Thursday, July 7, 2011

Print Directly Onto Fabric? Yes You Can!

I have seen this around blog land - and had to know for myself - can you really do it? Can you really print directly onto fabric without the printer going into seizures?? I have tried putting paper bags, envelopes and kraft paper through - and have had mishaps - so this was going to be a creative "try"al.

I don't know about you, but I have heard people say they printed something off their printer like it was something simple to do - then I go and try it - and for some reason I am doing major surgery trying to remove pieces of it from my printer. With all that I learned through my mishaps - I put into play with my next printing adventure - FABRIC.

I used three test subjects (1) a smooth cotton poly - fairly light weight (2) light denim (3) drop cloth medium weight. I ironed the fabric, and cut to 8 1/2 width  - the length really didn't matter but I cut it to approximately 11 inches.

What I learned from my previous mishaps with other materials is to tape whatever it is to a piece of paper. The paper guides it through the machine. I used double sided tape. I have heard of people using whole sheets of sticky paper and I am sure that works fabulous - but I am cheap - so yeah - double sided tape from the $store worked for me. I taped the length of the paper at the top (where it will be entering into the machine) and two strips on the sides. I used card stock for the light weight fabrics and regular printer paper for the medium weight fabric. All printers are different - so make sure you put the fabric on the side that it will print on (mine is face down).

I was sweating when I hit print. I had my finger over the cancel button - but to my surprise they all printed lovely and with absolutely no problems. I did try and use the double sided taped sheet twice - and it printed fine - but it did lose its grip a bit the second time so I would re-tape for every one.
And here are the results.

My practice graphic is from  Graphics Fairy called  Fluer De Lis. My favorite is the drop cloth because of the texture, but all turned out nice! Now to go make something with my customized fabric!!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Holy smokes! I did not know this! Let's see...what to make...what to make!
    Thanks for the info!!

  2. I didn't know you could do that either, although now that I know I am going to give it a try. Thanks for being the guinea pig and doing the testing so the rest of us can do it.

  3. Thanks for this tutorial, I have been wanting to try printing on fabric too but I was too scared!

  4. Isn't it exciting to find a new way to use things. I was so excited when I learned one could do this technique.... It opens up so many more doors for creativity.

  5. Hi I am visit your blogs and see its. It is nice blogs. Thanks for sharing knowledge about printing. I am impressed from your blogs. envelopes printing with names and addresses from your address book.

  6. That's great! I wish I knew how to combine several images onto one page before printing so each fabric could have multiple images on it! Would make great pillows!

  7. I use the cards to the fabrics light weight and regular printer paper medium weight fabric. All the different printers - so be sure to put fabric.

    full color catalog printing

  8. This is really neat! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering: can you wash those fabrics now or will the print wash away?

  9. @Janice - No - the printer ink is not washable. If you did an iron on transfer then it would last quite a few washes. Unfortunately if you wash the direct print on fabric the ink would run.

  10. Thanks for the info. There are still gobs of cool mixed-media possibilities for using fabric printed like this. I'm starting to envisage doing some for book/journal covers... would be fun to quilt and bead through and around the printed areas... Again, thanks!