Printing directly onto fabric using your home printer is such an easy process, which previously seemed a bit of a mystery to me. Once I had learned how to do it, I was printing anything and everything, to incorporate into my stitchery projects. This is an easy “How to” guide which I hope will give you new possibilities too.
You will need: An ink jet printer, A4 freezer paper ( A4 freezer paper sheets already cut to size are a bit more expensive but much easier to use), 100% thin cotton fabric- cut slightly larger than A4, a cutting mat, a rotary cutter or a sharp pair of scissors, a quilters ruler and an iron.
The freezer paper has a dull surface on one side and is shiny on the other side.
Place the fabric on top of the shiny side, and using a medium setting, iron well from the middle out to the edges. If you use a very hot iron you are more likely to get air bubbles.
When it is has bonded well, cut to size. Place onto a cutting mat and using a A4 piece of paper as a guide on top, pop a pencil mark on each corner of the fabric.
Using a quilt ruler and a rotary cutter, make clear cuts on the edges and trim to size.
Hold up to the light to see if you have any stray fibres- cut with sharp scissors. The edges must be totally clear of loose threads or the fabric will get chewed up in the printer. At this point, re-iron with the fabric side up.
Place the fabric into the printer. On my printer I place it paper side up, so just be sure that you put the paper side into your printer the right way up for you as they all print in different ways. If you are printing a photo, go into settings and select “photo” as media. You can print in exactly the same way that you would print onto paper- so select what you want on your screen in the usual way, or you can photocopy an image as I have done here, if your printer has that facility.
When the printer has finished, leave it for a couple of minutes, then gently pull the paper off being careful not to distort the fabric. I often use the same piece of freezer paper 2 or 3 times- it will still stick to the fabric.
Set your iron to the hottest setting and heat set your fabric by pressing hard on the back first, then the front.
This picture shows how good the colour quality is- the paper is at the top and the fabric at the bottom- not much difference in quality.
Your printed fabric is now ready to be stitched into your project. I have never made my printed pictures into an article that needs to be washed myself, but if you are intending to wash the fabric, you will need to soak the fabric for 20 minutes first in Retayne dye colour fixative, then rinse well and allow to dry.
See? Easy once you know how! I hope you have as much fun with your new found skill as I have!
Until the next time,