Thursday, June 14, 2007

How To Print On Fabric

I thought I'd put together a little pictorial tutorial-- ;) to show how easy it is to print images onto fabric. So let's get started.

You will need, some muslin or other light colored fabric, freezer paper, scissors and your printer. Please note this for inkjet printers only. Laser printers can melt the freezer paper and then you'll have a big mess and need to buy a new printer---you'll want a new inkjet of course. ;)

NOTE: If the project you are making will ever be washed then 1st pre-wash your fabric (not necessary for non-washables like an ornament or decorative item that will never be washed) and 2nd use a product called Bubble Jet following the product instructions.

First off choose the image that you want to print and make sure to size it if needed thru whatever photo editor you use. You may not even need to do this step, depending on what it is you want.

Next decide if you want your muslin tea dyed or not--if so now is the time to do it, because if you wait till afterwards your image will run.

Using either scissors and a ruler or my favorite a rotary cutter and ruler. Lay your freezer paper out and cut it to 8 1/2 X 11 inches.

Next do the same thing with your fabric. Tip--you may want to pink the edges of your fabric to keep fraying at a minimum. I usually leave mine all straight edges, but either way works great.
Now that we have both the freezer paper and the fabric cut to the same size as a sheet of paper lay your freezer paper over the fabric with the shiny side facing down--facing the fabric.Now we're ready to iron our freezer paper to our fabric using a hot iron and no steam. A few swipes across it all and it should be adhered together.

This is what it will most likely look like--a bit curly, but that's ok. Make sure to trim off any stray threads at this point. We don't want them getting stuck in the printer.
Place your fabric/freezer paper sheet into the printer making sure that you know your printer and which side needs to go face down. On mine the fabric goes face down--which I think if fairly standard. If you're not sure take a piece of printer paper and mark a big X on one side and run it thru the printer and see which side comes out on top. When you get the X to come out on top you'll know which side to face down.

Now that you have your fabric loaded, either place your image onto the printer to be copied or choose an image that you have saved on your computer, click to print and when the print box pops up make sure you set the paper settings to something that is heavy. On mine I use the linen greeting card setting. Matte greeting card or cardstock settings work great too. Click print and wait.................
....for your image to come out all nice and pretty. Peel off the freezer paper---making sure to save it, because you can use the freezer paper over and over again.
Now that you have your image you can heat set it by pressing it with a hot, dry iron or you can lightly spray it with a spray acrylic clear coat. You can also use a product called Bubble Jet Set to preserve the picture you just printed in case you wash your project. Follow the product instructions.

Here is the image that I chose and I stitched it up into a little old fashioned looking feedsack. I used the one sheet of fabric for the whole bag. This image was purchased from Ewe and Me Printables--she has tons of great images.

The ideas of what you can do with images printed on fabric is endless. They make great ornies, pillows, additions to crazy quilts, postcards that you can actually mail, tags and so much more.

In the post above are some images you can use as you wish. Have fun with it and please save the images to your own hard drive.

Happy Printing!

NOTE! For Bloggers in the UK. Our freezer paper is different from Greaseproof. Greaseproof is wax paper and it won't work for this project. However I have found a couple of websites in the UK through a Google search that sell Reynolds Freezer Paper and I read that you may also be able to find the Reynolds Freezer Paper at Hobbycraft stores. Here in the states we buy the Reynolds Freezer Paper in the grocery stores and at quilt shops, so you might also check with your local quilt shop to see if they carry it. Reynolds Freezer Paper is originally used for wrapping and freezing meat, but it's also good for besides printing on fabric things like applique, making pennyrugs, pattern templates and so much more.

Here are two UK websites that I found that sell the Reynolds Freezer Paper......

Sew Essential


Please feel free to email me with any questions.