Marbleing With Procion (Swirl Dyeing) by Pam Oswald

A big thanks to Pam Oswald at for this fantastic tutorial!


  • large pan to presoak fabrics
  • soda ash
  • gloves
  • shaving cream (barbasol with aloe works best)
  • procion dyes
  • cotton fabric
  • flat pan to pour dye base. You can use large tote lids, or flat shallow pan that will accommodate the size piece you are working with. tall kitchen garbage bags or I like to use thin plastic drop cloths that come 3 to a package for around $5 at the hardware store. I cut to size I need. I also rinse and reuse my plastics.

Let's get started!

1. Disolve 1 cup soda ash in 1 gallon hot water

2. Soak fabric 20-60 minutes

3. Wring out well and hang dry. I like line drying best but, as you can see, hangers on a shower rod will work just as well.

4. Mix dye with small amt cold water. I tend to mix on the heavy side as I prefer very bright and vibrant colors.

5. Mix together with approx 1/2 cup shaving cream until smooth a creamy (but still able to pour into your bottles). I use a spout bowl to mix and judge consistency by my ability to pour into my squirt bottles.

6. Once in bottles set the mixture aside while you mix your base.

7. I use approx 3/4 to 1 cup water with 1/2 to 3/4 can of shaving cream. I mix until it's smooth and creamy with a consistency much like melted marshmallow.

8. Pour onto pan, and work out to sides by tipping pan back and forth, letting gravity do the work.

9. Shake your dyes well and start laying out your color scheme, remembering dyes will mix a bit when swirled.

10. Once your colors are layed out, use a stick, paint brush, wooden spoon, or other similar object to make your design.

11. Once you have the look you want, get your fabric/item to be dyed.

12. Start at one end and carefully lay out fabric, gently smoothing air bubbles and wrinkles. Once layed out, let your fabric sit for 20 - 30 minutes.

13. Peel up and lay out on plastic, keeping the shaving cream side up.

14. Cover with another sheet of plastic. (This keeps the fabric moist and the dyes reacting)

15. After a minimum of 2 hours you can rinse your fabric. Remember, when using procion, time equals color.

16. Rinse well, wash in Synthrapol or the Dharma alternative, and viola! Your own marbled fabric!

Customer Comments

If you'd rather speak with a human, please call toll-free from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada M-F 8am to 5pm PST

Phone: (800) 542-5227

  Item Added to Cart
  Item Not Added

About Tiered Discount Levels

You can combine cotton and rayon clothing & accessories to get the greatest discounts. Your discount is figured on the total number of cotton and rayon items we ship, not how many of each type, style or size. Mix and match them to get the best discount.

Example; adding 4 each of 3 different T-shirts in size Large should give you the 12+ price on all 12 shirts.

Some products may be excluded from discounts, and / or may discount only with themselves. If you have any questions at all please contact us toll free at 800-542-5227 (no buttons, just humans).

Drag and Drop chips to the Palette first.