Printing on Fabric


Heather Camden

Have the perfect design concept, but can't find the perfect fabric? With a little help from household items, you can whip up the fabric of your dreams! For printing fun, gather the following items:

Desired image and your favorite photo manipulation program. (In our example, I'm using Adobe Photo Deluxe.)
An iron
Freezer paper (I use Reynolds Wrap.)
Fabric (I suggest using either an all cotton or no less than a 50/50 cotton poly blend. The ink does not take well on some synthetics. Look for a tighter weave.)
Inkjet printer
***Printing Caveat***
Not all printers are suitable for printing on fabric! I have used injet printers from Lexmark and Canon with no problems. If you have used cardstock, other heavy specialty papers, or the Barbie Fashion Designer refills in your printer, this should be no problem. If in doubt contact the printer manufacter!

Step 1: Using your favorite photo manipulation program, size out the image you want to print. If you need to, print out an image on paper first and compare with pattern pieces. This can sometimes take a few tries.

Step 2: Gather together your paper, fabric and iron. Cut the fabric and freezer paper to about the size of a sheet of printer paper, 8 X 10.

Step 3: Place the paper shiny side up, and the fabric on top . Using the cotton setting and no steam, iron the fabric and freezer paper. The wax should melt slightly, and bond the two together Next Page Aerosol Hairspray (Optional)

Step 4: Trim any excess fabric . You should now have a sheet of fabric backed paper! Yay for you!

Step 5: Insert fabric paper in printer, and print away! Some printers may require you to disable the automatic feed.

Step 6: Most printer ink is slightly unstable, and may run if wet. Washing is not reccomended. If I'm going to be handling the fabric quite a bit, I seal with a bit of aerosol hairspray. Just a quick sweep will do it...don't go overboard and get the fabric soggy!

Step 7: Peel off the freezer paper backing, and use the fabric in any fashion your creative little self can cook up! I made a Tshirt...isn't it cute? How about designing your own print for a dress? Or maybe a personalized handbag?


Pictures and text by Heather Camden. For reprinting information and permission, please contact: