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Ebru” has long been the name given to the original Turkish art of “paper marbling” and to the “marbled” designs transferred to paper or fabric produced by Ebru artists. Classical ebru is produced in a rectangular trough filled with water mixed with a mucillagenous solution, traditionally prepared using gum tragacanth. The colors, made of natural pigments mixed with ox-gall, are sprinkled over the surface of the water with brushes made of rose stalks and horse hair.
Pins, needles, and combs are used to swirl the colors into one another, thus producing a design on the surface of the water. Paper or fabric is laid carefully on the design, and as the paper is lifted from the surface of the water, the design transfers completely to the paper. “Ebru” has been used not only for fine works of art displayed in homes and galleries worldwide, but also for backgrounds to caligraphy, borders for inscriptions, and endpapers in finely bound books.
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