I have seen suminagashi (marbling) done on paper. Has anyone done this technique on fabric? Is there any difference in the medium and/or inks used?
Absolutely you can marble on fabric. Personally I'd wash the fabric first to remove the dressing to allow the colour to stick better.
You need the base substance, to swirl your colour into. Now this can be specialist for the purpose product, but just as easily it can be shaving foam (shaving foam marbling is a quick to prep way to do things and there are lots of internet sites on how to), I've used wallpaper paste too.
The colour needs to be runny to be able to swirl the patterns, so this could be acrylic paint (water it down if necessary) as acrylic works on paper and fabric. or more particularly you can buy marbling inks for fabric, or just use fabric paints, ie colour made for fabric. Do the process, let it dry, fix the colour as per the instructions, usually applying heat, then you can wash to get rid of any residue of the shaving foam or whatever, and that's it.
You don't need any special tools either for making patterns - an old hair comb, a plastic fork, a stick of some kind, ie bbq, end of paintbrush, or you can put pins in a piece of card to make your own comb.
Personally if its to try and see if you like it, or a not going to be done frequently technique, then I'd use whatever products I already have rather than investing in specific fabric paints. Have fun
I took a week-long marbling workshop at John C Campbell Folk School a few years back (is there anyone I haven't stopped in the street and told about this, yet? lol) and part of the class was spent learning about how to marble fabric. Our teacher, Pat Thomas, had us use the same auxiliaries for silk and cotton as for paper: a soak in alum, hang dry, fluid acrylics thinned with photo ez fluid and floated on top of carrageenan. Dip the fabric, rinse immediately, drip dry.
The only reason I haven't done much of it myself at home is that it's difficult to properly dip larger pieces of fabric without a second pair of hands.
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I have received the catalog from the folk school you referred to and am curious about your time there. How is it as a vacation? Lodging? Other things beyond?
Thanks for sharing.
JCC is a fantastic retreat. The living quarters are mostly communal in that you will probably have a roommate, and are rustic, although I know they've recently opened a brand new dorm. Don't let the idea of "rustic" scare you though... this isn't a 5-star resort but the experience is all about being immersed in the arts with other artists working in all manner of mediums. It is an all-adult school except for one weekend a year. The campus is set in the mountains in NC and is heavily shaded and absolutely lovely.
As a "vacation", it was exhausting because everyone there works so hard and the studios are even occasionally open all night so folks are busy sometimes around the clock. As a workshop experience, though, it was a perfect blend of fine craft meeting nature. The atmosphere is quiet and serene... just what I'd want a wonderful art colony to be.
The creative energy is powerful and always flowing, and everyone that I met during my stay (about 100 students and teachers, and another 20 or so staff) was warm, joyful and so happy to be there. It was a transformative experience for me and I came away looking at new directions in my art.
The food is not bad, a little heavy and could benefit from more salads and lighter fare.. still, the community meals are an important part of the experience.
Going to JCC was one of the nicest things I've ever done for myself. :D
John, if you are doing small pieces, a large aluminum disposable roaster pan with an inch or so of shaving cream works well. I did several pieces of cloth and some paper with the same batch of inks. It is much easier than mixing the alginate, etc. The inks dry and the little shaving cream that gets on the fabric disappears if you let them set for a week. Then you can iron and wash the fabric (in that order) to set the ink or paint.
I have often seen the ads for JCC and thought it looked interesting. Maybe some day.
I want to thank each of you for the informative replies. I will definitely start with the simplest method to see how much of a learning curve I have to master.
I have been thinking about doing this with fabric dyes, maybe if I thicken them a little it would work with shaving cream. Anyone have any experience using dyes with this method?
You may not need to thicken... the paint/dye needs to be runny... as you can do it with ink, think about that consistency. The base product, whether that be shaving foam, wallpaper paste or carrageenan all share the same properties, solid enough to allow the colour to sit on the top, and yet not immovable, enabling you to draw through it and make patterns. It's just a matter of playing with whatever you have to hand, and seeing if it works.
If using dyes, and if not already "all in one" with the fixatives added, then I would mix up the solution as if for dyeing and then use.
sounds good. I actually have something similar to carrageenan or the shaving cream. I think I am going to try this out. I love playing with my dyes ;)