Inkjet Printing on Fabric

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Introduction: Inkjet Printing on Fabric

About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.

Forget about printing on some transfer paper and then ironing it onto some fabric. With some freezer paper you can print right on the fabric itself. No need to reverse the image and it's faster, cheaper, and more effective.


Step 1: Materials List

Cloth? Check.
Freezer paper? Check.

Step 2: Cut to Size

Cut a piece of fabric a little bit bigger than the 8.5"x11" that your printer can handle. Or, if you have a bigger printer, go bigger.

Cut the freezer paper to an even larger size to give you a nice margin of error here.

Step 3: Iron Together

Place the working side of the fabric onto the ugly old ironing board you have lying around. Now place the plastic side of the freezer paper down on that.

In other words, the working surface is safely facing the bottom and the paper side of the freezer paper is facing you. Now iron it together. The two pieces will become one.

Step 4: Cut to Size - Part 2

Trim the combined fabric paper to something your printer can accept. For me, that's letter-size. For my friend, who bought a massive Epson printer while flush with cash, that could be two-feet by whatever.

Step 5: Stick It In

You now have a piece of fabric that is supported by the attached piece of freezer paper. This makes the resulting combination solid enough to be grabbed by the printer without flopping about. Treat the finished piece like a regular piece of paper and stick it into an inkjet printer. My printer flips the paper over and then prints on it so I placed the piece in the tray with the fabric side down.

Step 6: Print!

Find some image you want on a piece of fabric and print away. You'll be surprised at the level of detail. This Instructables logo in the picture is just over two inches wide.

You can print anything you want. I found this technique because a friend wanted to create some treasure maps for a pirate party. If you want the image to be on something that will get a lot of use you might want to treat it with this stuff.

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223 Discussions

0
ChristineB218
ChristineB218

Question 1 year ago on Step 3

I'm French, what is Freezer paper ?

0
Sheepandsweetsstudio
Sheepandsweetsstudio

Answer 10 months ago

I used Google translate to answer this and maybe you know this by now but I got "papier congélateur". sorry if I butchered it but hopefully it answers your question and helps the next french speaker who finds this freezer paper technique

0
shesornery
shesornery

Reply 15 days ago

Le papier pour congélateur (ou papier sulfurisé au Royaume-Uni) est un papier résistant avec un revêtement en plastique sur une seule face. Le revêtement en plastique scelle l'humidité. Lors de l'emballage des aliments dans du papier pour congélateur, le revêtement en plastique va contre les aliments, avec le côté papier ordinaire à l'extérieur.

0
skipperlovesfrogs
skipperlovesfrogs

Answer 5 months ago

It’s thick baking sheets

0
Crafter864
Crafter864

Question 6 weeks ago

Can I use parchment paper or plastic wrap instead? Or are there any other freezer paper substitutes?

0
shesornery
shesornery

Answer 15 days ago

No. The idea of the freezer paper is the "plastic" side that sticks to the wrong side of the fabric when you iron it. Parchment paper won't stick. Plastic wrap will melt and you will have a terrible mess, and would probably ruin your iron.

0
taimysha
taimysha

Tip 6 weeks ago on Step 2

Cut down to size after you have ironed on the freezer paper. You'll want all of your edges good and sealed to the paper and cutting after will ensure this.

0
stuartmitch
stuartmitch

Question 4 months ago

So you can only print on white fabric?

0
craz1
craz1

7 years ago on Introduction

Hi! I want to ask if we could use "STICKER PAPER" instead of "FREEZER PAPER". We cannot find any freezer paper here in the Philippines. Thank you for your reply.

0
smills32503
smills32503

Reply 9 months ago

I just taped my fabric onto a piece of cardstock, worked fine

0
deborahwarnock
deborahwarnock

Reply 1 year ago

On the tv I saw a lady print using tape to a sheet of regular paper and it worked
.. (double sided tape If you use card stock make sure to change printer to ajust.!

0
SuzeenS
SuzeenS

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

there no freezer paper here too. i suppose sticker paper should be fine but way way more expensive :/

0
Tgee48829
Tgee48829

Reply 4 years ago

The first time I tried this technique was about 15 years ago and we used wax paper and it works great

0
zappy1333
zappy1333

Reply 4 years ago

Wax paper would not iron to fabric

0
deborahwarnock
deborahwarnock

Question 1 year ago on Step 6

For fabric to be washed, Does it need heat set or is it washable at all?

0
AlisonW9
AlisonW9

1 year ago

If you don't have freezer paper, use the plastic-backed paper that they use to wrap reams of printer paper in. It irons on just fine, and it is free to anyone who has a contact in an office that uses a photocopier.

0
PamelaH77
PamelaH77

3 years ago

Two questions please: where are we copying a pattern to go on the fabric? Is it like copying a photo off the computer or do you have to use the copy machine on the printer? and after this is done...can it be put in the microwave? I want to make a herbal pack and it has to be microwaved. Thank you

0
mickey_chelle

does anyone know if this will work with a laser printer ?
Dont want to mess up my printer - its a big professional laser printer I use to print business cards on.

0
freeluna
freeluna

Reply 3 years ago

Another article I read said 'No', but the comments below speak for themselves. One other thing the article I read said that there's a product called bubblejet set, which apparently helps the ink stick to the cloth. Also indicated that 'pigment' ink is better than 'dye' ink. I have no idea what the difference is.