Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tutorial ~ Printing onto fabric...


One of my friends, De, asked the other day if there was a simple way for printing onto fabric.
Well, that got me thinking because it's something I've tried in the past and failed dismally with and I really wanted to have another go at it.
We won't all have the same printer, and our reasons for printing on fabric may also be different - printing a 'picture' onto calico or linen for embellishment is not the same as printing an embroidery design on fabric because you wish to stitch it. And that's what I wanted to do.

As I was researching some pinterest/blog links for De to look at I came across one thing I hadn't thought to try - explanation when I get to that step. So this morning I put everything else aside and drew up a little design to play with...

I didn't want the design to print in black, and that's the colour it stays when I scan it in, so I drew it in pink first, and then green. The pink was way too pale when I scanned it, but the green was perfect...

Once I had the design scanned, I added it to a Word document.
The next step was to cut a piece of fabric slightly smaller than an A4 piece of paper, and a piece of freezer paper the same size as the fabric..

I fused the fabric to the freezer paper, and then I taped the fabric onto a heavier than usual piece of A4 paper...

This was the key thing I discovered on one of the many pinterest and blog pages I looked through - using masking tape to secure the fabric around all four sides!
My printer has never worked with fabric in the past, but changing to a heavier paper and the masking tape gave me the success I'd been after for ages....

The design printed perfectly!

I printed two of them onto my fabric because I still had another question of my own to answer.
Will the ink run when the fabric is washed??

I removed the masking tape, peeled away the freezer paper, and cut the fabric into two separate blocks so I could wash one.

Yes, there was a difference, but no, the ink didn't run!

The green softened, and faded a little bit...

I'm really happy with this, so I've added some lovely Tilda fabric as a border, and I'm going to stitch the design this afternoon.
Drop by the blog tomorrow and see how it turns out.

Or maybe you want to try this yourself?
Be blessed and download my free 'make do and mend' stitchery, which includes the tutorial, HERE.

Forgot to mention, my printer is an inkjet. Let me know if you try this out with a laser printer...



  1. Thank you so much for this. I've tried printing on fabric a few times but it never worked for me. I'm going to try this tomorrow - just need to get some masking tape. Thank you so much for all you share - you are so kind and generous.
    PS Love the new stitchery

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  3. Thank you so much Jenny! What a blessing you are in my life...hugzzzzzz

  4. Jenny, Thank you! I have tried to print on fabric and it has never worked. Will try this today!

    Patricia C

  5. Thank you so much for this tutorial Jenny!

  6. Thank you very much. I wondered how to do this and if it worked before but had never got up the courage to try it. I was afraid I would cause a jammed u mess.

  7. I don't think a laser printer will work, too hot.

  8. I never thought to try it with the heavy paper backing. Great idea. Will try that on my next adventure. Thanks for doing the research and testing for us.

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  10. Amada amo o seus Trabalhos é uma Inspiração Adorável para mim e muito preciosa a SUA Descoberta parabéns e nós por isso Agradecêmos por compartilhar conosco.Bjokas e Desejo Que Deus ti abençoe Cada Dia POIs ASSIM NÓS também seremos abençoadas pelas SUAs artes.Obrigada e bjokas <3

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  12. thanks for your blog. My sister-in-law owns a shop (also a webshop: signora-anna) and she sells packages with 6 pages A4 which you can use to print on. There are different versions: cotton poplin, cotton twill, canvas and silk. It is called Photofabric. I used it to print my quiltlabel. I do not know if you can find it in Australia, here in Holland there are a few shops who sell it.
    I works the same way you did: paper with fabric on it.

  13. Thank you Jenny, will be interesting to see how others go with trying this, you obviously had success and guess no groans or jams with your printer. Would make a huge difference in transferring designs. Judithann :-)

  14. Thanks Jen, this is my favourite - because I'm always doing it! I'm thankful I can sew! I know so many people that were never taught are would never try it. I might trace this for now and give the printer a go other time. I always thought I'd have to by printers linen. Can I ask - do you have several jobs on the go at once or do you finish each one before you start another. My problem is I'm in the middle of one and see something I like and start another. Hence the many UFO's in my cupboard! Take care and thanks again. PS I'm trying the protein brunch on Sunday. Jen x

    1. Jenny, because my designs are my bread and butter I always have a number of projects on the go, and they all must be finished or I won't have a pattern to publish. I guess with stitching being 'work' that gives me a reason to push forward and finish projects as quickly as I can. But I admit sometimes I struggle with doing it. ;-)

  15. Congrats on getting it to work. I have not tried printing on fabric.

  16. muchas gracias por este tutorial. besos.

  17. I've been having a miserable time trying to put some photos on fabric for a memory quilt. Then I recalled your tutorial so am going to give it another try before I give up! Will the blue painer's tape work as well as masking tape? Also, I'm not familiar with A4 paper. Is that the standard 8 1/2 x 11 or more like legal size? Thanks for thinking of the rest of us!


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