If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time-Billy Joel

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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Printing Onto Fabric Treated With Fabric Softener

I have made a tutorial for this method of treating fabric for photo printing by inkjet printers. It is not the method to use if you are going to wash your project frequently.

1.  Preparing Your Fabric
·        Use a fine cotton or silk fabric (I have also used what Australians call calico but elsewhere it is called quilter’s muslin with excellent results). The fabric must be a natural fibre not synthetic.

·        Rinse your fabric in water and then soak it in undiluted fabric softener straight from the bottle. (I have used Cuddly ultra)The finer the weave on your fabric the more definition you will have on your printed image.

·        Wring the softener out and let the fabric drip dry, collect the unused fabric softener and put it back in the bottle for reuse.

·        Iron while they are still slightly damp—mist with a fine water spray from your iron if necessary
         2 .  Preparing your image
·        If you wish to use your image as part of a machine appliqué you will need to print off a template of that appliqué so that you can measure it to gauge the correct measurements for your image.

·        Resize your image and copy it into a word document and position it near the bottom of the page.

·        Print a copy of that page using the draft option in your printer software if you wish to save ink.

Trim  your fabric so that there are no stray threads on the sides to a size which is a little larger that than the image you are using.(Approx ½ inch all the way around should be more than adequate for most uses)

·        Tape the fabric onto the page over the draft print an attach with masking tape (painter’s  tape) I have changed the background paper to orange so that you can see it in the images here.

·       Put your page into the printer just holding the fabric up in case it falls down if you have a printer where the paper is fed vertically. The masking tape must be on the part of the page that is fed into the printer first.

·        Remove your fabric image and press under a cloth using a dry iron. This is what sets your ink.

Obviously this method of image transfer is not meant for repeated washing. However, it can stand up to immersion in water without colour loss but not for a few days after printing.

Links to Victorian Images

Please read the copyright statements on these sites, and if in doubt, email the site owner for permission to use the images.

The Graphics Fairy

Victorian women

 Victorian children

Assorted vintage images
Some fantastic vintage images from the New York Public Library digital collection, including images of old cigarette cards. Vintage ladies are under the title of Beauties

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