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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tips on Tuesdays! - > Printing on Fabric

Welcome to Tips on Tuesdays!  This is a sharing post, so please leave your ideas in the comments section for others to read.  If you blog, you can grab the red button on the sidebar, which links to all Tips on Tuesday posts.  Each week is a different theme.  This week, the topic is "Printing on Fabric".

I have only printed on fabric a few times.  The first thing I had to learn was that you need an ink jet printer, not laser.  You don't need anything fancy.  Most people want to get rid of theirs because the ink is so expensive.  I got one for free through FreeCycle.  You could check things like Kijiji also.

Printing on fabric is not waterproof unless you find specially treated fabric that will hold the ink even through a wash.  I have never printed for a quilt, but I have printed for art or postcards (things that won't get washed).  One way you can do this is to cut a piece of freezer paper the size of a printer sheet.  You then lie the fabric onto the waxy side of the paper and press.  The heat will temporarily met the plastic, causing the fabric to stick to the freezer paper.  People use this method for applique.  One you are done, trim the fabric perfectly to the size of the paper.  Now you have a sheet that you can feed through your printer (hopefully) without the fabric getting caught or jammed.  PLEASE be careful if you are trying this, and make sure your fabric is completely stick to that paper!  Then press print.

printing a photo I took of my black-eyed Susans from the garden in the fall.

Then what?  Well, I did some free motion stitching to outline this one.  It made a striking effect.


You can also free motion stitch in coordinating colors.  This is a photo I took of a columbine.

I then printed it onto fabric, and stitched it to create a postcard.

I'm happy how this one turned out!  Beads in the center for embellishment.

If you are worried about things smudging, I've sprayed the printed fabric with this.  It helps to keep the ink from smudging onto your hands while you sew.

spray it outside or in the garage.  POISON POISON

How about you?  Have you ever printed images onto fabric?  What is the most permanent way you have found?  Do tell!  We would love to learn from you.  Share your tips or links to useful webpages below.  It's like take a penny, leave a penny.

Thanks so much!


LynCC said...

I've only printed quilt labels so far, but a couple of those have had photos on them. I use "Printed Treasures" printing fabric for inkjet printers and have been very happy with it. It does not fade in the wash. You have to be careful when buying printer fabric packets - all the brands I saw at JoAnn Fabrics are NOT washable (so why would I even want to buy it???). I found this one online.

Wendy said...

This is so timely! I have actually been reading about this, and it looks like you can print using a laser printer (for example: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/58811.aspx). Did you have a bad experience? I thought quilt labels might be neat printed out and then pieced into the back of the quilt.

Anonymous said...

Molly wrote:

the only time i've used printed images on a quilt was almost twenty years ago - long before we had a computer, much less a printer... i took fabric pieces to a commercial printing company that did t-shirt transfer thingies. i took pictures of all five of the kids and had them printed, pressed and sealed onto the fabric pieces and then pieced them onto the quilt top. i quilted a circle of my kids' hand-tracings around the quilt. oh - and it was when 3M had just come out with their new insulating stuff (the name of which i totally forget!) so i used that as batting (not easy to work with) since my mom was cold all the time...
she loved it - she didn't get to see the kids often since she had by then moved to calgary. the staff in the home where she lived were regaled with tale after tale after tale of the kids, the quilt, the kids.. i'm sure they got tired of the tales but they were so nice about it!
i have the quilt now - the pictures haven't faded at all, being rather 'plasticized' - and i do love to look at it....
maybe it's time to do some more printing...

Cheryl (Grandma Coco) said...

Oooo, I never thought of printing photos for postcards....something else I'll have to try. Did you know there's something called Textile Medium? I used it to set coloured pencil on fabric. You just brush it lightly onto the piece you want to set, let it dry for 24 hours and then press (from the back). It seems to set the colour OK but the fabric gets stiff. Good subject for Tips on Tuesday!

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Ahhh, smacks hand on forehead. I can't tell you.. I stare at that postcard nearly every day trying to figure out how you made it. What a cool technique!! I can definetly see giving this a try too! The only printing on fabrics was really printing on iron transfer sheets and then ironing them on to fabric. Great topic today!

Anonymous said...

My second class and my second quilt was a photo memory quilt for my mom's 80th birthday so I took a class at Periwinkle. You can buy special off white fabric (which is significantly cheaper than the prepared sheets) which you prepare by presoaking (wait - I have to run to the attic to look up the name of it --)it in Bubble jet Set 2000. You then cut it into the paper size and use temporary spray adhesive to bond it to the paper. Once you have printed it you then peel it off the paper (very easy to do) and then treat it with the Bubble Jet Rinse. I put the 10 pictures into my mom's quilt and voila. She didn't want to use it (wanted to keep it for show!) but I put it on her bed. She has washed it a couple of times and it still looks good (that was 4 1/2 years ago).

PS this is the first tuesday tip where I have actually felt like I knew something so thougth I had better post!

Dawn Browning said...

The first time I transferred photos to fabric, I used T-shirt transfer paper and had the photos printed at Office Depot until it ruined their copy machine and they refused to print for me! I used it in a quilt I made for my Dad's 80th birthday. The quilt has held up well (no fading) but they have it hanging on the wall so it hasn't been washed. The T-shirt transfers left a plastic-y shine on the photos so I covered them with a sheet of baking parchment paper and ironed them. When I peeled back the paper, all the shine was gone and the hand of the fabric was much softer. I have since used Printed Treasures with great success. I am getting ready to try the Bubble Jet Set for text that I want to print onto a light batik. So the adventure continues......

upstateLisa said...

I recently tried TAP, transfer artist paper... fun to use!!!!

babiesdoc said...

I have successfully printed quilt labels using fabri which is pre washed then ironed onto freezer paper.the label is soaked in white vinegar.

the label is then washable.

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