Introduction: Print Your T-Shirt
I live in the city of the silk, Como, and I lived near a photoengraving lab for some months (then the lab closed), so I always saw here and there fabric printing works.
I did it with stencils (too long and I don't like it) and felt tips (but this technique needs really good drawing skills).
So I've found the nitrocellulose thinner method!
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Step 1: Materials
- A T-Shirt, a bag, fabric.... anything you want to print, possible in cotton
- nitrocellulose thinner
- a fork or a spoon that you won't use to eat
- a little flat brush (it doesn't need to be a good one, the one you buy at 1 $ store 10 in a package)
- a flat piece of wood or cardboard
- adesive tape
- laser printer
- image editor (MS Paint, Paint.net, or Irfan View are ok)
- mild soap (optional, but racomended)
- fantasy :)
It's important that you do this in a well aired room, because of the gas of nitrocellulose thinner.
Step 2: Fantasy
Choose the image or the sentence you want to put on the T-shirt.
Keep in mind that it will be printed on the T-shirt backwards, like it was in a mirror. This is important if you are printing words, or drawings that have a direction.... for example a car or the photo of your cat, if he/she's like my kitten Enya, that is wonderfully asymmetric.
So, if you choose an image, just flip it horizontally with the image editor you use (Irfan View shortcut: H).
If you choose words, copy the screen, paste it in Irfan View, cut the part you want to print and flip it.
In the example I've put words and a drawing (F'Ral, a character from my star Trek: Enterprise fanfictions ;D). The drawing is a too pale, try to use dark prints.
Step 3: Prepare the T-shirt
Iron the T-shirt. Put it over the board. Block it with pins and/or adesive tape.
Step 4: Print
Print the image/words you want to transfer and place it face down on the T-shirt. Block it with tape and/or pins.
The sentence I chose for my T-shirt says (in Italian):
There are 10 types of people in the world: who knows binary code and who doesn't know it.
With the brush, rub the nitrocellulose thinner on the paper. The drawing/words will appear (right side!).
Step 6: Fork/spoon
Rub the paper with the fork or spoon. Press down a bit. This will help the toner to pass from the paper to the fabric.
Step 7: Yeah!
Take away the paper and look at the magic!
Step 8: Iron
Iron it with the temperature as high as possible for the fabric (this is why cotton is better).
Step 9: Repeat
Repeat with all the prints you want :)
Wash it with mild soap and lukewarm water.
Step 10: Free Your Fantasy!
I like reusable bags, I've got some advertising fabric bag, so I printed on a piece of fabric some images and words from some of my favourite TV shows (Star Tre: Enterprise; The X-Files; Breaking Bad) and sewed them to the bags.
For now I didn't try with laser colour printer, because I don't have one, nor with a ink jet printer. If you do it, please let me know the results!
After printing the fabric with this, you can colour the image with fabric paint or felt tips :)
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