Science of Paper Marbling

Have you ever wondered how the water strider insect is able to glide across the water? Or why soap bubbles and water droplets form?
All these phenomena are displays on surface tension in action. Surface tension is the force that holds together liquid molecules at the interface and can be disrupted by soaps (aka surfactants).
So, what does all of this have to do with paper marbling? Decorating technique often found in 18th century book art, paper marbling involves dispersing ink on the surface of water and manipulating the patterns with a tool to achieve the desired effect. While the individual components, ink, water and surfactant, are rather simple, their interplay is crucial to producing a successful print. In this family-friendly workshop run by researchers from Imperial College London we’ll look at the fascinating link between paper marbling and soap science through series of interactive exercises alongside creating beautiful marbling prints on paper and fabrics.


Dates and times of events
10/07 – Manor House Library, 11am – 12pm, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, 2pm – 3pm

Instagram: @soap_soup__


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