Saturday, January 10, 2009

Print N Sew

A couple of posts ago I said that there might be a tutorial on printing on fabric, and here it is.

First select a thin fabric with a tight weave. A high quality muslin works well. For this tutorial I used silk taffeta because I am working on some special projects that I'll tell you about at the end. (You didn't just scroll down to the bottom of the post did you?)

After you find some fabric and give it a good press, get out your freezer paper, or go to the store and get some. It comes in a roll that is 18 inches wide, and you will need pieces that are 8 1/2 X 11 inches, or whatever size the paper is that you are printing on in your computer printer. If you tear off a piece of the freezer paper 13 inches or more, you can fold it in half so that the side edges meet, draw a line 1/2 inch from the folded edge and cut on the line, you will have two pieces that are 8 1/2 " wide and all you have to do is measure the 11 inch length.

Now lay the sheet of paper, shiny side down, on your uncut piece of fabric and press the paper without steam.

After it is stuck to the fabric, cut the extra fabric off, and you have a sheet of printable fabric.

The next step is to choose the design you want to print. Dover Publications have an unlimited supply of permission free designs. I bought the "Ornate Letters and Initials" for my stocking projects and it even came with a CD. Super easy. You can sign up at to get free samples sent to your email address. (I used free samples for this tutorial.) Once you have your design ready to be printed, load your fabric-paper into the printer. In my printer, I load it fabric side down.

You then will need to peel the freezer paper off and press the back of the printed fabric for 3 minutes or so, without steam (Because I printed on silk the design showed through on the back). This will prevent the ink from running if or when it gets wet. If the fabric will be washed or exposed to rain, or drool, it would help to soak it for a couple of minutes in some cold water with vinegar added to make it even more run proof and preshrunk.

I will be using my newly printed fabric to make a ring bearer pillow. No, there aren't any weddings coming up for anyone I know, but there is a fun Trunk Show in the works at Saffron and Genevieve in February. I will have some pictures of some of the things I am making, mostly from vintage linens, and more details about the sale in my next post.


.::. ariane phillips .::. said...

Another great tutorial! Thanks so much! I will definitely try this soon as I just got a new computer and printer.

Angie said...

Great tutorial. Thanks for that, I forgot all about that technique.

Julie said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I'll definitely do this.

.::. ariane phillips .::. said...

I have a question for you... I am making my sister a portfolio and I want to cut out some letter of fabric. I was checking out this website:
and loved the lettering. Do you think if I printed out the lettering on the backside of the fabric using your technique - would create lettering like hers?