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7206Re: [Marbling] marbling on silk advice please

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  • D or Jer Guffey
    Sep 15, 2013
      I marbled silk scarves for many years. The reason the color doesn't show on both sides is because when you alum the scarf the chemistry of marbling bonds the pigments of the paint to the alum, which is on the top surface of the silk. You might try marbling with oil colors (no need to alum) but that requires diluting the oil paints with paint thinner and is a bit messier and toxic than with acrylics. I know this, because when I first started marbling (in 1976) I was taught the oil paint technique. When I learned to do acrylics I never went back. When marbling with oils, the paint would penetrate the paper (rather than sit on top as it does with acrylic paints) and sometimes the colors would show up on the other side of the paper (not good if you needed to use for endpapers!).
      As for laying down the colors for a ready rolled scarf, start at one end of your tank and then slowly let the silk down from one end to the other...don't try to put the silk down all at once. This will give it a chance to absorb the colors on the hem edge. At least this was the technique that worked for me. Silk chiffon scarves were less "stiff" after marbling than were the China silk, but they didn't have the nice sheen that the China silk has.
      Hope this is of some help. Before experimenting with oil paints on silk scarves, perhaps you can get a remnant of silk to play with to see if it would work to have colors go to both sides...I've never tried, so I don't know.
      As for laundering, I can't imagine why someone would put a silk scarf in a washing machine when they are so easily washed by hand. After marbling my scarves I would rinse, let them dry, then iron to take out the wrinkles and they were quite soft to the touch.

      Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2013 2:16 AM
      Subject: [Marbling] marbling on silk advice please


      Hello everyone,

      I have been marbling for many years on paper and on silk. I have one problem that I am looking for help with. When marbling on silk it bothers me that the design is very much a one sided print. When making fine silk scarves I would like the design to show on both sides. I am based in Wales, U.K. and use carrageen sea weed for my bath. I have tried many different types of silk paint over the years, some are better than others but all give the 'one sided print'. I also find that marbling affects the handle and lustre of the silk, this problem is worse when using acrylics such as Golden fluid which give a lovely bright image but make the silk dull and stiff. Would methyl cellulose be the answer? I am not sure about availability in the U.K.

      If using ready rolled scarves the hem does not marble well and leaves an ugly white border on the scarf. I have tried running my finger around the edge of the scarf as it lies on the bath, this is only partly successful.

      Finally, I worry about the durability of the design. I fix by ironing or sometimes in the oven. When I read of people washing their silk in a machine, I just wonder how they don't just wash the marbling right off. I also find that machine washing silk, before or after marbling leaves permanent creases.

      I would be very grateful for any suggestions.



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