Marbling has been around for centuries. It mimics a natural design that’s found in stone or a nice piece of ribeye. You’ve probably seen the marbling technique used on things like the end pages in a book, or in stationery store. But did you know that you can marble dye fabric? Hi, I’m Cathy from Online Fabric Store. Today I’m gonna be using some liquid Rit dye and shaving cream to spruce up some plain boring white pillowcases. So let’s Dye-ve right in. Here are the materials you’ll need: a press cloth, a trash bag or plastic to cover the working area, Something to dye, I’m using some cotton pillowcases, shaving cream, liquid fabric dye or fabric paint, I’m using Rit all-purpose liquid fabric dye, a flat edge, I’m just gonna use some cardboard, a medicine dropper, a paintbrush, paper towels, gloves, an old t-shirt, and an iron. First off if you actually care about the clothes you’re wearing, you’re probably better off putting on an old t-shirt. You’re gonna want to match your fabric to the type of dye you’re using, or vice versa. All-purpose Rit dye likes cotton fabric so I’m using 100% cotton pillowcases. If you’re using new fabric make sure to pre wash it ahead of time to remove any sort of finish it might have. Lay out a trash bag, so it’s large enough to cover your work surface. Cutting it open will double the amount of space you’ll have to work with. You don’t need to use a trash bag, it just makes cleaning up a lot easier. Depending on the size of what you’re marbling you can even use something like the top of a pizza box if you don’t want to waste a trash bag. You can lay out your object first and make a few dots at the corners to better gauge the area you’ll need to fill. Distribute the shaving cream across the surface so it’s large enough for your object. It doesn’t need to be too thick, about one inch of cream all around will do, just enough to cover the surface. Smooth it out a bit using your fingers or a flat edge. I’m gonna use my fingers because it feels cool. Next drop the dye on top of the cream, but make sure to shake the bottle first. If you don’t want to stain your hands, now’s the time to put on some gloves. In the end, less is more so be careful of how much dye you’re adding into the cream. You can use however many colors you’d like, but you should probably keep it to about 2 or 3 or less. When trying to figure out what colors might look nice together, or what colors combined will create other colors, using a color wheel helps a bunch. Using whatever tool you’d like, swirl the dye into the surface of the cream Be careful not to press your tool in too deep as that will push the dye to the bottom of the cream which isn’t what you want. I went ahead and used the bristle side of this paintbrush to give a more speckled effect. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. It’s all about personal preference and experimentation. Another technique for marbling is to create smaller batches of cream with the dye mixed into it. Then add that colored batch to the larger shaving cream surface with a small tool. You’re basically replicating the process of adding color onto a blank surface. Doing this will create more prominent veins in the design and allows you to play around a bit with texture. You can also reverse this technique by creating a larger batch of dyed cream then add white cream into it I’m also going to experiment with my fabric being damp as opposed to dry, just to see how well each retains the color. Gently place your pre-washed fabric on top of the cream starting from one side and going to the other. Lightly press down with your fingers and let it sit for a few minutes. Make sure the entire surface is touching the marbled dye. You can push the fabric down a bit to get to the corners if you have to. Gently remove the fabric by pulling it up from one end or corner and set it aside on to another covered surface, cream side up. After letting the fabric sit for a few minutes, use your squeegee or a sturdy flat edge and scrape away the excess shaving cream. Be careful not to press too hard or you risk smudging the dye. If you need to dye another item, you can just reuse this cream by adding a little more to the top and smoothing it out. This creates a blank canvas without having to start all over again. Just be careful while smoothing it out as you don’t want the dye from below to mix with the new cream. Additionally, if you’re only using one color, here’s a good place to try out that reverse technique I mentioned with as little wasted cream as possible. If you have to go in for another pass, make sure to wipe the blade clean first. After most of the shaving cream is removed, heat set the dye with a hot iron and a press cloth. Make sure not to iron directly on to the fabric. I reversed this lovely ironing mat Clara made, so I didn’t ruin it. Rinse out the fabric in cold water until the water becomes clear, and hang to dry. And here are the results. I’m pretty happy with how it came out, but I do have some reservations about the damp pillowcase that I dyed. Keep in mind that no two marbled things are exactly alike, so have fun with it. Despite everything I read on the internet, using dry fabric as opposed to damp fabric seemed to work better. I used the same techniques on both dry and damp fabric and found that the colors transferred better, didn’t bleed, and were more vivid when the pillowcase was dry. If you’re planning on marble dyeing separate designs on something with two sides like I did, it might help to place a piece of cardboard or something flat and sturdy in between the fabric. This prevents the dye from bleeding through and transferring on to the reverse side. I’m not sure if it was the shaving cream or the dye, but I noticed with the first technique that the dye congealed a bit on the shaving cream surface. When I went to swirl it, it clumped up a bit and that translated onto the fabric, which leads me to my next point: Remember what I said about being careful not to press down too hard when wiping away the shaving cream? Yeah, make sure to listen to that advice, nice and gentle. And you can marble more than just fabric. Why not create some card stock, or water marble your nails with nail polish? What do you think about this whole marble-but-not-marble trend? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for watching this OFS project.