Marbling fabric is not like dyeing fabric. When fabric is dyed, the color totally penetrates the material. Marbling fabric is adding a surface design. On most fabrics, except the very thinnest, the marbled pattern will show only on one side. To avoid having a scarf that is marbled on one side and white on the other, many marblers, buy pre- dyed scarves, work on patterned silk or learn how to dye their scarves before marbling.
Not all fabrics marble well. Many have a sizing added to them that repel the strong adhesion of the marbling paint to the fabric. For good results, a PFD fabric (prepared for dye) is a place to start.
Experiment with other fabrics in small pieces. Some will pleasantly surprise, some will make you grateful that you did not buy too much of it. Happily, most silks marble beautifully.
As with paper marbling, finding paints that work well is the challenge. The paint producers tend not to be truly knowledgeable about the marbling process. We use acrylic paints for our fabric marbling and as with our paper marbling make some of our own colors. We work on single and double size scarf tanks as well as, two and three-yard fabric tanks. We have learned and share 35 years of hard-won fabric marbling lessons.
FABRIC MARBLING WORKSHOPS
In these workshops, (2-5 days) students learn how to use a range of precise marbling tools and will be systematically taught how to make beautiful, traditional and contemporary marbled patterns.
After becoming comfortable with working on smaller fabrics, we begin using larger tanks and combs to marble scarves and larger pieces of fabric. Always, an integral part of our workshops is the discussion of the science of Marbling and why things work or do not work as they should. This information will help students solve problems and better understand the interaction between all the paints, alum, fabrics, chemicals and marbling bath that they will be using. A careful discussion of appropriate paints and their preparation as well as fabric selection, preparation and care will be ongoing throughout the class. This workshop allows for exploring over- marbling techniques (marbling an item twice) and time for those who wish to, “walk on the wild side” by marbling their own pair of sneakers.
Both experienced marblers and beginners will enjoy this workshop. Many new techniques and marbling insights will be of great interest to seasoned marblers and the clear step by step approach of this class ensures that beginners will be very successful.