Embroidery on marbled fabric

Kehaar on marbling2A week of rain…it just pours and pours. Nowhere we can really go on days like these, and not much we can do on a dark, gloomy boat. I sat in the crepuscular shadows and stitched a tiny sailboat against a roiling sea of marbled green and blue canvas. It captures the feeling of being alone on a wild sea, perfectly…

Kehaar on marbling1We marble our own fabric; this is a piece we made for an exhibition in early 2014. It was then that I figured out one good way of combining marbled fabric with hand embroidery…rather than try and tackle the intricacies of the marbling patterns, themselves, I try to see the print as an environment for some small motif…a hut on an island, a cat hunting a rabbit in tall grass, gold fish in a lily pond… It works well, and I love doing these small designs, as the embroidery is finished in a few hours, very satisfying to start and complete a project on a single day!

Kris requested this piece; he wants to frame it and hang it next to his chart table. The sailboat is just under 5 cm. (2 in.) high. Worked in split stitch, couching,satin, and french knots.

55 thoughts on “Embroidery on marbled fabric

    1. Oh gosh, I am just now discovering that I missed so many comments! Sorry this is so late. Yes, I see what you mean, there is a unifying theme, there. And YOUR drawing reminds me of something else I’ve done here: https://flic.kr/p/7wwhbu What do you think, is it a long shot? Connections the brain makes…


  1. Wow I love this. I have done marbled paper and know this is marbling by an expert. The embroidery is a true example of less is more, which I always enjoy.

    I am really curious how you do these marbled fabrics, which colours you use and on what you let them float, However, I perfectly understand if you do not want to share that.


    1. Oh, tenar, we work long and hard at it, many years, but we are not experts, and we have some catastrophic days when everything goes wrong! Bu some days it seems to ‘sort of’ work…for example, there are lots of colours that we can’t manage to float, no matter how hard we try. There are real experts out there, a Brazilian guy at the moment is probably doing the best contemporary marbling (forget his name just now) but we are still beginners at it. We just don’t show you the failures! πŸ˜‰
      We use methyl cellulose for the size. We use artist’s acrylic paints (Chromacryl, Atelier, Liquitex, probably anything will do) for the designs. We mordant our fabrics and papers (natural fibres, cotton mostly) with alum from a chemical supplier, not the pickling stuff. If in doubt, purcahse everything you need from a shop that specializes in marbling. We put our stuff together from all over the place, because we started in the Philippines and there were no marbling suppliers out there! I am happy to share, but there is too much information and success will ultimately depend on trial, error, experimentation, and nothing I say will guarantee a good marble. Invest in a few books, and approach it with patience, it is not for folkks who want instant results, it is a hard, slow journey uphill! LOL πŸ˜‰ Good luck!


    1. Thanks, Dad! Just a little something to keep from going crazy in this interminable rain! BTW Sunshine today, all my laundry is snapping happily on the line, the mood improves when the sun comes out! πŸ˜‰


    1. Hello, rose! Ah, it was driving me nuts! thankfully, it cannot rain forever (though I once counted 14 days straight in the Philippines) and we have sunshine today. I’ve done all my damp, dirty laundry, and can sit on deck using the internet from nearby resort, so am feeling much lioghter and happier now. Ultimately, it will be the rainy season that drives us from Guyana, if it goes on too long…life gets really unbearable inside a small boat without lights or ventilation or clean clothes! πŸ˜‰


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