Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Printing on Fabric! - The Photo Tutorial


Wow!!
There has been such a large number of people interested in this post!

I would like to thank DIY Home Sweet Home  for featuring this post, 
ever since the feature I've had a really large number of viewers who have 
traveled on over to see what it's all about over here! 
So thank you!

Since there has been so much interest I have decided it's time to give this post a little face lift.
It all started with these adorable little sachet pillows I made using fabric that I printed 
images on using my ink jet printer.


 So simple and not super time consuming.
(I prefer quick and easy projects)
All you need is the fabric (I choose canvas), spray adhesive,
 a piece of printer paper, and of course an ink jet printer.


Here is a pic of the spray adhesive, to give you an idea of what to look for.


First, I spray the printer paper liberally with the spray adhesive (especially the edges) then press the paper onto the fabric. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric if any. I try not to fuss over this part too much, you only need it to stick long enough to print your image.


I let it dry for a good 10 minutes. I use the drying time to pick out the image
 I want to use from the Graphics Fairy


Then I carefully cut around the edges of the paper and as close to the edges as possible.


*NOTE* 
It is really, really important that you cut clean edges! 
I would hate for you to try this and jam up your printer.
 I  took a risk trying this method out on my almost brand new printer.
However, since it worked....I am so glad I gave it a shot!

I took out all the extra printer paper before I place the fabric/paper in. 
I placed it in the printer fabric side down and paper side up.


When your fabric comes out of the printer peel the paper off and pat yourself on the back!
There is usually some residue leftover from the glue, no worries. 
You can wash the fabric and the image will still be there!
Pretty awesome right?


Keep those questions and comments coming, I love to read them!
Enjoy and Happy Printing.



46 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial you did a great job.. Can't wait to try this..

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  2. Can't wait to try this. It looks much easier to do than I thought it would be.

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  3. A great tutorial! I also just did this for the first time a few weeks ago and was concerned about putting fabric through the printer. I was actually shocked it worked. It's a great way to print on fabric! Thanks for sharing this tutorial.
    ~ Julie

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  4. I have GOT to try this! Love the new image you chose.

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  5. I love the pillows I may have to check this out! I will never hear the end of it if I jam the printer from my entourage...{family}}!!!

    Congrats on your Baby! Blessings for a healthy, gentle delivery and speedy recovery!
    xo,
    Gail
    casualloveselegance

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  6. Great tutorial. Thanks I will be trying this. It looks very simple. I love that Graphics Fairy

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  7. How permanent is the ink. Does it need to be treated in some way? Is it washable?

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  8. Good Question! I haven't washed anything after I've printed on it...I'll give it a try and report back!

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  9. A lot of inks become permanent with heat. Try ironing on the highest setting.

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  10. Isn't an 8 by 11 a little small for a pillow?

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  11. 8 x 11 would work just fine for a pillow if you just add a border.

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  12. Ok! So I washed the Fabric that I had used for this tutorial with out ironing it first... and it looks great!! YEAH! I would say that honestly very little ink washed out, it almost looks totally the same! I'd say that's pretty cool news! Thank you guys for your patience, with two boys ages 3 and 5months things can get crazy busy around here!

    I hope this helps, keep those questions and comments coming!!
    xoxo
    Stefani

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    Replies
    1. I have used the fabric sheets sold at the craft store and they recommend rinsing the sheet in cold water before using to wash off any extra dyes and to prevent running.

      When I do it, I use a large tupperware bowl in the sink. I fill the bowl with water, then let the water continue to run while I soak the fabric in the water. The running water helps any excess ink to run off rather than bleed to other parts of the fabric. I let it dry, iron it and sew into my quilt squares.

      I'm assuming that you are using an ink jet printer and not a laser printer.

      I really like the tip, because this will save me loads of money over using the commercial product.

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    2. Looks fantastic. Can't wait to try this. Thanx much. Sally

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  13. You can also iron fabric onto the shiny side of freezer paper.

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  14. Yes, and I actually happen to have a post with some results for the freezer paper method here:

    http://rusticcottageinteriors.blogspot.com/2011/08/transfer-methods-and-living-room-sneak.htm

    Go check it out!
    Stefani

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    Replies
    1. Wow! I'm totally excited about this project. Thank you so much for posting it! My husband and I are both avid photographers... What a great way to use some of our images!!

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    2. There is even an easier way to print on fabric pre-treated fabric, 8 x11" pieces can be purchased in the quilting department at Joann Fabrics. Another option is to purchase a liquid treatment for the fabric and when dry iron it onto a piece of freezer paper. The wax on the paper holds the fabric in place while running it through your inkjet printer.

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  15. Blessings to you for a wonderful idea.I'm excited to try it and will let you know how I do.....

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  16. Iron cotton or linen (natural fabrics) to the glossy side of freezer paper. Be sure to line the grain of the fabric straight along the edge. The fabric fuses to the paper and can be cut to width and length for your printer.
    Print with any inkjet printer. Iron to set ink. Peel paper off. I've been an instructional technologist for 28 years, and have done this repeatedly with students.
    The prints look like canvas. Mod Podge them for a glossy 'oil on canvas' look.
    You can also iron ribbon to the canvas and print on the ribbon. Tricky lining it up (do a template using columns), but it's great for specialty ribbons.
    Great article!

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    Replies
    1. I will definitely give this a try! Thanks for stopping by and thank you for leaving your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed this post!! I really want to try printing on ribbons now! :)

      Stefani

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  17. fabulous idea! i have an old printer at home and will definitely give this a try!!

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  18. Have you done this on color fabric? I've done this before seeing your artical. I have trouble when I wash the fabric with the print on it. It bleeds or washes out but I was using color fabric.

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    1. I have not tried colored fabric, I have only printed on canvas material, purely because I like to use that material in my decorating. I've done other transfer methods on flour sack towels, but nothing on colored fabric. I have heard that ironing your material after you print on it (I would probably start out by trying to iron the backside) is supposed to make the ink permanent. I've not personally tried it yet, but hope to do so soon. If you give it a shot let me know how it turns out!! Good luck and thanks for posting!!

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    2. Either heat set print with iron, I would cover with brown paper bag, or put in cold water to set colors, or wash separately first time in cold water, maybe by hand.

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  19. I found "inkjet Fabric Sheets" at Michaels and I think this store is almost everywhere.The material is thinner than canvas but it really works.I took pictures of flowers that my sons have given me over the years and made a beautiful quilted wall cover.

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  20. I LOVE this tutorial!!! Now I can do anything! Thank you so much!!!! :)

    Sofia
    www.lovalafashion.blogspot.com (check it out)

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  21. Do you have a flyer or something with these ideas on them. I can never remember all the special instructions after reading them on the computer?

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  22. Wow!! Thanks so much for this tutorial!!! I need all the help I can get!! Hugs to you!!

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  23. I love people who will try new things......This is simply great. I am looking for a ink jet printer right now.
    I hope it works with color. Thanks for a great idea.

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  24. what kind of printer do you have? I've been doing this with freezer paper and HP ink and the ink just washes out. I've tried ironing to set it in place, but that didn't help either.

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    Replies
    1. Don't know why you are having problems, I've used both HP and Epson inkjet printers. Also an Epson large foremat particulate ink printer.
      The main thing to remember doing this is that the ink HAS TO BE TOTALLY DRY before it ever touches water. Ironing using dry press cloth and iron on cotton will dry and set the ink, but to be sure, leave it to airdry after ironing for 24 hours. When washing, use gentle cycle and 'Ivory' liquid soap.
      If you're still having problems, there is a liquid chemical treatment for cotton that you can use, but it gets sloppy and you need lots of space to allow the fabric to drip dry. I don't have a bottle of it handy, but I'll keep this site marked and check for it, will post when I find it (still packed from a move)

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    2. Great way to make a personalized quilt for a baby!!! This way you can have family photos and all and it beats "iron on" transfers.

      thanks!!
      Kelly

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  25. I did some surfing and found the chemical you need to make prints on fabric washable. It's developed by the 'C. Jenkins Company' of Dellwood, MO 63135

    http://www.cjenkinscompany.com/Bubble_Jet_Set_2000_s/3.htm

    It's not hard to do, but does get sloppy.
    Simply soak your fabric in the solution for five minutes then hang fabric up to drip-dry. Then proceed to mounting your fabric on freezer paper and cutting to size with a rotary cutter.

    The sheets of printable fabric you find for sale at the store are already treated with the Bubble Jet Set 2000. That's why they work!

    They have the plain solution as well as others specifically designed for HP or Epson ink.

    Happy cloth printing with excellent results.

    Al

    NOTE:- DO heed their washing instructions --- cold water/ gentle cycle and I found using 'Ivory' liquid the best.

    I've been doing this for about 8 years and even have printed on silk though I don't recommend it as silk is so slippery that the rollers in the printers cannot feed it properly.

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  26. Great idea, perfect for making clothe labels! Thank you.

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  27. Is the paper on top when it comes out of the printer or is the fabric? My printer is a lexmark and it prints on top of the paper as it come out? The way I read the instructions the fabric would be on the bottom on my printer?

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  28. Not all printers are alike, be sure to place your print-ready sheet (fabric mounted on paper)into the paper tray the same way you would place 'photo' paper in. Rule of thumb would be to try a print on a piece of paper. Did the printer print on the top or bottom of the paper? Usually if the blank paper tray is on the front of the printer -- place the sheet cloth side down, if your printer is a rear-loader -- place the sheet cloth side up.

    You want to print on the cloth side -- not the paper side.

    Have fun! Once you've printed your first piece of cloth, a whole new set of projects pop into your mind.

    Al

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  29. Thanks for the tip about letting the ink dry for 24 hours before washing....like one other gal here my ink just washed out almost completely after ironing it to set it.....hopefully this will solve my problem!!!! thanks again

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  30. My mom just shared this with me and I'm excited to try it on a project I've been wanted to do for some time. I am in the midst of copying some Indian prints to fabric for my new bedspread and just didn't know how I could do it. Now I think my patchwork project has a chance for success.

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  31. I tired using the freezer paper it work but my only problem is I'm trying to do a black & white photo and the faces keep coming out white & you can't see any of the facial features. do you ahve any ideas for me?

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  32. With a B&W photo, if the original photo shows facial features, the print on fabric should show same features.

    The thing to remember is that with fabric you are dealing with a rough surface, whereas with paper you have a smooth surface.

    My solution (hopefully) to your problem:-

    (Not mentioned anywhere above)
    When ready to print on the fabric, go into the settings for your printer and INCREASE the amount of ink the printer uses to print to maximum.
    This may be a sliding scale, or on some printers your only choice of settings is to click on the setting to print 'Picture".
    It takes a lot more ink to print pictures clearly on fabric than to print a typed document on paper, and this is the default setting on all printers.
    I've found many times that I've forgotten to set 'Picture' and printed photo looked real washed out. So it is VERY important to make sure ALL settings are correct before the final push of the "PRINT" button.

    Next, you may have to pull your picture into a photo editing program and adjust the contrast. If the photo is very bright, there may not be quite enough detail there for the printer. Adjust picture accordingly so that features are more defined.
    REMEMBER TO USE "SAVE AS" AND NOT SIMPLY "SAVE" or you'll lose your original photo on your computer and have to through scanning it again if the changes you made don't get the desired effect.

    Hope this solves your problem,

    Al

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  33. Nice post with great details. I need a printer for the home use for Plastic cards printing purpose. Which one will be the best for me?

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  34. I just this moment , did this .. I used white Muslin fabric , Elmers Craft Spray Adhesive to stick the fabric to a piece of paper .. and I printed a copy of my grandfather and his sister when he was around 2 years old.. it looks flippin' awesome ... I can't wait to do more!

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  35. Great tips!!! I use the freezer paper method with wonderful results.........works best with natural content fabrics such as cotton or linen. And I have used colored fabric also with the same results. I always leave the paper on the fabric after printing, for many hours or overnight before removing. Then I press the fabric on both sides with a pressing cloth and a dry hot iron. That sets the image. I make pillows and sachets....print on a small square of fabric then sew it to the pillow front and cover the edges with trim or ribbon. Some are on my site.....designsbycleo.net.....

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  36. I use fusible bond- that way I can iron my printed fabric onto my project and stitch around the edges ...I also learned the hard way to spray clear sealant on the finished product to make it permanent

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  37. Congratulations! This is the best thing, Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.
    Photo Posters

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