Marbling is a method of decorating paper or fabric by floating pigments or colours on a sizing solution. Carrageen is used to develop the appropriate viscosity of the sizing solution to maintain the colours and pattern on the solution surface. The colours can then be combed or manipulated into various patterns.  These patterns are then transferred to the paper or fabric by laying a piece onto the surface of the size.


14 brilliant intermixable colours, one 100ml tin is enough to cover 50 metres of fabric.















Standard Colour  $24.50 100 ml     Metallics  $27.50 100 ml      Reducing Medium  $20.00 100 ml


WATER BASED INKS - we suggest you use our "Hi Strike" or "Hot Colour" fabric paints.


CARRAGEEN POWDER   Professional grade     $97.50 500g     $70.00 250g     $35.00 100g
CAMDEN POWDER   preservative     $7.00 100g
FUNGICIDE     long term preservative    $11.00 100 ml
ALUM    $13.00  500g     $18.00  1kg
KIT - 5 x 100 ml water based inks  (Hot Colour) - your choice of colours, 30g carrageen (enough for four litres of size), 90g alum (enough for one litre of mordant solution), 5 eye droppers, bamboo skewers, and instructions.   

Packed in a 2.5 litre plastic container you use as the marbling tray.        $50.00 each































View an excellent marbling demonstration from one of Australia's leading marbling craftsman on



Prepare at least 24 hours before you intend to marble to obtain optimum viscosity.
Cold tap water 1.3 litre
Carrageen: 1 level tablespoon
Preservative : 5 gr. (1 teaspoon) - Sodium Metabisulfate (camden tablet).
1. slowly sprinkle Carrageen into the vortex of rapidly mixing water
2. continue mixing until fully dissolved.
3. add preservative and mix another 3-5 minutes
4. store under refrigeration for at least 24 hours to obtain optimum viscosity and to allow any entrapped air pockets to rise to the surface.
5. test the consistency of the sizing by pouring a small amount of sizing into a container and allowing to reach room temperature. Drop some colorant onto the surface and observe the dispersion property.
¨ If colorant sinks or spreads out too much the sizing is too thin; add more Carrageen. If the colorant does not flow easily on the surface the sizing is too thick and needs to be diluted (add water)

Mordant solution - used to prepare the surface of paper or fabric to bond the pigment. Not to be used on silk or poly cotton mix.
Boiling water 900 ml

Alum (ammonium aluminum sulfate) 100 gr.
¨ Pour alum crystals/powder into boiling water
¨ Stir until fully dissolved
¨ Cool to room temperature
¨ Apply cooled solution to the surface of the paper or fabric with a sponge, or dipping it in the solution.
¨ The treated material should be laid out flat to dry, although it is easier to work with if it is still damp.
NOTE: Measure the mordant solution carefully; a high concentration of alum may cause the colours to flake off the dried surface and too little alum will make the colour very light or transparent.


INKS: Squeeze about 5 cm of ink into a small container and thin with White Spirit until the ink is consistency of thin cream. Mix thoroughly. Gently place individual drops onto the Carrageen solution. Each drop should spread about 5 cm in diameter - this indicates that the ink is of the correct consistency.

LAYING ORDER OF INKS: Some colours spread easier than others. For best results, use your colours in the correct order. White or Metallic Gold (hardest to spread), first; any colour that you have mixed with White, second; Yellow, Alizarin and Metallic Silver always last (easily spread).

MARBLING: Comb the inks, or use other methods to create marbled patterns. Then gently lower fabric onto the ink pattern. The inks should stay on the surface of the material (similar to screen printing). Should the ink penetrate through, it indicates that the ink is too thick. Lift fabric and wash in cold water, keeping it flat at all times (do not fold or crumple) and then hang to dry. To set the ink, iron fabric between clean sheets of paper. Before proceeding with another piece of fabric, skim the surface of the Carrageen solution with folded newspaper to remove excess ink, then repeat process.

MATERIAL: Solvent based inks are best suited for marbling on silk, polyester & Poly Cotton mix. Pure cottons are very difficult to marble using this type of ink as cotton rapidly absorbs small amounts of deposited colours leaving fabric white !

The ideal temperature for marbling is 26 C - humidity 60%. The technique of marbling fabric in no way differs from marbling on paper.


1.  gently pour the sizing solution into a marbling tank to depth of 5 cm. and allow to warm to room temperature
2.  skim the surface of the size with porous paper to reduce surface tension and to remove air bubbles and dust particles.
3.  suspend colours onto the sizing solution.
4.  create patterns by combing with a pick, comb, feather or swirling with flat sticks.
5.  when the desired pattern is obtained, the alum treated material is slowly and evenly placed on the colours. If the material is placed on colours quickly, ripples or air pockets may form and disrupt the pattern.
6.  patterns are transferred at first contact. As soon as the surface of the material is marbled lift it at one end and remove from size
7.  rinse the sheet or fabric with running water to remove excess size, or wipe clean with damp sponge.
8.  the marbled item can then be laid out flat or hung to dry.


The marbling solution can be re-used by pushing the remaining surface colour to the end of sizing tray with cardboard and scooping it out.
Marbling can be very rewarding if using first grade material with proven practical use. True marbling deposits only 1-3 microns of pigment onto the fiber, and colour must remain only on one surface. leaving the fabric feel unaltered. If colour penetrates other side of the material it means that it is too thick and must be diluted.

Last updated: 29 Nov 2019