Monday, July 26, 2010

Gum Tragacanth Binder for Screen Printing.

To make print paste
2 - 4 Tablespoons of Gum Tragacanth depending on the consistency you desire. For painting I use 2 T. for printing I use 4 T 1000 ml of boiling water

Container to boil water in, and heat source for boilingwater
Squeegee or rubber spatula – the kind used for scraping bowls
Container with screw on lid – 1 quart variety
Respirator for handling the Gum Tragacanth in powdered form
Measuring cups and measuring spoons

Bring 1000 ml of water to a boil add to blender – after

I let it cool a bit so as to not wreck my blender.

Add 2 – 4 Tablespoons of Gum Tragacanth powder to the blender, put lid on blender and blend until a creamy consistency.

Remove from blender using a spatula or squeegee

place into your container with lid. I use wide mouth jars as this makes removing the paste much easier.

Cool the paste to room temperature, cover with tight fitting lid.

Store in refrigerator for up to ten days, I have found that it’ll last longer if you avoid introducing contaminants
to the paste.


Holly Picthall said...

Hello! I'm experimenting with natural printing myself and was wondering how you add the dyes to this paste? Do you use powdered extracts or do you reduce the dye bath and add that? Thanks! Holly

k baxter packwood said...

Hi Holly,

I do both actually. When working with extracts I add them to the pre-made binder, when working with a reduced dye bath I add the binder to the dyebath.

littleladylost said...


I am a graphic design student specialising in slow design for my major project, and am really keen to experiment with natural dye/ink methods. I have absolutely no experience with this at all, and wondering if you could point me in the right direction? From my research I've concluded that I will likely experiment with black beans, red cabbage and red berries to obtain the red/blue hues I am after; I intend to use boil and soak methods for this. Do I then add a fixative, such as vinegar or salt? Following that, is the dye ready for binding with gum tragacanth to produce a thick ink? Can I mix it directly with the gum, or should use your method of blending the gum with water, and then adding the liquid natural dye? I am wondering if it will be too runny for screenprinting? I hope that makes a bit of sense, I am just learning from varied Internet sources. If you have the time, any info would be very much appreciated!! Thanks in advance!