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Printing on fabric with your computer printer (reader question)

Hi Cyndi,

I have frequently heard you refer to printing on fabric with your computer's printer.
How on earth do you do that without jamming it up?
I have an HP Photo something-or-other...I'd love to use it in that manner.
Please advise.


Mary Guerra, Miche Founding Leader
McKenna's Magnetic Handbags

Hi Mary,
There are a couple of different ways you can do it.  The easiest is to buy ready-to-print fabric sheets that are already cut to size and anchored on a thin piece of paper.  You print, peel off the backing, and voila!  I like the ones by Jacquard.  These printable sheets are available for inkjet printers, and I believe for other types of printers as well. 

The other way to do it is to cut your fabric to size and iron it to a sheet of freezer paper.  The slightly tacky side of the freezer paper will keep the fabric from wrinkling as it feeds through.  Some people like to treat their fabric first with Bubble Jet Set, which you don't have to do with the already prepared sheets.  BJS keeps the ink from running and gives the prints better longevity.  This is why I usually use the already prepared ones...making your own is a bit of a pain!

All that said, some printers just plain work better for this than others.  Mine is temperamental since it's a bottom feeder and the sheets get greatly curved as they feed through.  I have heard that top feeders work better, or at least more consistently.

Best ~

Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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A lot of the U-turn feeders have a slot at the back so you can put card through; its worth checking to see. My Brother printer had one that I never knew existed until I wore the printer out.
I've also been told that Epson Durabrite inks work wonderfully on fabric as they are pigment based, not dye based. That said, what I did with the cheap generic inks on my old Brother printer broke a lot of rules about what works and doesn't, so if you have an older printer, go for it and play. I got 4 years of experimentation out of my old printer. Its all a learning process! And fun!
Cyndi L said…
Thanks so much for mentioning this about the back slot! My current printer doesn't have one, but an older model I had did. So it's definitely worth checking out.
Fabric printing is great! It allows creative instincts to work while making it possible for the tasks that are usually regarded as difficult to be done in a simple way.