Thursday, August 15, 2013

Printing on Fabric - Various Types

 I love fabric!  Especially the Interior Decorator fabrics.  Recently, I have discovered that a shop near me sells leftover cuts and sample fabrics.   The small books of fabric are free with the caveat that the whole book must go.  No picking and choosing any certain fabric from the book.  Some of the pieces are really small.  Those I am using for my name tags so that no two tags are exactly the same fabric.  The large pieces I use in my art quilts and some in charity quilts.  After cutting the fabric from the book OR removing the tag from the sample, everything goes into the wash by color, ie dark, medium and light.  Then, into the dryer.  What survives is what I use.
For a project I have in mind for my studio [still in process], I want to make a cover for the cupboard next to the sink.  I decided to pick some neutral fabrics so that I do not get tired of them.  Fiber content is mostly by guess except for the thin silk which came from my cousins dress or the raw silk which was my blouse.  Because this will be washed, I decided I better test my printing.   I used my Epson Workforce with genuine Epson Durabrite Ultra ink.  All fabrics were ironed on pieces of freezer paper from the grocery store.   ALL SURVIVED!  Some are so close to the edge, that they is no seam allowance.  I still left them in my 'test batch'.   I let them 'rest' for a day after printing.  It actually took me several days to print these up.   Then I ironed them all.  I used a gentle setting on my washing machine.  Even though some can't be used,  I am thrilled with the results.
Below I have grouped them loosely by type.
Thin Fabrics
From the top left going in a clock wise direction:  thin silk, unknown content [but can't take much heat], raw silk, 2 fabrics of unknown fiber content, white satin [very thin].  All would have benefited from a stabilizer backing before being ironed to the freezer paper.  All are going to be a challenge to use and keep the lettering straight.

Very Heavy Textured Fabric
These all are rather thick.  It took 7 tries to get the brown fabric, upper right to feed through the printer.  I am very happy with these because of the texture and the very interesting way it prints.

Heavy Fabric
All of the above fabrics seem to me to be a heavy cotton.  The only surface treatment is a small square of a slippery silver underneath the "because" and "that" in the Seneca quote.  I immediately noticed the lighter letters.  I plan on using it anyway because this will not just be one quote, but many many different sayings over the whole surface.  At least that is my present plan.
Surface Treated Fabrics
These fabrics appear to be cotton with a 'chintz' or other shiny surface treatment.  I was a little concerned that the ink might wash out.  However, as you see, it is marvelous.


Lisa said...

It looks like you added the print on the photo! I am amazed at how well the ink took on all the fabrics! Nice job. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting. I do a lot of printing on fabric, but stick pretty much to cottons. I have some of these sample books. I am going to try using some of the pieces. Thanks for sharing. I love the Seneca quote!

FIBREWORKS KINGSTON Weekend Workshops said...

Your fabrics and the directions the text will take you as you view your studio cupboard is wonderful. Love the "GO MAKE ART" focus. Congrats, and I learned a lot from your post!
Get printing ladies...Yeah DURABRITE!

Bethany in Kingston ON Canada

Norma Schlager said...

Great results! I also have an Epson and lately it balks at plain old cotton, but I recently bought a new wide format Epson and hope t does the trick. I haven't unpacked it yet.

Judy Rys said...

Great test series. I'm really surprised the printing held up so well on untreated fabric. Good info to know as I have the same printer. Thanks for sharing.

Helen from Hobart said...

Timesaving tips

Stabilise your fabric with fusable web. Leave the backing paper on and it will slide nicely through the printer.

To get thicker fabric through, just change setting to envelope or card. This opens up the rollers a little bit.