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Fabric & Photographs


Stuffed Three Dimensional Fabric Tea Set

I photographed the tea set, blew up the negative to life size, made a cyanotype photogram on a piece of cloth, the stitched it together and stuffed it.

Catherine Jansen

There are several ways you can put photographs on fabrics.

Two Checks

Check #1 - Printer

Make sure your printer can handle fabric and the other materials below.

Check the instruction manual.

If it can print on fabric:

• How thick can the fabric be?

• How do you feed it through the printer?

Many printers have a way to feed thicker media in a direct, non curving, path.

Your printer manufacturer may or may not suggest taping the fabric to the top of a sheet of paper to permit printing.

• Is there a fabric setting?

Check #2 - Credentials

Don't damage your printer.

If you come across a method by an individual without credentials, verify it by looking for similar tutorials elsewhere.

Five Notes

Note #1 - Edit

You may want to increase the color saturation of the image to retain more color on the fabric.

Note #2 - No White Ink

Printers don't have white ink.

Any white area in your photograph will be the color of the fabric when printed.

Note #3 - Inkjet or Laser Printer

Know what kind of printer you have:

• Inkjet?

Inkjet printers use pigments.

• Laser?

Laser printers use toner, which is fused at a high temperature.

The heat may not be compatible with some the materials and methods below.

Note #4 - Types of Fabric

Most of the methods use 100% cotton or silk fabrics.

Note #5 - Iron Hygiene

If you're ironing, you may want to place a paper towel between the iron and the photograph to protect the iron.

Six Methods

Method #1 - Sew

You can sew the photographs on the fabric.

Go to Lisa Kokin: Sewn Found Photos.

Her website is here.

Method #2 - Canvas

You can print your photographs on canvas.

Many labs do this, and many home printers can handle canvas.

Method #3 - Iron-on Transfer Sheets

You can print your photographs on iron-on sheets.

They're available from office supply, fabric, and craft stores.

Iron-transfers are made for light and dark fabrics.

The corners of transferred photographs may peel when the fabric is washed.

Round the corners with a scissors before printing.

Method #4 - Gel Transfers

You can apply a "goop" such as acrylic gel medium or Mod Podge to a photograph.

Then you press it on fabric.

After drying for twenty-four hours, you remove the paper backing with a wet sponge, leaving the image behind.

How to Transfer a Photo to Fabric

Method #5 - Fabric Sheets

Fabric sheets consist of fabric with a paper backing.

The paper backing allows the fabric to go through your printer.

The paper is peeled off after printing.

You can buy fabric sheets at craft and fabric stores.

You can also . . .

. . . Make Your Own Fabric Sheets . . .

. . . using a solutions such as Bubble Jet Set 2000 and Bubble Jet Set Rinse, along with freezer paper.

Freezer paper is not the same as wax paper.

Follow the directions for the solution.

The general directions below were largely adapted from How to Print Photos by Deborah H. Schreiben.

Do the following.

1) Cut a piece of fabric larger than 8 1/2 x 11".

2) Soak the fabric in the solution.

3) Remove the fabric and drain the excess solution from it.

Some solutions are followed by a rinsing solution.

4) Place the fabric on a towel to dry.

5) Apply the fabric to the shiny side of freezer paper with a dry iron.

6) Flip the assembly over and iron the other side.

7) Trim the assembly to 8 1/2 x 11".

Use a rotary fabric cutter and a metal ruler.

8) Print.

Method #6 - Cyanotype

Cyanotype is an early printing process.

You may have seen Sunprint paper.

The print has a range of blue tones.

You need:

• Two chemicals.

• A negative that's as large as the area to be printed.

This writer has converted a photograph to black-and-white, inverted it to make a negative image, and then printed it on overhead-transparency paper.

• Sunlight.

• Running water as the developer.

Blueprints on Fabric Tutorial

Cyanotypes on Fabric Supplies

A New Method

Print on Fabric Using Sunlight: The Lumi Process


Photos on Fabric - Ideas, Projects and Supplies Kris Driessen


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Dharma Trading Co.



Puur Anders

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