Friday, January 04, 2008

How to print photos onto fabric

There's been quite a bit of interest in my last post, so I thought I'd provide some more information. This is not a guaranteed washproof method, but as I'm not making items that will be washed, I haven't worried about that. A friend who makes her own quilt labels soaks the fabric first in fabric softener and lets it dry before printing. This seemed too much trouble for me, so I devised my own method of printing.

Firstly, I'm using an HP Deskjet printer, which uses ink. I'm not sure how this would work with a laser printer, so someone could try that out and let me know.

I cut a piece of heavyweight iron-on Vilene (stiffening or interfacing, such is used in dressmaking) to the size of an A4 sheet of paper. This is the size that fits my printer. Then I iron it to the back of the fabric I want to use, and cut to fit. I use only the one piece of fabric in the printer's feeder tray at a time. Then using the software that comes with my printer, I select how I want the photos to print - normally a full page - and then print from there. Once the print is dry, I can remove the Vilene backing - this can be used several times, as long as it still adheres satisfactorily.

And so there's some photographic content, here's Cass with his lovely girlfriend Hattie. She has just left for Spain, where she'll be doing 2 language papers as part of her Law/Arts degree, and she'll be away for 7 weeks! He is missing her already.


Janet said...

hmmm...I'm so not crafty, this was barely english to me LMAO!

brdhsbldr said...

Thanks so much !!!!
I'll have to buy the "iron on" stuff - it'll probably be a different brand name - but I'm really excited AND I have both Ink Jet and Laser so I can try both.
I was thrilled last year when doing an altered book to discover how well the old printed pages printed with the Ink Jet.

Donald said...

Laser printers use a heat process, so this is factor number one if you try to print fabric. Factor to is they use a drum, and if for example you touch it you'd probably ruin it, so here some discretion is needed as to what you send it's way. Colour is achieved usually by the print going through four times, each time receiving toner [as per in a photo copy machine] of the appropriate colour [cyan, magenta, yellow, black if I recall correctly]. Because it's often a 3-4 pass process then the stiffness of proper paper assists with registration and this defines sharpness of edges.

Someone may have an opinion to the contrary, but I'd never try the above on any laser.

Karen said...

Wow, cool Shirley. I've just been catching up on blogs (was not on my list for today!!) and that is so helpful. I just bought some of the paper for photo images and its so expensive when you want to do a few. I just have to find out what my brother-in-law's reject printer is!
I really love your blog. So newsy and full of ideas. thank you for sharing these.

Sheila said...

Shirley, you always have such interesting projects. Good looking kiddos.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley ,,do you do the job..I have a photo I would like to have put on a duvet cover and pillow..
I have the duvet and pillow case as well as photos
Thanks Gaye