Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fabric Printing Funnies

The worst is over, actually. After trying various configurations of fabric/adhesive/paper to get the fabric through the printer, the foolproof solution was to buy full page labels and adhere the fabric to those. Worked flawlessly.
Another little discovery was to do a quick zip with a lint roller over my fabric surface before sending it through the printer.

NOW the big question is how to get the same color onto my fabric that I have in my digital image. I used a tightly woven, bright white cotton for today's prints...but they still came out kind of dusty toned. There is so much technical know-how involved in getting the printer to "see" the digital image on the computer properly...and I don't know any of it. So it is time to get busy and do some research...but any suggestions would be most helpful! And thanks!

I think you can see the difference in these two versions of my corner units...

Boo hoo!

10 comments :

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Good Job!! but I thought you could do anything!! Michaelangelo said, at a ripe old age, "I am still learning." I bought myself a new digital camera yesterday that I am too stupid to figure out.
JAH

Barbara C said...

Good for you for doing the trial and error thing!

I take the shortcut of buying the pre-treated fabric sheets, which are expensive, but fast. I also like the sheets that make iron-on transfers, which are good for transfering onto printed fabrics. QNM had an article this year comparing various brands of these sheets, and I'll be glad to send it to you if you like. It seems that every other issue of Quilt Arts magazine has an article on printing on fabric that address more mediums and alternatives than I could ever use.

Cathy K said...

This is such a lovely idea, and I'm so glad to see you exploring it again. Lisa DuCoing is doing a Garden Theme Swap in July - wouldn't it be fun to do a challenge or something along these lines after the swap (which is after the CQ Conference). That would give us time to experiment in our gardens, too, and share results. Glad to see you leading the way yet again! Hugs,
Cathy K

Debra Spincic said...

The full address label is the way I print and you can use the adhesive sheet a few times before it loses its tackiness.

You might try some commercial places for the optimum color. I also found out quickly that the color copies took a bunch of ink so that severely cut down on my experiments.

I think the whiteness of the cloth acts like a diluting medium to the color--but that's just a guess. It's a very fickle process and I never expect the same results twice.

Amy said...

Printing on fabric, not something I have tried. But your photos of flowers has inspired me to get out and take some photos of flowers for color inspiration and embellishment ideas for a cq I am working on. Thanks.

Rian said...

QNM did a synopsis on the various methods of fabric printing not too long ago. October maybe. You might try their website and see if you can get the magazine.

I have never done this so I'm looking forward to learning from your efforts. What if you tweaked the photos in software to be brighter/more saturated?

Kay said...

EQ printable sheets were rated best by QNM, I think. Another suggestion: have you tried increasing the saturation of the colors on the photo program before you print? (I don't know which program you use, so I can't give tips on how to do this, but I bet you know.) That supposedly helps to compensate for the way the fabric soaks up the ink as Debra said.

Marty52 said...

There is quite a difference, isn't there? I'm looking forward to your findings so I can try it, too! ;0)

Stephanie Novatski said...

Allie, I have done lots of printing on fabrics. I find first you need a high quality pic--at least 300-600 dpi. Shrink it down to fit the page but don't change the dpi. Also, in your printer properties, you should be able to change the ink volume and also the color saturation. For cotton, I get good results by bringing up the ink one notch but this depends on your printer. You may be getting blurred edges which will reduce your clarity and muddy your colors a bit because there is too much ink. Also, I suggest upping the saturation towards vibrant. I have a 5 yr old HP printer and use BJS and freezer paper. Is your fabric scoured? Any sizing or chemicals in the fabric can affect the colors too. My favorite fabric to print on is Silk Poplin or Broadcloth. I have only found it at Thai Silks. Hope this helps.

Pat Winter said...

Allie, I think they are beautiful, but you know how I love dusties. Have you tried darkening the color in photoshop? Not sure if it would work, but I have darkened my images that I transfer and they work much better and true to life.You have inspired me to pick blooms as they start popping out to try this. I study the center fabric of the tote you made for me.I love personal fabrics.