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Friday, January 16, 2009

A word on photo printing on fabric

So now we are looking at those wonderful photos you want to add to your albums. Just how do we print them to fabrics, you say? This is really easy thanks to all the wonderful products on the market today. I use a combination of the products pictured here. The colorfast inkjet fabric sheets come on a sticky back paper and run thru your inkjet printer on a normal setting perfectly. They do come with a price tag though somewhere in the range of $10.00 for 3 sheets to $25 for a 10 sheet set. The more economical method is the Bubble Jet Set 2000. At about $18 for a 32 oz bottle, it is quite the bargain. You just cover the bottom of a flat pan with the solution and lay your fabric in it for 5 minutes then let it dry. Of course you don't have the luxary of that perfect sticky back paper to attach the fabric, for running thru your printer. It will take some playing to see just what it is your printer likes the best. I have had good results from ironing to freezer paper as long as I put it in the printer right away. If I let it set, things came off in my printer and jammed it up nicely. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, just took some time. When choosing fabrics to use, you want to look for something with a very tight weave. Southern Belle is a good choice, or my favorite is Sateen, which is readily available at JoAnn's Fabrics and Hancocks for about $6.00 a yard. The mercerized finish on Sateen allows for a nice finish to your photos. On a side note, I find that sateen is the fabric of my choice for fabric dyeing also because of the finish on it. Colors seem to dance on the top and I love that look.

Back to fabric sheets, there are a multitude of choices out there for fabric sheets. Printed Treasures, June Tailor, Miracle Fabric Sheets and EQ Printables are some. I have not played with the Miracle Fabric Sheets, but have had good sucess with the others. I tend to go with the June Tailor though, just because they are readily available in my area. Quilters Home magazine's Mar/Apr 08 issue, did a nice story on the differences between the brands comparing them to each other in different applications. I use the non fusible sheets, as I do some kind of decorative stitching around them anyway.

Note the photo above that shows you just what happens when you print to fabric that has not been treated. This came in contact with a few drops of water from the iron after it was printed. As you can see, it is important to treat your fabrics before you print. A very interesting experiment.

We are just about ready to start construction our page! :-) See you with photos in hand!

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