As promised last week – here’s a quick tutorial on fabric printing. You can print pictures, text, labels…anything you want. There is pre-treated fabric out there all ready to go, but the cost can be quite dear. So here’s the method taught to me by Maureen Goldsmith (former Canadian Quilter-of-the-Year, a fabulous quilter/instructor/designer, and happens to be Ms Butterfly’s MIL and lives near to us here, so I can take advantage of her expertise).
A fine, closely woven cotton is best to use for this. For purposes of this tutorial, I found a nice muslin in my stash, with a fairly high thread count (I know, that surprised me too!). These are directions for an ink-jet printer – a laser printer requires no fabric prep.
I usually cut several pieces of fabric, a little larger than a sheet of paper – about 9x12.
Leave sit for 5 minutes, squeeze excess liquid out, and let dry.
Remaining Bubble Jet Set can be returned to the bottle for reuse. I’ve found the fabric may shrink slightly in this process. When dry, iron out the wrinkles, then iron onto freezer/butcher paper, wrong side of fabric (in case you’re using a print) to the shiny, waxy side of the butcher paper.
Cut fused fabric and paper to the required size – generally I cut 8.5x11, to fit nicely into my printer. You can cut a smaller size, if your printer tray is adjustable. If you require a larger block than will fit in your printer, you may have to go to a print shop.
Prepare your document or photo for printing. Make sure that you have lots of ink in your cartridges. The better quality the photo, the better results you will get. You may want to experiment by printing on paper first to be sure your photo or document comes out centered on your fabric.
Place the fused paper and fabric, one sheet at a time into your printer tray, making sure it’s facing so that the printing will be on the fabric. Sometimes, the fabric will wrinkle a little bit – not sure why that happens, but for sure if your top edges don’t exactly match, the paper and fabric will separate.
For my example, I used this goofy picture of Mr. Soccer and Ms. Student – the photo of the print doesn’t look as good as the actual print, and you can see it did wrinkle a little bit.
Iron once again, and remove the fabric from the paper backing. Leave the finished print to set for a few days before sewing into your project – if you want to set in the color better, or if the project will be washed, set in with Bubble Jet Rinse (follow the directions on the bottle).
And voila – you have a photo, story, poem, label – all ready to add to…….
Happy fabric printing. Blessings, Peg