Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to Print on Your Own Fabric

I have always wanted to print on my own fabric. The specialty fabric designed for printing is very expensive and I was looking for a more economical method. I purchased some Jet Set a while back; but, I wasn't quite sure what to do next. I found this article at Hewlett Packard. It gives great detail on how to print on your own fabric. You need an ink jet printer, freezer paper, Jet Set (I found this item by doing the old google search) and cotton fabric.

I have copied the general instructions below; but, you can find more details by clicking on the words Hewlett Packard above. I have also included a YouTube link about general inkjet printing at the bottom of this post. I hope some of you will share of your ideas.

Use inkjet printers
Inkjet printers spray ink, they can evenly and beautifully print on fabric.

TIP: When creating fabric arts and crafts, don’t use laser printers. The heat can melt fabric sheets. Pre-made inkjet fabric sheets can be purchased at local craft and fabric stores. They load into the paper tray of any inkjet printer.

Make your own printable fabric
You can also make your own fabric sheets using cotton fabric, Bubble Jet Set, a liquid fabric soak that helps set ink, and freezer paper. Here’s how:

1. Soak fabric in Bubble Jet Set.
2. Allow to dry, then iron to the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper (never use steam).
3. Cut to a size just slightly smaller than what your printer will accommodate (e.g., 8.5" x 11") and cut any stray threads.
4. Print according to your printer controls.

Image guidelines: Stick to these image guidelines and you will print beautiful fabric art every time.

Photos: Use high-resolution (300 dpi or greater) digital photos. Otherwise, your photos may turn out pixilated (that is, objects will appear speckled and blocky). Photos can come from your digital camera, a photo CD, or you can scan prints with your scanner. Digital photos copied from e-mails or the Internet may not have high enough resolution to make good prints.
Text: Text prints well onto fabric. Use any standard font, or scan in a page of your own handwriting. Again, be sure to scan at 300 dpi or greater for good quality print.
Artwork: Drawings work great. Use free clip art from an Internet search, clip art from one of your programs like MS Word, illustrations from an HP Activity Center project, or scans of your child’s latest artwork.

Original patterns: Finally, you can print your own patterns. Gather household items like paper clips or marbles, arrange them on a flat surface, and take a digital photo or scan the items to make a cool pattern for fabric printing. Any combination of photos, text, plaids or stripes, colors, or illustrations can be used to create a one-of-a-kind printed fabric.

Colors on fabric
Since printers don’t print white, the white parts of your image will be the same color as your fabric—choose accordingly.
Avoid using photo inks when printing on fabric; the colors they produce are not as vivid.

Sizing your printed fabric
TIP: The maximum width of your fabric sheet is limited by the width of your printer’s paper tray. However, printing in banner mode can vary the maximum length of your fabric. Refer to your printer manual to learn how to use this function.

Prepping your fabric sheets
To prevent fabric paper jams be sure to do the following:
Cut—don’t pull—loose threads from the fabric sheets before inserting into printer.
Always make sure the leading edge of the fabric is securely bonded to the backing paper before inserting into the printer. If the fabric has separated from its backing, it could jam inside the printer.

Wrinkled or bubbled fabric sheets can cause printing problems, so be sure that you load only smooth, wrinkle-free sheets.

Printer tips
Always practice printing with a piece of plain paper before using fabric sheets. Make adjustments if needed.
Remove all paper from the printer’s paper tray and insert only one fabric sheet at a time to avoid jams.

Related content
10 ways to get creative with your printer
How to print iron-ons
Quilting and scanning basics

You Tub video Link
There are some great tips on this video.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wow, It's been a while

I can't believe all of this time has passed. Christmas has come and gone and so has the New Year. It is February already. Today is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

I wanted to post a picture of my grandchildren wearing the Georiga outfits I made them last fall. They look really cute in them.
Carlie got a Cabbage Patch doll for Christmas. I was able to find a clothes pattern for her doll. I hope to pick the fabric and have it done in the next few weeks.

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