Marbled Fabric

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If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably noticed my obsession with marble. I became obsessed with marble when I visited Barista, a cute coffee shop in Portland. The shop had marble countertops that matched with their hexagon tiles and gold hardware. I love staging my coffee for Instagram and placing my coffee and pastry on the marble top made my photo pop and looked really clean. Being In Portland, many shop interiors always use wood or other rustic looking materials and that’s definitely not my style. It was a definite treat to find a place like Barista. I love the combination of the black streaks on the white stone and it makes everything seem classic and sophisticated.  It’s definitely one of the main reasons I go to certain shops and restaurants; their marble tabletops are the perfect backdrop for my photos and make me feel like I’m at a French boulangerie! So why not now have this beautiful texture on a textile? With this post I’ll show you how to take boring scraps of fabric and transform them into a beautifully dyed textile that you can use for any project.

What you need:

Supplies

  • Fabric (As much as you’d like, but it will be easier to dye fabric in small increments)
  •  1 can of shaving cream
  •  1 bottle of black acrylic paint

Tools

  • Toothpick
  • Spatula
  • Baking Sheet

Note: the dying process will happen within the baking sheet, so I advise that you only use fabric the same width as the sheet. It would be difficult to dye anything larger. This project can get very messy. I suggest you do it outside or near a sink with lots of rags or towels. 

 

What to do:

Cover the whole baking sheet with half an inch of shaving cream, making sure the surface is fully covered and use spatula to even it out.

On top of the sheet drizzle the black paint and use the toothpick to create the design that resembles what you see on marble. When making the marble design make sure to spread out the paint.

Once you’re happy with the marbling design lay your fabric flat on to the sheet and use your hands to make sure every part of your fabric touches the paint and shaving cream.

Leave your fabric on the pan for 30 seconds to allow the paint to penetrate into the fibers.  Lift the fabric up from the sheet and run it under cold water. The water will wash off the shaving cream, but will leave the paint on the fabric. Keep in mind that high water pressure, like that from a sink might, remove the paint from the fabric.  So try pouring water from a cup and try to only aim for the shaving cream. Also, when you’re rinsing the fabric it will be a bit muddy, but it should lessen once it’s dry.

After rinsing the cream off, air-dry it and it should be ready for use!

This was a fun project, but messy project! I tried this project multiple times and have some tips:

I tried this with canvas, it work well, but you have to make sure you leave the fabric on the pan for 30 or longer to make sure the paint penetrates the fiber. Canvas is a thick fabric so the longer the better. I also tried doing this project with a lighter fabric like muslin, but it was too light and the paint penetrated too much and dyed the both sides and came out too muddy.

Another tip that I have is when you’re creating the marble design make sure the paint stays up on the surface above the shaving cream. Any paint under the cream won’t make it onto the fabric.  

Stay tuned for what I’ll be using this fabric for!