Fabric Printing Tutorial
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 colour fast 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 occasionally. 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 colour fast. 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.
This post was first published here 4th September, 2009.