Printing

As promised, we will cover the process for printing on fabric. 

What you will need

1.  Freezer paper
2.  Iron and ironing board
3.  Pins
4. Scissors
5.  Printer with pigmented ink (see 08/13/15 issue for this discussion)
7.  Computer picture or print
8. Fabric (see discussion bellow)
The images are clean and sharp.
If you plan on selling your product, always be careful of copyright.
Before we move into the process of printing on the fabric there are two more things we should discuss.  First, the graphic you select.  I have provided two examples.  One is a large print, the other, a photo which I have altered because... well...I don't want to get sued.  

The Beatles photos have been ordered to create a stripe, which can be used for the boarder of a coat, shirt, skirt, what ever you would like. 

The other pattern is more for a pillow, but can be used as the focal point for a quilted jacket.

My printer can only print a maximum width of 8 1/2 and length of 14" or, legal and regular sized paper, so the printed size of my fabric is limited.

But, as you will soon see, how the graphic appears on your computer screen, is how it will appear on the fabric.

The second concern is what fabric to select.  The fabric should be smooth, or regularly rough.  For instance, you can have success with burlap or linen, but an irregularly appearing slub can thrown the printer off.  It is best to use cotton or a cotton polyester.  However, I used a thin, 100% sheer polyester as one example just to give you an idea of the range of suitable fabrics .  

Cotton, or other natural fibers such as linen, wool, silk are best, because they absorb color faster, better and are more fade resistant.  But, if you are making something that will not be frequently washed, or can be washed gently, man made fabrics will do fine.

getting started

A computer software can expand your image to any size.  The real limit is the size paper your printer can use.  If you plan on doing more of this, make sure you  get a printer that can handle larger paper sizes.
1.  Create a template.  I used an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of copier paper, but that is not necessary.  The template can be any size your printer can properly print.  You don't want the fabric size too small in case it jams, or too big causing it not to go through.  I cheat, and use copier paper because I know the cut will be accurate.  It is very important that you take the time to have an exactly portioned template.  Otherwise, the image on your fabric can come out lopsided. 

The edge the printer catches, must be level.  

2.  With your template, cut out both fabric and freezer paper. I will pin the template onto the fabric to get as accurate a cut as possible.  Remember, the freezer paper is what will port the fabric through the printer.  Exacting care must be made to ensure the paper is cut straight.

3. Iron the freezer paper to the fabric.  Place the shiny side of the freezer paper toward the fabric, and the dull side will be ironed.  I will pin the freezer paper to the fabric at the very edge of the square.  Set your iron on "no steam" and "warm."  Then starting from the center, gently, in a circular motion, move out toward the edge of the square, removing the pin once you reach it, in order to iron the edges.

4.  Handling the fabric with freezer paper very gently, place it into the printer, making sure it is well seated. Also, make sure the fabric side is facing the proper direction.  Some printers flip the paper so that the underside of the page gets printed.  My printer prints the top.  

5.  Make sure your printer settings are correct.  Remember, my Cannon requires that it be set for high quality in order for the pigmented ink to be properly used.  Make sure your printer doesn't have the same type of requirements.

6.  With fingers crossed, PRINT.

7.  I have included several examples.  The fabrics did fine, but you will notice that there is a streak with the print on pink fabric.  This is probably due to the slub located on the dog image.  This doesn't often happen, but can.  If you have the option, it is best to use fabric with a very smooth, flawless surface.  

8.  And, voila, you have your printed fabric.  Wait 10 minutes and rinse the fabric with cold water.  
Picture
Nice clean image on sheer 100 % polyester fabric.
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Pin template to fabric and freezer paper to ensure accurate cut.
Picture
You can cut in layers, just make sure edges are straight and accurate.
Picture
Shiny, glossy side of the freezer paper goes toward the fabric.
Picture
No steam and warm setting.
Picture
Start in the center and gently iron to the edges in a circular pattern.
Picture
Make sure you have no folds, even if it isn't where the image will be, the fold can throw the printer off.
Picture
Gently place the fabric into your printer.
Picture
Notice the streak is aligned with the slub.
Picture
Have fun with your own flattering patterns.
Picture
Photo was altered to pencil sketch, detail came out very well.
Enjoy-- this is a really fun and easy way to make very personal, haute couture, tailored made crafts and clothes.    Don't be afraid to experiment.  A lot depends on the fabric you choose, and the kind of printer you have.  

Thank you for joining me, next week we will talk about painting fabric, until then, have a great week, and God Bless. 
 


Comments

Woow. Great lessons. I like the beads. I just added them to my wish list. I hope to get a lot of them for my friends as wedding and birthday presents. Are these made in America or they are from Africa? As an African American, I am always happy to be associated with things from Africa. I would therefore ask you to add stones from Africa to your collection.

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I never thought that printing on clothing would be this easy. I have a few designs I would want to print on my shirts and I would definitely try it out now that I have read your blog. What are the washing instructions on this after I start wearing it? Do I still wash it with cold water? How long does the print last before it fades? I have read your previous post regarding the printer and ink needed for this project and luckily I have a reliable HP inkjet printer here at home. I would not be using any color so I think HP would do well for me.

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04/27/2016 7:16am

I thank you for this page; I am a woman of substance. Reading on how you make your beads and is fantastic. This very artistic, I will go through the process and see how mine turns out.

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06/06/2016 3:22am

Things are very easy to do when you finally get your hand around too it. I would have never thought that doing a fabric printing will be that simple. I have almost everything but missing out on the freezer paper. I have not heard of it before or seen it before. I will search for it in my country and see if I will find it and follow your instructions to go my own prints. Thanks for this information.

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