Monday, August 31, 2009

Printing on Fabric

Carol asked me about printing on fabric, so I thought this would be the place to answer. Many years ago Threads had a reader say in a letter that she did it-before color printers in the home. I tried it and was lucky. Now I know some of the things you need to be careful about.

Several companies produce fabrics that are ready for the printer and are available at some fabric, quilt, and craft stores. They come pretreated to make them accept and keep the ink from the inkjet printer. They are also backed by a paper that is peeled off later. You can buy several kinds of cotton and silk and even sheers. If you do a lot of printing on fabric, you can treat your own fabric with Bubble Jet Set or Inkaid to save on costs. I just use the pretreated fabrics for convience. If you treat your own, iron them on freezer paper for going through the printer. Be sure they are cut to the correct size and have no threads loose to catch or wrap around printer parts.

Check to make sure you load the printer in the correct way, so it prints on the fabric not the paper. I've made all the mistakes, but hey that's how you learn. Just load one sheet at a time and stay with the printer while it works. I use the regular ink setting, but some like to use the best setting. Each company has it's own directions for treating the fabric after it's printed and the ink is dry, either by heat setting with the iron or rinsing. Read the directions. I do both in case. The paper is removed before rinsing, but be careful not to distort the fabric. Sorry but I don't have a lazer printer, so I don't know how to print using it.
Here's the next set of manipulations of the amarylis. I crop a section near the center. Then arrange 4 of them, rotating and flipping the sections to get two designs.I'm not sure which is my favorite. Any opinions?

Now you've gotten what my kids used to call the full lecture. "Can't you just give a simple answer Mom?" Evidentally not.


Dotti said...

I like them all but the center one is my favorite. It has a larger central focal point and great radiating spaces which invite all sorts of embellishment!

flyingbeader said...

Definitely the middle one. That one to me speaks out strong. I too usually buy the pretreated paper & think the Fredix brand is best. But there are times if I'm doing a big batch of faces or images, that I make my own. dot

pam T said...

I'm for the top one.... for some reason that's the one that catches my eye and holds it.
Wow, I've never been able to get photos to print on fabric, even in just black and white. I've pretty much given up on that hope. but if I do, I know who i will come to for the lecture!!! :)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Hi Sandy
Thank you for the instructions.

Well, you all know how crazy my childhood was. Certain things said have given me a deep seeded fear of breaking machines. Its hard for me to overcome. Its just a printer, right?

Ideas are running around in my head that you will probably see on my blog in the next few months.

Thanks again.

Linda Stokes said...

All have potential but I like the top one.