Make bubble textured fabric : 2 ways

bubble fabric texture

The picture above is the border of a scarf I have – you have to see it yourself to know the beautiful texture it has. I was forever wondering how they got the fabric into such a pretty textured bubble like look. Then I stumbled upon this article on makezine.com

Yahoo!. I have enough knowledge in my kitty to recreate this exact look everywhere I want – I can imagine a skirt hem with this texture, a patch pocket, embellishing a kids frock, on the borders of a throw.

This method works on the principle of thermoplasticity of fabric fibers of synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon. When heat is applied the fibers become pliable to the shape they are tied in. To use this method you will be boiling the fabric after it is tied around small hard objects.

This is one cooking I am going to enjoy. My husband will wonder what I am doing near the stove.

How to make the bubble texture Method 1

Take a piece of synthetic fabric – if you have a project in mind remember that the bubble shape will reduce the fabric area. So you will need more- how much will depend on the round object you keep inside, the fabric used, the frequency of the ties etc. You will need to make a bigger piece and cut out the needed pattern from this.

You can use glass beads or same sized river pebbles ( or different sized ones if you like that effect).

bubble texture

Tie the beads inside the fabric with thread tightly – very close to each other if you want bubbles to be close.

bubble textured fabric

After everything is nicely tied up the way you want it, keep it on the stove with enough water in a pan to drown it completely.

Boil for some 20-30 minutes. Take it out and wash in cold water. Patience is not a virtue I am going to have anywhere near me. Well, I removed the thread ties as soon as I took it out of the water. You are supposed to wait until the whole thing is dry.

bubble texture

Thankfully it did not matter much. The bubbles still look pretty awesome, if I may say so myself. The best thing about this texture is that even if you stretch it, it will spring back to the bubble look.

This method works and looks best with thin synthetic fiber fabrics.

How to make the bubble texture on fabric – Method 2

So how would you do the bubble texture on other fabrics which do not have much thermoplasticity? Natural fabrics like cotton linen etc. There is another method to make this texture without all that boiling. That is the Wet and dry technique.

bubble fabric texture

You will need an oven tray kind of thing with grids to try this method. The spaces in the tray will make your bubbles so if you have a grid with small spaces you will get small bubble texture.Or make on with cardboard with poked holes

I have this grill tray for cooking flatbread on stoves – I will be using it, though it is small and will take only a small piece of fabric. You may want to use a big one.

You will also need a piece of interfacing as backing for the bubbles.

Take the fabric piece you need to make the bubbly texture. Wet it throroughly. Keep it on top of the grid, right side down. Using your fingers or the back of a knitting needle/pencil poke to push the fabric through the grid spaces. Make neat pushes- remember these are your bubbles, as it will appear on the face of the fabric.

bubble fabric texture

Ensure that the bubbles look good by looking at the face of the fabric.

bubble texture

Keep the interfacing sheet on the fabric (backside ofcourse) shiny side down. Use a hot iron to press in place. That is it .

bubble texture fabric

Wait for the fabric to dry- When it is dry it will be set in this bubble texture.

bubble texture

Note : This method is impossible to do with thin synthetic fabrics.