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Ink jet printing on cotton fabric

emme | Posted in General Discussion on

Does anyone have any tips or advice on printing on cotton fabric sheets. I have never done it before and wonder if you must have a high quality printer to get best results or maybe a new color cartridge?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Cherrypops | | #1

    Hello emme,

    You will enjoy this type of sewing. It is on my 'to do' list also.

    You are going to use the Printable Fabric Sheets correct? Have you considered the 5 step process using your own fabric which you pre-treat yourself?


    I have an epson photostylus R210 printer. I chose this for its great quality on photo prints. It also prints well for my iron-on transfer papers. I don't forsee any problems with fabric sheets and have not needed different cartridges.

    Each printer is different in both quality and settings and the unfortunate paper jams. Here you will find reviews on Canon, HP and Epson.


    How I avoid paper jams:

    • Load one sheet at a time.
    • Wait until sheet is in the 'finished' tray before adding another.
    • Line the leading edge of the fabric with masking tape. This will give the printer a 'grip' and pull it through evenly.
    • Watch the fabric to ensure it won't catch on the printer causing it to jam.

    This may not apply to all papers but is worth knowing:

    • Humidity can affect paper. resulting in curling and may not feed through printer correctly. If possible work in a cool environment.


    I hope to have been of some help and am certain once you get started you will be creating many beautiful items.

    Edited 2/5/2007 8:44 pm by Cherrypops

    Edited 2/5/2007 8:46 pm by Cherrypops

    Edited 2/5/2007 8:47 pm by Cherrypops

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    Always test your design on plain paper first, if you don't like how that looks don't proceed to the cloth.

    If you think a color is missing from the design, do a "Print nozzle check" or "head clean"  (depending on type of printer) if your cartridge is out of one color of ink you will need a new one.


  3. spicegirl | | #3

    I just finished reading a two part article by Jeannie Spears in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine on this very subject.  The information provided in the article and the advice I received from my local sewing machine shop manager/sewing/embroidery instructor indicates to me that you have received excellent advice from Cherrypops.  Have fun with your project!

    1. user-51823 | | #4

      i think an old threads issue introduced this idea to me years ago. i tried it on some silvery grey silk dupioni with a photo of marilyn monroe. it was faint, but sooooooooo cool.
      i believe the article said to iron your fabric first to reduce lint, as it can build up and clog your printer.

      1. Teaf5 | | #5

        You ran silk through your printer????

        1. user-51823 | | #6

          yup. the article said to mount your fabric on a full sheet of label paper, from the office store. burnish or tape leading edge down as mentioned above. it was absolutely gorgeous! but they did caution that you might want to buy a second printer dedicated to this craft if you want to do it frequently.

          1. Cherrypops | | #7

            Very good point about purchasing another printer for very frequent use.

            Yes most fabrics are workable for inkjet printers provided you follow instructions given from excellent sources and always do a test first on a small piece of same fabric.

            Well done with yours on silk. Nice to read you are proud! I love marilyn monroe.

            Have you done more? What types of fabrics? What are your final projects? Bags, quilts or something else?

            :) CP.


          2. user-51823 | | #8

            i meant to do more, but didn't want to ruin my nice printer and didn't really have any brilliant ideas for projects. also couldn't run down the suggested mediums to help protect the image. the article also cautioned that most products that would help permanence would also make it stiffer and permanently wet looking (darker, semi-transparant).
            it has great potential as a very cool craft. the article was quite old and it sounds like there are better products and methods out there now."...lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy..."

            Edited 2/8/2007 7:18 pm ET by msm-s

          3. Cherrypops | | #9

            Technology has improved greatly. Newer fabric sheets, new methods. If you haven't done so, use the links to the websites i posted up above (#2).

            I hope they can give you guidance.  They have helped me out.


      2. emme | | #10

        Thank you so much for your most helpful suggestions.  My project turned out great. 

        1. Cherrypops | | #11

          Wonderful News!

          I am sooooo happy for you.

          :) CherryP

  4. GranJanice | | #12

    Hi - I have done quite a bit of photo printing.  I tried several kinds.  My favorite at the time was Printed Treasures.  I then used an HP Photo printer inkjet.  Now I have an Epsom inkjet Photo R340 printer.  I will be doing more photo printing in the near future.  I watch QNN and saw a new kind of photo material.  It is by EQ6.  They make 3 different blends.  I ordered the Lawn and the Satin blend.  Go on EQ6 website and check it out.  I saw it used on http://www.quilternsnewsnetwork.com .  It looked very good so I am going to try it.  But, Printed Treasures was great.  Just make sure you follow the directions for timing.  I used a stop watch.  Worked perfectly.  Good luck and have fun.  Janice


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