Print Paste Thickener Instructions

Our print paste thickener is an organic food grade powder. It is also a blend of several plant-based gums designed to replace gum tragacanth, which is in short supply as it is currently a restricted trade product. Use this printing gum for thickening natural dyes for printing and painting. The powder can be used with hot or cold water, but it dissolves more quickly in hot water.

You will need

1 tablespoon of Print Paste Thickener and 6-10 ounces of very hot water (nearly boiling). The amount of water will vary depending on how thick or thin of a mixture is desired

The print paste can be mixed by hand or in a blender.

Off white powder on a tan background

Mixing By Hand

If mixing by hand, pour the hot water into a beaker and sprinkle the powder into the beaker. Mix by hand using a wire whisk or spoon. If small lumps of dry gum powder remain, they usually are absorbed into the liquid in a few minutes. The mixture will thicken as it cools, and once it is cool, check the consistency. If it is too thick add boiling water a teaspoon at a time and stir well until the paste is the consistency you desire. If it is too thin, add a small amount of powder, stir to incorporate and let it sit for a few minutes.

Blender Method

Pour the hot water into the blender and sprinkle the powder on top. Carefully blend in short bursts until the powder is incorporated, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the blender container. Let cool and check consistency as above.

Makes about one cup (8 ounces) thickener. Store the unused mixture covered in the refrigerator. It will keep for approximately 1 week refrigerated.

Mixing with Dyes

If you are using powdered extracts, dissolve the powder in about 50 ml (1.75 ounce) of boiling water. Add the desired amount of thickener to the dissolved dye mixture.

If you are using Aquarelle liquid dyes, mix the desired amount of thickener with the dye until it is the required consistency.

Pick up a copy of Botanical Inks: Plant-to-Print Dyes, Techniques and Projects by Babs Behan to go along with your order!