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Fabric Printing with Citra-Solv

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Picture of Fabric Printing with Citra-Solv
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Any photograph, image or design that looks good in black and white is a great candidate for printing with Citra-Solv. It's permanent, can be washed in the washer, takes about 2 minutes to do and it's cheap and easy. Once you start printing it's hard to stop because the possibilities are pretty endless.
 
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Step 1: What you need:

Picture of What you need:
1. Citra-Solv. They have an incredible website with product info, art stuff, oder info, go here. If you live in the States you can find it at just about any Whole Foods. But save yourself a trip and go to their website if you live far from town. There are great ideas there that I didn't know about until after I wrote this 'ible.
2. Small shallow bowl
3. Cheap 1" or larger paint brush
4. Fabric you want to print on (this should be the smoothest fabric you can find - usually that means a tight weave, but experiment - if you don't have a lot of detail such as a photo you can use a looser
weave fabric.
5. An iron
6. Access to a copier that uses toner (most do, like a Xerox or Cannon etc.)
7. Newspaper or something to protect your dining room table if need be
8. A big spoon, wooden or metal
9. Some pins
10. Images you want to print

Step 2: About Citra-Solv:

Picture of About Citra-Solv:
Citra-Solv must have some other uses besides being used to print images onto fabric but I don't know what those uses are unless I read the side of the bottle. You can do that if you want. I am not going to be pedantic and do it here.

All that matters to you and I is that it is pleasant to smell, but you still need to use it in a well ventilatied room or outside, and you should try not to get it on your hands - it doesn't burn but it's not good for you. Keep it out of your eyes obviously - OK, I read the side of the bottle. A little bit anyway.

There is more info about this in the ironing section - be sure to read that too.
sazure7 days ago

Citra-Solv using the aromatic oil of orange is toxic (as ALL aromatics are) due to the chemical compounds found in all plants (some more then others). Oops didn't mean to italicize - (artist/biochemisty and arts/chemistry, Masters Health field and used intensive therapies, including Gerson to recover from end stage chemical injury - building fire where illegal renovations occurred (solvent and toxic based products with no ventilation or OSHA standards, and in college art courses with inadequate ventilation). It was in his books (therapies) from way back that the aromatics can harm those with compromised immune, detox enzyme, liver detox systems (et al) all systems.

Since these same toxic based compounds are used in most common household and commercial products (perfumes most all in America made from petroleum, fabric softeners so on) once injured (cell phenomena of anesthesia - these compounds both anesthetize and sensitize) meaning injure to the point where it takes only a little amount to do more and more damage. (not that one is "sensitive").

Great book "Artists Beware" and see Dr. Grace Ziem.

So has the author mentions VENT and protect. That is why.

That said it is certainly less (much less) toxic then the synthetic based products.
Ninzerbean (author)  sazure6 days ago
Thank you ever so for your valuable input, I hope everyone reads and follows what you wrote. The Gerson institute is one that my mother tells everyone who will listen about. Mostly people don't listen though.
Your welcome - I paid a heavy price and am glad you did not mind my posting a reply as regarding it's safety (low low income and lost job so on and live like "boy in bubble"). That said - that's life! (and I learned much due to this "alternative" path. But it really amazes me when I see Youtube tutorials where no one takes safety precautions!
.................................................................................................
A tad Off Topic -

Re: Gerson - I saw it first hand when - 30 years prior (lived in Oregon) my friend's grandmother (one of Gerson's highlighted cases) had end stage liver cancer (and luckily no radiation or chemo) with rigidity setting in (dying). Recovered fully to live near to very late age. One could wipe away the castor oil pack (over liver area) and see the brown (broken down tumor) ooze out.

I later found (in NYC) Dr. Majid Ali - who asked what I was doing (and many other things - studied Eastern and other modalities "on the way down") and he has done brilliant research on castor oil, as well I wanted to do Oxygen therapies (IV of H2O2 - native to our cells and other forms of Oxygen) and when NYC passed a medical freedom act - we could and I finally started to turn around (was very nearly dead).

Rockefella way back when (family) owned chemical consortium's and started the AMA (American Medical Association) and made and still does (entities - corporations and Government bodies) huge efforts to destroy plant based holistic therapies to support pharmaceuticals. No real freedom of choice as Gerson (a Genius) discovered.
lainey3101 year ago
HELP, I have a samsung color lazer multi format printer, lazer

I printed out a page from graphic fairy, bought the citra solv did everything you did and got nothing/


what am I doing wrong


Ninzerbean (author)  lainey3101 year ago
It's a printer, not a copier - your Samsung - you say so yourself. Please read the comments, you will find a lot of information there about the difference between copiers and printers and inks, toners, carbon based toners etc. I do not know what a graphic fairy is, is it is a place you went and had your printed image copied and if you asked them if they were using a color copier or a simple black and white one?
sorry graphic fairy is a web site that you could print images off ofon your computer, so your saying that a printer could not be used for this project, could you tell me if I take a copy of the print to a printing place would they make one that will work, Thanks for your help, Idid read alot ofthe comments but
I guess Im still not understanding,
Ninzerbean (author)  lainey3101 year ago
If you go to the Citra Solv website there is a lot of new information about printing that was not there when I wrote this 'ible, of special interest to you would be this section.
Ninzerbean (author)  lainey3101 year ago
Sorry to put you off like this but you really must read all of the comments to get the best understanding,otherwise I'm repeating myself.
Light_Lab2 years ago
Are you sure you need the Citra-Solv? I have been doing this for years by just ironing the paper with a really hot iron. I mostly use laser printer printouts but they are made by exactly the same process as modern thermal photocopiers.
I am thinking that the Citra-Solv is just acting as a heat transfer medium because you get about the same amount of transfer as I do when I don't pre-chill the paper.
Here briefly is my best method (but I have had success with variations):
(1) Chill your print paper overnight in the fridge (wrap in plastic to avoid condensation).
(2) Print a mirror image of your design out on a B&W or colour laser printer while the paper is still cold.
(3) Re-chill the paper and take it out of the fridge just before ironing.
(4) The iron has to be very hot, it should yellow paper slightly, Make sure the steam setting is off and there is no water in the iron. (And old iron kept for the purpose is best.)
(5) Place the design toner side down onto the fabric on a good flat ironing board and make sure the fabric is flat (pre-iron if needed).
(6) Iron until your patience is gone or the paper goes yellow. At times I have sprayed the paper with water from a mister to try to increase heat transfer.
(7) If you are really lucky the paper will be stuck to the fabric by the fused toner and you will have to wash it off with water. That usually gives the best result. Other times it just falls off dry, that usually means some of the toner will be still stuck to the paper.
hi
can i chill multiple papers in the fridge or freezer in one plastic bag before ironing??? was going to attempt your process today! i am very excited because it will hopefully produce a crisp print especially with thin straight lines. :-)
Hi viv664, Sorry to take so long to reply, been a bit ill and trying to make up for lost time.
You should be able to chill multiple sheets together but I have never tried it. Keep in mind that paper is a good insulator and chilling will take longer to get right to the middle of the stack.
Ninzerbean (author)  Light_Lab2 years ago
Wow, that sounds great, I assume it it then washable too? Thank you for sharing!
They do fade a bit with washing. This is never a bold full contrast result but sort of rustic so if that is what you are after a bit of fading is OK. I did a black design on a handkerchief about 10 years ago; it has been used and washed hundreds of times and the design is very faded but still visible.
I have been thinking lately that one experiment I haven't tried is to iron from the fabric side. The melted toner should move toward the heat by fluid absorption. Next time!
Ninzerbean (author)  Light_Lab2 years ago
Well that is the difference then, I guess the Cirtra-Solv 'melts' the toner during the transfer and because it is plastic it wont fade or wash out. I think your process is only transferring the ink from the image instead of actually embedding the toner into the fabric. Why not write up an 'ible on your technique - I'm sure it would be very popular, I know I would enjoy seeing it.
Are you saying that the Citra-Solv prints don't fade with washing at all? How many times have you washed them? When I say "They do fade a bit with washing." I mean they start to look a little less intense after about 2 or 3 years of typical washing.
I guess I could do an Instructable on it, what would be cool would be to do a proper comparison of several methods to see what works best. I am not sure if I can get Citra-Solv here in Oz though.
Ninzerbean (author)  Light_Lab2 years ago
No they don't fade at all with washing - I show that in the 'ible. Even bleach does not effect them - see photos in 'ible. Yes it would be great to see comparables! There is a link to the Citra-Solv site in the 'ibel so you can see if you can get it in Oz - where ever Oz may be. Are you like a munchkin or a witch or Toto or something? I think you can only get the stuff in the real world though. When I use this technique it gets run though so much stuff, like over-dying, bleaching, re-dying and such that even though when it is all finished I usually use the fabric in a quilt, I am not afraid that any more washing will fade it, though a typical quilt only gets washed as much as the cat lies on it and makes it worth washing.

We cold even print the same image - your way and my way and then wash however many times you want and post the results with photos.
Oz = Australia, locals pronounce it Oz-trail-ya so Oz has become a standard in emails and SMS's. Even though I don't drink, there is a lot of beer drunk here and I imagine broom riding witches, dancing scarecrows and munchkins are seen quite often. i{^_^}
As far as the bleach goes; toner colours are predominately pigments not dyes so very resistant to bleach and sunlight; particularly the black. Fused toner is more likely to be lost from fabric by extensive mechanical agitation ie as the fabric fibres wear away. Hence most of my articles that have faded eg the handkerchief, is so threadbare now I would say it is just about had it's day. I really only keep it because it was my first experiment with toner.
I will definitely try to get some Citra-Solv. Actually I should really get serious and checkout exactly what polymer is used for the toner binder and see what appropriate solvents I can find around the lab.
I have to tell you though the "chill trick" pretty well leaves very little toner on the paper when I get it perfect. I suspect that any solvent will only make the lines more diffuse. This would be good for photos but perhaps not as good for text and logos.
Comparing results for the same image is a great idea, I am buried in projects at the moment though, I will take this up thoroughly as soon as I get time.
Ninzerbean (author)  Light_Lab2 years ago
I think being that you are so far away (and in the real world) is only the more reason we should try this. We can do a collaborative 'ible, it's pretty easy, we can PM each other to set up the private stats to start it. I am as busy as you are but when the mood strikes you just PM me with an image you want to try and we can go from there. I can send you some fabric samples so we are both working with the same 'ground'.

When we are done we can post a link from this 'ible to our 'ible.
d1ndian2 years ago
Can we use a laser printer???
Ninzerbean (author)  d1ndian2 years ago
No you can't, you must use a carbon based toner COPIER, not a printer. For a better explanation of why, read through the comments.
Ahhhhhhhh ... yes you can as a matter-of-fact, Ninzerbean! I have used acetone based fingernail polish remover as well as Citri-Solv using my Samsung 3051N desktop laser printer to transfer flipped, inverted, toner based images to metal for both electro etch and chemical etch resists. The Citri-Solv I gave up on first because it blurred more than transferred. I then gave up on the acetone when I discovered that there is an even BETTER TONER TRANSFER METHOD that could also be used to transfer toner based resists to glass as well ... via heat. I bought a Creative ' Versa-Tool ' (Walnut Hollow). It has it 's own transfer tip dedicated to toner transfer as well as many other tool tips. The first 2 I bought had no heat control but the new ones do ... so sweet ... if you use the right paper, transfer (I get 100% ... nothing left on paper) is way better than chemical transfer and certainly less biologically intrusive. Check out some of the stuff I have done.
Ninzerbean (author)  Aight_then1 year ago
Sounds great! I will check out this tool, in the mean time post some of your work. Thanks for sharing this info too.
You're welcome, Ninzerbean. I must ask: When you say ' post ' some of your work ... I am not really sure what you mean ... do an ' ible' !!!??? I have posted some pics of things (both glass and metal) that I have etched, to my profile. I have also posted captions but I have to be signed in to read them ... seems kinda pointless as far as being informative to others !? I figured maybe it was a Java problem so I switched from FF to IE .... same thing !? Then I figured I was doing something wrong, so I hit the FAQ (second page ' photo Captions' ) ... Caitlinsdad there says that the captions are kinda ' wonky ' and seems to imply that the captions might possibly only work if you have an ible ... any answers would be appreciated as I am really new here!? Oh ... any to anyone else who wants to gain a really good insight into the nuances of toner (yes they are truly different !!!), I found this super informative link : https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/r-evans4/www/toner.html
Oh never mind, Ninzerbean I figured it out ... silly me !!!??? I actually don't have any samples of fabric I have done photographed yet . I really do not think it appropriate to post unrelated stuff ( etched glass and metal have their own categories/ibles) here. As soon as I get some pics (today or tomorrow), certainly I will post. But ... I think your technique is way better for fabric than the transfer tool, your tones are more vibrant yet with decent contrast.
Ninzerbean (author)  Aight_then1 year ago
Yeah, I checked out that tool, but it would take forever and a day to transfer with it on fabric you wanted to do a repeat on.

I just meant to attach your photos to a comment - when you have a chance. I think the 'unrelated stuff' would still be relevant here.
Hey Ninzerbean. On the contrary ... it is quite fast with the right technique as I just learned. Earlier I said your tones are more vibrant with decent contrast (than the transfer tool) only because I am not used to transferring toner to fabric but rather glass and metal. Yesterday after looking at my sad picture transferred fabric, I thought what the heck, I'll give it another try. This time I will give it some pressure and higher heat. Blew me away !!! 5 minutes later my second piece was done with outstanding clarity and contrast. Had to try again, this time larger pic ... same quality. You can actually feel the embedded toner. Oh certainly your Citri-Solv transfers are awesome (and do have nice vibrancy and contrast) but I implore you ... TRY the tool. What I am going to do is make a small video and show you how quick it really is, hopefully I can change your mind. So below pictured is firstly the one that I supremely failed on (low heat and very little pressure). In the same picture is my second try (more heat and pressure). The second picture is the second try and my last try. Oh sorry for crappy photos. I have a cheap webcam I had to 'snap' pics from.
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Ninzerbean (author)  Aight_then1 year ago
5 minutes is a long time - to me. I can transfer a photo in less than a minute. Your transfer looks great! When I am using this technique I am doing dozens and dozens of repeats on fabric. Can you wash yours and have it look the same? That is key to me when transferring to fabric because it will be washed over and over. Have you tried color prints? I think that is why people ask if they can use a laser printer.
Haha ... you're so totally like me Ninzerbean ... 5 mins. IS a long time for me too, at least that's what the wife says, DOH !!!??? Thanks for the nice comment. I actually tried hand washing and there was slight fading in areas but permanence is certainly desirable. Judging by the look of your transfers, I am thinking they are high in carbon. I think my toner has more plastic than carbon and it really feels like it after a heat transfer. Maybe Citri-Solv somehow ' fuses ' your toner (and any toner?) upon evaporation ... maybe ALL chemical transfers do that ... just an idea !? Did you check out the excellent and informative link on toner I sent earlier ? I have tried color prints on wood (actually MDF) with excellent results, but not fabric. You say you are doing dozens and dozens at a time ... WOW !!!??? As good as your technique is and as quick and durable the results ... you should have a custom print bidness, even though it is not printing per se!? Anyways ... here is the vid I just made (not the greatest quality):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTvyRhjY5c4&feature=youtu.be
TexasBarb1 year ago
Hi. I wanted to share what worked for me. I tried this several different ways. First time I made several things using the printouts from the library and it took a good ten or twenty minutes of rubbing with the edge and bowl of the spoon but made a nice faded tone with a vintage look to it.
Then I tried printing some off at the neighborhood gas station. For holding the print down I found using blue painters tape around the edges would stay on better if the citrisolve got under it. Masking tape released quickly. I held a cotton ball on the top of the bottle of citrisolve turning it over for two or three seconds to wet the cotton ball then rubbed the back of the print covering the whole back of the paper quickly to show the image. I started rubbing at one edge of the image with the edge of my spoon then raised a small corner to check if was doing anything and found It started transferring immediately! It made a dark crisp print that took maybe two minutes to do the entire thing!
It was Amazing! I had also tried some prints from office depot that didn't work. But all of the copy machines I tried that cost .10 cents a print at the station, grocery store, and a small printing company all worked great! It is worth the looking around to find that perfect printer. Once you see how easy it can be the possibilities are endless. And it's addictive. Just warning you. Lol!
Ninzerbean (author)  TexasBarb1 year ago
Thank you for sharing, obviously I just had the right copier and had no idea this technique would be anything other than as easy as it is with my copier. Even when I was taught it, the teacher must have had just the right copier, who knew it would be so hard to do with the new technology. I have a Canon PC941 and thankfully an extra ink cartridge. I bought both from Costco years ago. Probably 15 or 16 years ago and I am still on my first ink cartridge come to think of it.
I've been transfering toner copies to fabric for over 15 years. One hot iron is all it takes...no chilling the fabric or the copy, just slap the copy, image side down, on the fabric and press the paper with a hot iron. DO NOT slide the iron around...pick it up to move from one area to another. Take a peak after all of the image area has been pressed...if the image is transfered, you're good to go. If the transfer is not complete, continue pressing. Do not launder for one week.

If you want to color the print, use markers that are labeld either Textile or Fabric; these markers are intended for fabric and are permanent after heat setting (cover with paper and press with a medium heat iron). To hold the fabric stable while coloring with the marker, press freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric (shiny side of the freezer paper on the fabric; press on the paper side of the freezer paper with a medium hot iron to secure it to the fabric). After the marker has been heat set, remove the freezer paper (it pulls off easily).

Other options for coloring: fabric paints; acrylic craft paints with a Texile Medium; permanent stamping inks. All of these supplies are applied with a brush. Heat setting usually is required for permanency (that information will be on the label).

If you're determined to use some type of chemical to transfer the image to fabric...go to the drug store and get a fingernail polish remover pen. That cheapo (and easily found) gadget will transfer as well as anything. Be sure to wipe the marker over the back of the entire image area to ensure the transfer of the image to the fabric. When the transfer is complete, press on the wrong side of the fabric to ensure permanancy. Do not launder for a week.
mmomeny2 years ago
Yep, it's ink side down.....I read through all the posts too. I did read one post on another site that said not all toner copy machines are the same. I don't know what that means.....I thought toner, was toner, was toner! I don't feel like driving all over town and stopping to use every copy machine from here to timbucktoo.
Ninzerbean (author)  mmomeny2 years ago
I understand, you can always send them to me to copy and I will send them back to you to print with. Just PM me.
mmomeny2 years ago
I tried this technique. I went to Staples AND to Kinkos to get toner based black and white copies made. I came home and followed this step-by-step and I have no image at all on my material. So I tried it on paper - still nothing!! What am I doing wrong??
I asked the guy at Kinkos if the copy machines were toner based and he said yes. I even peaked in side and saw the toner drum.......
Ninzerbean (author)  mmomeny2 years ago
Are you sure the paper is upside down? I am only asking 'cause there is no reason from what your wrote that this won't work. Have you read through all the comments for anything that may shed light on this? I am as mystified as you are.
otakutheiii4 years ago
 So what machines will work for this, so far all the machines in my town are newer and they don't work for this. Do I need to use an older copier?
Ninzerbean (author)  otakutheiii4 years ago
 Well I didn't think so, you have to use a copier that doesn't do anything except copy for one. If it prints also it is not going to use the carbon based toner and of course it must only copy in black and white, that's been covered. I would think that any small office or home based business would have one you may ask to borrow or pay to use. I did not think this was going to be hard but technology advances may have made it so. You are welcome to send my your images and I will copy them for you on mine, pm me.
You need to ask for a printer that uses "toner" if the person doesn't know what you're talking about ask them if the ink is powder or liquid. Powder=toner liquid=waterbased ink. Another way to tell is that usually toner cartriges are giant compare to ink. The print also come out of the copy machine or printer HOT. This is a toner printer.

Most all commercial printer and copy machine are toner printers.
Ninzerbean (author)  vcote2 years ago
Of Course! I never thought how simple it is to tell the difference, thank you!
 A lot of small businesses have ink based "all-in-one" printers.  Laser printers and copiers use toner which has a small metal core coated with a substance that can melt (carbon mixed with polymer).  They work by having a laser draw the pattern on a drum, magnetically charging it, and the toner sticks to that charge.  Then the paper rolls against it while being heated, melting the coating on the paper.  This process is probably dissolving the paper fibers and allowing the toner coating to move to the shirt to be melted by the iron.  Since it isn't a stain, bleach wouldn't have any effect...

This is a really great idea!  Thank you very much for the post.
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