About Marbling

Marbling is a technique typically used on paper, which dates back to twelfth-century Europe. The technique is performed by floating ink on a thickened mixture similar to unjelled gelatin.
 
A pattern is created by running a comb-like tool through the ink floating on the surface. Combing different size combs in different directions creates the different marbling patterns. The fabric is then laid on the surface for just a few seconds. The fabric is then removed. A print is made. Inks are then heatset for permanent durability.

 

Only one print is possible per inking which makes each pattern unique.

 

View the video below to see an example of a marbling session by SoLace.

 
How we do it
The marbling process begins with a shallow tray filled with a gelatinous solution called carrageenan.
 
Adding the color scheme
Drops of ink are floated on the surface until the desired colors are reached. A comblike tool is dragged across the surface of the ink creating the marbling design. (right)
 
Creating the Marble Pattern
Different comblike tools are used in different directions creating the marbling pattern.
 
After the pattern is created with the comblike tools, the fabric is carefully laid on the surface of the design.
 
After just a few seconds, the fabric is gently lifted from the surface. The marbling pattern has transferred to the surface of the fabric.
 
The fabric is rinsed gently in cool water to remove the carrageenan and hung out on the line to dry. The process starts again to marble the next piece of fabric.