Fabric printed on PC printer
It is possible to use a PC printer to print designs on fabric. With this technique you can print out almost any design onto thin cotton fabric to make your own unique accessories.
Bostik sprayable adhesive
Lightweight cotton fabric
Craft knife and cutting mat
1. You need a piece of card that is slightly larger than the size of the piece of fabric you will be printing on, but it needs to be able to fit into your PC printer.
2. Put the cardstock on a large piece of newspaper and cover the entire surface with sprayable adhesive. Make sure to spray right up to the edges.
3. Press the fabric over the card, making sure there are no wrinkles and the surface is perfectly smooth. The fabric must be completely stuck down around the edge to avoid snagging in the printer.
4. Trim the fabric flush with the card using a sharp craft knife. Make sure you press firmly and that you cut through both the card and fabric with one clean cut.
GOOD TO KNOW
Before printing on fabric you need to make sure that the ink your PC printer uses is pigment or dye ink. Pigment inks will stain the fabric and be more permanent if the printed item needs to be hand washed. You can expect the image to fade slightly after washing, but no more than 10% should be lost. Quite a few Epson ink-jet printers use DuraBrite Ultra Ink and this ink has a pigment base, which is perfect for printing on fabric.
5. You may need to increase the contrast and the brightness of a design, to compensate for the light fabric. It's a good idea to experiment with print settings on a few test runs before you print the main projects. Carefully feed the fabric covered card into the printer and watch to ensure it feeds through the printer without jamming up.
6. After printing iron the front and back of the fabric with a warm iron to embed the ink into the fabric fibres.
If you are unable to print long format prints as shown here, you can print individual images and then sew these onto your fabric project.
If you are looking for a source of cute animal prints I found this site on etsy where you can buy and download a variety of designs for printing onto fabric.