What is Hand Marbled Fabric?

Marbling is an ancient offset printing process. Simply put, Paint floats on a thickened liquid base. The design is created using a variety of rakes and combs.  The paint will transferred onto the fabric when it is gently placed on to of the marbling base.

How do I make Marbled Fabric?

I start with 100% Cotton PFD (Prepared for Dying) Fabric.  I first Hand Dye the fabric to get the color I selected to create.  My Hand Dyed Fabric is cut to the desired size for marbling, soaked in an alum solution and allowed to air dry.

A thin layer of paint is floated on the marbling base.  I like to use a selection of six different colors. I find myself fiddling with the color combination until my heart sings.

A variety of Rakes and Combs are used to create the design.  I currently create four designs Waved Icarus, Dragonwing, Freestyle and Stones.  The Hand Dyed Fabric is gently lowered onto the floated paint and then carefully removed. 

It is gently rinsed in cold water and allowed to hang dry.   

Once Dry the Marbled Fabric is left to cure for fourteen days.  Then Washed, dried, ironed and is ready to use in your latest creation.

You can always find my Hand Marbled Fabric on my website www.marbled-arts.com

How long does it take to make Marbled Fabric?

Starting with PFD Fabric to luscious Hand Marbled Fabric, the entire process takes a minimum of eighteen days.

Do I need to pre-wash fabrics from Marbled Arts?

Our dying process guarantees that your fabric is pre-shrunk and washable.  We always recommend that you rinse any fabric in warm water until it runs clear, before you include it in a project.  Why take chances?

How do I care for my Marbled Arts Fabric?

We Recommend cold water, gentle, delicate or hand wash cycle using non-detergent soap (Synthrapol, Dr. Bronner’s or Orvis Past Soap).  Our fabrics may be dried in your home dryer on a medium setting and then ironed on the cotton setting.

Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon Pattern sample.

Harvest Moon is the latest Pattern Sample using Marbled Arts Fabric. Every creation starts with finding the right fabric. Hand Marbled Ochre in Dragonwing Design. Hand Dyed Light Gray, Hand Dyed Ochre in two shades and Hand Dyed Ocean Dark.

Finished Harvest Moon

Love the finished project. Ended up hand stitching in the stems using some old yarn that was in my stash. The light stitching was done using embroidery thread. Always enjoy adding texture.

Close Up

Close up of Harvest Moon, so you see the details.

Breezy Sunflowers

Creating Breezy Sunflowers

A couple of Summers ago my neighbor Kat showed up at my door with three Sunflower Plants.  They grew into beautiful Sunflowers, that never failed to make me smile.  I am always on the hunt for patterns that will show off my hand marbled and hand dyed fabrics.  Breezy Sunflower is perfect for that.  It always takes a bit of time to select just the right fabric.  Hand Marbled Sun (two different designs), Hand Marbled Chocolate Freestyle, Hand Dyed Chartreuse and Hand Dyed Forest is what I started with.

Quilting the Sunflowers

As I wanted to show off the Marbled Fabric, I chose to only do very simple quilting.  Found an Art Deco book in my library, clean simple lines was what I was shooting for.

Sunflower Close Up

Marbled Fabric gives the Sunflower motion, depth and life.  It is always satisfying when a creation turns out better than you thought possible.

Create a Wearable Art Garment!

If you are looking to create a Wearable Art Garment this pattern (Kwik Sew K4104) gives you space to play.  The Lined Open Front Jacket is pretty easy to construct.  It took me longer because of all the embellishments and Quilting that were added.  When I plan to Quilt on a garment constructed with Hand Dyed Cotton Fabric, I always use Flannel as batting.  The Flannel has been washed and dried a minimum of three times in very hot water and dried in a hot dryer.  This is done to get any possible shrinkage out of the way. 

Kwik Sew 4104 Open Jacket

First Cutting

Because I planned to Quilt on this garment, I initially cut the fabric out one-inch larger than the pattern pieces.  This allows for any shrinkage that occurs during Quilting and Embellishing. 

Paper pattern showing the extra one inch added.

Accent Designing 

Accent colors are Hand Dyed Lavender, Sky Blue and Marbled Cerulean.  The strips were made using a ¼” Bias Tape Maker.  The Ultimate Marking Pencil (UMP) was used to draw the lines for strip placement.  After sewing down the colored strips, I used a hot iron (Steam or no Steam, works both ways) to remove the UMP lines.  At this point I felt a little stumped, things didn’t look right, my creative eye was not happy.  Thinking it was time to put the project into a Time Out.  My sister suggested that I hang the jacket on my new dress form to see what I thought.  Realized that I had been constructing in 2D and my brain had been dreaming in 3D.  With a few minor adjustments and I was ready to move on. 

Shows the drawn lines and color placement.

Quilting Design


The Ultimate Marking Pencil is used to draw very basic Quilting outlines.  I always allow myself the freedom to create and adjust as I am Quilting.  The beauty of the UMP is if you are not pleased with the design you can iron it away.  I love the face that once I am done Quilting, I can iron away the markings and no one knows that I Quilted outside the lines.

Shows proposed quilting lines drawn with UMP.

Quilting


Quilting takes time, give yourself time to Quilt.  I always use extra pieces of Cotton and Flannel to do a sample to find the right thread, needle, stitch length and tension.  Remember everything is a huge adventurous experiment.

Close up of Tone on Tone Quilting.

Second Cut


My Fabric has been created.  Time to cut out and mark everything.  Construction of the jacket took less time than making the fabric.  The pattern called for tons of Understitching, so I chose to leave an opening in the lower center back of the lining.  It made it easier to get to all of the places to Understitch.  I sew it up by hand when everything was finished.

Paper pattern piece on quilted and embellished fabric.

Finished Wearable Art Jacket

This is View A, but with all of the Embellishments and Quilting I chose to put pockets in the side seams instead if the Welt Pockets.  Jackets need pockets in my world. This is how I Create a Wearable Art Garment.

Front view of finished jacket K4104.
Back of finished jacket.
3/4 view of finished jacket K4104.

Finding the Perfect Marbling Colors

Finding the perfect colors for each hand marbled pieces of fabric can be a challenge.  Generally I find myself using a combination of six colors.  The tricky part is that the paints I use are opaque (Solid), translucent (see through but not clear) and transparent (clear).  Each color is printed on a colored background.  I am using Burnt Orange for this example.1_Burnt_Orange_Fabric All of my paints are in clear jars.  A fair amount of fiddling around and trying different combinations of paint follows.  My favorite combination is dropped onto the clear marbling base.  Sometimes that can change the look of the colors.
2_Colors_on_Base

The hand dyed fabric is the gently lowered onto the base.  They are lifted and rinsed.
3_Wet_Marbled_Fabric

I discovered it is hard to photograph wet fabric.  The water reflects the light, just like a lake or pond.4_Wet_Marbled_Fabric_CU

Opaque colors tend to stay the same, translucent colors may darken or appear to mix with the fabric color, transparent color allows the hand dyed color to shine through.  More fiddling with the combination maybe required at this point.
5_Marbled_Fabric_Curing

The colors often change once they dry.  The hard part is waiting fifteen days for the paints to cure.  No trying to rush them or the colors do not adhere properly and all of the work is wasted.
6_Marbled_Burnt_OrangeThe cured fabric is washed, dryed and ironed.  It takes about three week from start to finish.