Friday, 4 September 2009

Computer Printing on Fabric

I've been printing on fabric using freezer paper for a while now. Lucky for me the projects I've used the fabric in hasn't needed to be washed so I have saved on the Bubble Jet Set. If you wished to wash the fabric until now you have had no choice but to use one of these fixing solutions. They work really well but can be pretty expensive if you want to do a heap of printing.
Recently I found myself needing to print on a huge amount of fabric. I set about experimenting with a more cost effective method of colourfast fabric printing.

After a couple of false starts I discovered this simple method. I soaked the fabric in a strong solution of Soda Ash. I soaked 20 x 5 inch squares of fabric with 1/2 cup of Soda Ash. I made up with enough hot water to cover the fabric. Leave to soak, stirring occassionally. You need to make sure that every piece is evenly soaked. Wring out and hang to dry. Wear a mask.

Cut Freezer Paper to size. Make this a little longer on one end. Lay Freezer Paper shiny side up on the ironing board. Place your fabric on top, right side facing. Carefully iron in place leaving at least 1 cm free of fabric. Turn over and iron again from the paper side of the Freezer Paper.

Insert Freezer Paper into printer. The leading edge should be the end that is free of fabric. I set my printer for printing on Matte Photo Paper. You may need to experiment with your printer settings.

You can see the leading edge coming out of the printer. Never leave your printer unattended while printing onto fabric.

When finished leave aside for the printing to dry. Once dry it is colourfast. so far I can only be certain that this works on cotton fabric printing black ink. When time permits I will check if colour and/or silk works. I'll let you know. You can reuse the Freezer Paper up to 3 times before it loses its stickiness.

A Word of Caution. If the ink prints onto the shiny side of the Freezer Paper it will not dry and WILL rub off on your fingers.


Kylie said...

Wow! Trish, this is so interesting! Thank you for showing this. I've always used a blade and cut out a stencil... which is of course VERY limiting! I love the idea of this but I guess I'm always cautious when chemicals are involved... what is Soda Ash? Is that like baking soda? Thanks again - great tute :) K

Sandrine said...

Wow that 's interesting Trish, thanks for sharing...;)

Peta said...

Sounds great. Can't wait to have a go.

Uniquely Yours Creations said...

I always wondered if that would
work - soaking the fabric in
soda ash... makes sense to me
because you must soak the fabric
first (in soda ash) if you're using Fiber reactive dyes.
Thanks for another great tip

printer ink toowoomba said...

Hi this nice info about Computer Printing on Fabric.