Sunday, October 7, 2012

Computer Printing on Fabric

Carmen, one of my lovely readers, wants to try printing fabric in her computer printer, like I did in my post for Lime Riot about the Chevron Leaf Patch.  Read on to see how I did it; this time I'm printing words to use on a  heart.

You will find other crafters online who print on fabric with the help of freezer paper.  I am using Heat n Bond lite (an iron-on adhesive)  instead, so when I'm finished I can iron the words right onto the heart and easily stitch around the patch.  If you don't want to add stitching after ironing, be sure to use Heat n Bond Ultra Hold.  Not only does it not require stitching, it is nearly impossible to stitch through it (I know, I've tried!)  So choose your Heat n Bond wisely!!

Start by using a word processing program on your computer to print out the words or phrases you want to use.  I centered mine.  If you plan to make several patches, be sure to leave enough space between them to cut them apart when you are finished.

Choose a lightweight cotton fabric (I used bleached muslin) and cut it smaller than your printer paper, but large enough to completely cover all the words you want to print.

Next, cut a piece of Heat n Bond slightly smaller than the fabric.  Center it on the fabric and iron it in place according to the directions on the package.

Here's my fabric with the Heat n Bond ironed on (below).

Using Scotch tape or something similar, tape the fabric onto the printed paper so the fabric is covering all the words.

Here's my fabric, taped onto the paper.

Load the paper into your printer just like always.

If your printer gives you different printing options, choose the "best" quality.  Then press "print" and cross your fingers!

Mine came out perfectly, and I hope yours does too!

Remove the fabric from the paper, and cut out the section you want to use.

Peel off the backing paper

Carefully place the patch where you want it, and iron it according to the Heat n Bond package directions.  Ironing will heat-set the printer ink, so it will be less likely to smear or wash off.

I used Heat n Bond Lite so I can add some stitching.  First, I stitched all around the edges of the patch with the sewing machine, using matching thread.

 Then I added hand embroidery stitches, using the machine stitching as my guide.

I finished the heart the usual way.  Looks great!


Unknown said...

thanks for this tute, leslie. printing on fabric is so cool and it opens up a whole new creative arena for sewists! i think this method turns out a much crisper look than what i'm getting with the freezer paper--and i'm guessing a better success rate, too. looking forward to doing this very soon.

Alexandra Abarca said...

Leslie Hi, thanks for your nice words.

So this tutorial is very important, thanks for share it.

Have a nice week.

Costa Rica

LimeRiot said...

I think your printed words always add a polished detail to your projects, Leslie. Thanks for sharing how you do it! I always assumed you had some fancy-dancy machine :).

Belladune said...

Thank you so much for this! I've got 2 rolls of heat and bond and a LOT of muslin and thin cotton fabrics. I'm definitly going to be trying this out! The heart you made is wonderful.

Leslie Andersen said...

Thanks, everyone!

Belladune, I recognize you from Craftster. Thanks for visitng!