Indonesian Collection and the West African O’Hear Collection.

The exhibition concludes with a case study of current research into Indonesian stitch resist dyeing by School of Design Phd student Bintan Titisari, including her practical applications.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an events programme, including an opening presentation by Dr Kate Wells, whose publication The Dyers’ Craft – resist patterned textiles inspired the exhibition text.


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