View & download my Suminagashi Instructional Guide for basic suminagashi instructions, starting formulas, and troubleshooting tips!


Great starter kit with 6 colors: Boku-Undo Marbling Kit, individual colors: Higgins Pigment-based Drawing Ink, black ink: Yasutomo Sumi Ink

Yasutomo Calligraphy Brushes (I prefer size 3, but any size will do)

Silk Habotai or Silk Charmeuse from Dharma Trading

Japanese Paper: Daitoshi Ex-Thick Paper, Kozo #8 Paper, Okawara Paper, Goyu Paper, Western Paper: Rives Lightweight Paper, Rives BFK Paper, Practice Paper: Pacon Sunworks Construction Paper

Potassium Aluminum Sulfate

Kodak Photo-Flo 200 SolutionDon Guyot’s Sumifactant

Chambers, Anne. Suminagashi: The Japanese Art of Marbling: A Practical Guide. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1991.
Guyot, Don. Suminagashi: An Introduction to Japanese Marbling. Olympia: Brass Galley, 2005. 
Yagi, Tokutaro. Suminagashi-zome. Woodside, Calif.: Heyeck Press, 1991. 
Maurer-Mathison, Diane. The Ultimate Marbling Handbook: A Guide to Basic and Advanced Techniques for Marbling Paper and Fabric. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1999.


Mordanting fabric or paper prior to marbling allows more ink to be picked up when printing and permanently adheres the color to the fabric/paper.

How to mordant fabric: 

  1. Measure weight of dry fabric
  2. Pre-wash fabric in hot water to scour
  3. Dissolve 15% dry weight of fabric of aluminum sulfate in warm water
  4. Add water in a pot (enough to submerge fabric) and stir in alum solution
  5. Wet fabric first, then add to the pot
  6. Heat to 180 degrees (under boiling for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 min. OR soak in warm water with alum solution for a couple days, stirring every now and then
  7. Dry and iron fabric before marbling
  8. You can reuse the mordant bath by adding an extra 25% of original alum weight

How to mordant paper: 

  1. Mix alum solution: 8 tablespoons aluminum sulfate in 1 gallon water
  2. Mark the back of the sheet
  3. Sponge alum solution onto paper OR lay paper onto vat with alum solution
  4. Dry between sheets of blotting paper
  5. Iron flat if necessary before marbling