How to Print on Fabric Easily
Some of you guys may know that one of my favorite crafting techniques is printing on Fabric! I love how professional the fabric looks when the images are printed directly on it…the quality is truly amazing! Even though it’s super easy to do, you can’t just pop the fabric right into your printer, you will need to stabilize the fabric or it will jam your printer. I’ve shared several different methods on my blog and I decided to round them all up in one place.
I’m also including some links to a couple of my friends blogs, who also have fabric printing techniques and I’ll include a bonus tip at the end that you won’t want to miss!
Print in Fabric Techniques:
1) Freezer Paper Method This is a post that I wrote recently. I believe this technique is probably the least expensive method, providing that you can find Freezer Paper where you live. It’s readily available in the U.S., but not so easy to find in some international countries.
2) Label Method This is the method that I use most often, because it’s the fastest! This tutorial was written by Gail from My Repurposed Life, she has lots of clear photos so you can really see how nice the printing looks on the fabric!
3) Spray Adhesive Method This method is very similar to the two above. But instead of using freezer paper or labels, you just use plain cardstock and adhere it to the fabric with spray adhesive. You must make sure to trim up the fabric so that it does not hang over the edges of the cardstock. Also, if you are using an expensive fabric, do a test on a small portion to make sure that the adhesive doesn’t ruin the fabric. I recommend reading the Freezer paper method instructions, and then swapping it out for the adhesive spray and cardstock, for more guidance.
4) Printable Fabric Sheets This is a great method to start with, especially if you are nervous about putting things in your printer, other than paper. This is a fool proof, no worry product and there is a project and printable included on the post.
5) Photo Fabric Printing Solution For this technique my friend Beckie, from Infarrantly Creative, shows you how to make a homemade solution to apply to your fabric, before printing it. I have not tried this technique myself, but it looks like it’s an optimal method when printing Photographs on fabric.
6) Professional Printing with Spoonflower Ok, you can’t actually use your home printer for this one but, if you haven’t discovered this site before, it’s really cool! This one is the most expensive, it’s a company that prints the fabric for you. You just upload your design, choose your fabric and they mail it to you! What’s great about this is, you can print much larger sizes, since they can print on a whole yard. So you can cover chair seats or make huge pillows, something that you can’t do with an 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of fabric. (Although you could always sew that smaller piece of fabric to a larger one, but that might not always be the look that you want.) I have tried this service myself, with great results!
7) How to Set your Ink This is a bonus tip that may NOT work for everyone. You can try soaking your printed fabric in Vinegar afterwards to set it and make it more permanent. Some people have said that this worked for them and for others it did not. It probably depends on the type of printer that you have and the ink that you use. It’s worth experimenting with though to see if it works for you!
8) How to get Good Quality Prints from your Home Printer Another Bonus Tip! This one goes over things like Print Settings, Choosing a Printer and more that you might find handy.
Just so you know, I believe all of these were done with inkjet printers. I hope you enjoy these fun tutorials for printing on fabric!
Want to know How to Print on Other Stuff? Be sure and check out How to Print on Tissue Paper HERE and How To Print on Brown Paper Bags HERE.
Vintage Style Printing Video:
You might also enjoy the video below where Emily experiments with different papers to create vintage style looks with printables!
Miguel at Fighters says
This is great info. I am looking into starting printing t-shirts and fabrics for labels. It’s low volume so outsourcing isn’t a viable option. With your help I found a way of doing this in our storage area for minimal cost. Thanks again.
My pleasure, I am so happy you found it helpful!
I tried this and my printer just feeds the fabric through and prints on the next available sheet of paper. HELP!
It takes several attempts for me on my printer Erica, just keep trying 🙂
so if I want to make place mats or napkins which are not 8×11 , how would i do it>
You would need to change the settings on your printer Sue. You can check with the manufacturer of your printer if you don’t know how to do that 🙂 Here is a link to a post I wrote, showing how I do it on my printer, I hope it helps 🙂 https://thegraphicsfairy.com/tips-get-great-quality-print-images/
3d embroidery digitizing says
Thank you for a great explanation. I was looking online for a similar idea and really appreciate it
It is my pleasure 🙂
Wonderful article! Tried it with great disappointment. I get lots of black smudges. that totally ruins the layout. I just cleaned the printer so……….? I also am using Reynold’s freezer paper and found the printer did not want to take it before running it back and forth about an inch or so and that also threw off the layout. I’m just playing now, but have a project in mind and wondering if there are places you could bring a layout to and have them print it with pigment ink.
Sorry you are having problems, I had to practice this method a lot before getting it to work too! Are you putting the shiny side of the freezer paper facing the fabric? You might be able to take your project to the print center of your local Office supply store like Staples or Office Depot. I’m not sure if they could help you or not but it might be worth a call. Good luck!!
Sacha Feit says
Ah I love this! I love finding people who share my passions. If you have any product or material recommendations please let me know. I’d love to connect
Hi there, wondering how you think we can do something like this (gold ink on canvas or cotton)?: https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/507762875/wedding-thank-you-gift-personalised
Sure you could Natasha, just read through the post again and make sure you practice a few times on a scrap piece of fabric. Good luck 🙂
Party Supplies UK says
We are looking in to this now for our party supplies uk site Looks easy but does it need a certain ink to become permannat?
Yes, my HP Inkjet printer uses waterproof ink,so you would need to look into what type of ink you are using. Good luck 🙂
Party Supplies UK says
We are looking in to this now for our party supplies uk site
So excited to find this!!! I followed the link to the label method – and it worked! I do a lot of projects with mod podge on glass and it’s hard to find certain fabrics that my customers are looking for. I just did a mod podge test run with it and no smudging (I have an Espon XP-400). I’ll be hitting up JoAnn’s tomorrow to buy some white fabric to print on – thank you!!!
Karen Watson says
Yay!! Have fun Printing on fabric Amy!
Ian Maxted says
Enjoyed reading the post above, really explains everything in detail,the post is very interesting and effective.Thank you for sharing and good luck for the upcoming posts.
Tammy Oviedo says
Hi once again I’m amazed at how much information I can find on your site! Every Friday when I get your much anticipated email I find so much wonderful info. and ideas! Today I found much needed info. on a great crafting printer! Using pigment inks, and Matt photo papers, I just love your site, it’s filled with everything a paper crafter needs, and the images are so fantastic! Thank you for such a fun filled site!
That is awesome!! Thank you so much Tammy 🙂
Is there a certain fabric I should use for the label method???
Karen Watson says
I use Cotton usually Lindy!