Attended an Amazing Fabric Marbling Class in PGH

Attended an Amazing Fabric Marbling Class in PGH

Fabric Marbling Class

On Sunday, (which was also the same day as the Pittsburgh Marathon), I braved the wacky road closures and traffic rerouting to attend an amazing Fabric Marbling Class at the Contemporary Craft.

Our teacher was the talented Melissa DeLisio who has been marbling on fabric for over 15 years. Using demonstrations, she instructed us in the hows, whys, and pitfalls of marbling on fabric. Here, she’s showing an example of a fabric that she has just marbled.

 Fabric Marbling Class with Melissa DeLisio at COntempory Craft, Pittsburgh

Melissa DeLiso showing students an example of marbled fabric.

 Not surprisingly, Fabric Marbling is so very different from feltmaking. Namely, there is a lot of time and space needed for its preparation. Conversely, the actual doing happens rather quickly — and magically! One lays the color onto a specially prepared medium and then ‘prints’ onto prepared fabric. Compared to the lengthy process of wet felting wool, marbling on fabric seems like instant gratification.

In addition, to learning a few of the traditional Turkish patterns, we were also encouraged to play and invent our own. There are 100 cool examples on the MarbleArt website.

 Tray ready for fabric marbling

 Tray of paint floating on Medium in Fabric Marbling Class at SCC in PGH.

With all of the sampling, the woodworking room at Contemporary Craft was transformed into a giant drying rack for all of the students’ fabrics. Naturally, there was lots of newspaper on the floor to catch the drips!


 Samples of Marbled Fabric Hanging out to Dry.

 Students' work hanging to dry.


The Reveal

As promised in the Fabric Marbling class description, there were lots of samples of fabric to take home. Seen below, is only some of my new stash!

 Samples of my Marbled Fabric - very colorful and fun!


The patterns and color combinations really blow me away. They have sparked ideas for exploring color in unexpected of ways. That evening after the class, I was so excited that I could NOT sleep!!!

Besides my own fabric, I kept drooling over those of my classmates. Some students chose to work in monochromatic colors, while others combined colors in unexpected ways, evoking the imagery of the cosmos.

Interestingly, Fabric Marbling is an innovative way to explore color because combinations that seem impossible in theory, end up being wonderful as marbled fabric. Certainly, it’s much better than assembling swatches or paint chips. Remember: there are no bad color combinations!

Now what to do with all the beautiful fabric

Sadly, I don’t believe that wool fibers will be able to go through the quilt-weight cotton in order to Nuno felt. Nonetheless, I really, really want to use them on my felted hats! As gluing is never an option, sewing will have to be the method. Consequently, I’ve been watching YouTube videos on hand and machine applique for quilts!  So far, my favorite method and video are from the excellent Gourmet Quilter.


If you have methods that you like to use to combine fabric into your feltmaking, please leave a comment below.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.