I'm a jewelry designer, and my favourite thing to work with is leather. I harvest 100% of my leather from used clothing, mostly jackets, skirts and pants from the thrift store. There seem to be infinite possibilities, tons of which I'm still discovering. The marbling trend seems to have really taken off lately, so I decided to try it out on some leather.
The leather I used was harvested from a light camel coloured coat, with a very even nonporous surface. I purchased supplies from www.Dharmatrading.com
, which consisted of Alum (mordant), Carrageenan (a thickener), and Angelus Leather Paints. Here's the process:1.
Begin by dissolving the alum in water, and applying it to the leather in a spray bottle. I don't know if this is recommended for health, but I took a hot iron to the leather until it dried, and repeated the process a couple times, until I was sure it was completely saturated with alum. Alum is a chemical compound, so yeah, I wouldn't recommend ironing it like I did. Just let it dry naturally, then repeat the process with the spray bottle.
I used a large pyrex dish to mix my solution in, but if you have a marbling tub that's even better. The receptacle gets filled 3/4 of the way full with water, then about 2 TBSP of carrageenan gets whisked briskly into the water, careful not to make too many bubbles. Once the solution is thick, the paint can be added to the surface. 3.
I used Angelus leather paints for my project. However, these leather paints are not made for marbling, so it took a bit of playing around to get them just right, but I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. Once the paints are floating on the surface, you can take a toothpick and manipulate it, swirling it however pleases you. 4.
To transfer the paint to the leather, simply place the flat, prepared leather face side down carefully across the painted surface of the solution. Leave it in contact for a few seconds. Lift the leather, drop it into a cold water bath, and gently shake until the slimy stuff is gone, being careful not to brush any unnecessary paint off the surface. Once it's dry, the paint will be permanent, and the leather can be used however you like. It can be cut into earrings, wrapped and snapped to create bracelets, or sewn into a coin purse.
Check out my pictures below for some project ideas, and to see how the paint floats on the surface.
thanks for reading!