How to Print on Fabrics at Home

Printing on fabric
Whether you are breaking into the fashion industry or just want to start a fun new hobby in your free time, printing your own fabrics at home is a lot easier and more affordable than you thought – sated by Imaging Spectrum. It’s surprisingly satisfying as well and a great creative outlet. Now the question is how to print on fabric at home.

The method for printing on fabrics we are going to show you today is one of the most economical that we have come across through our research. That way no matter your budget you can still take part in exploring your new passion.

So without further ado, here is your guide for printing on fabrics right in your own home.

What you’ll need for printing

The beauty of this method is that it calls for items that you probably already have in your home. All you will need is a pair of good scissors, freezer paper, an inkjet printer, a fabric of some kind and an iron. We suggest using canvas drop cloth as your fabric of choice because the ink fidelity is marvellous.

Freezer Paper: This standard household kitchen item has many talents in our work space in the US.
Freezer paper
Freezer paper
Still, you can use whatever fabric you want so long as it is not too thick or frayed for your inkjet printer. We know fabric choice is all about personal preference.

Home Printing Process

The first thing you are going to do is iron your piece of fabric so that it is as smooth as possible. This is very important for two reasons. One, it will make it easier to feed into your printer. Two - it makes for a smoother and more uniform finish when all is said and done. 

Iron used for Printing at home

Note, You have seen printed designs on the readymade clothes. Those are printed in bulk and the bulk printing or industrial printing of garment and textiles items are done in different ways. And there are many ways of printing clothes and garments.

Fabric texture/weave selection

A tight weave is what you want to aim for in order to achieve the best resolution your original image has to offer. The looser the weave, the lower resolution your image will appear. It helps to use a lint roller to swipe off any debris or particles, the printer will go right over them and once they fall off, spots of the original fabric will be revealed.

Preparation for printing

Lay a piece of freezer paper down on your fabric. When you do this make sure you place the more reflective side touching the fabric. Iron the freezer paper onto the fabric until it completely adheres to it. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes of smooth, continuous ironing strokes over the paper.

Now that you have one solid piece of fabric and freezer paper. You may or may not have to trim it down to fit into your fabric printer. It may already be an appropriate size depending on your printer. But if not, cut it to size with your fabric scissors.

Be very careful here as you do not want any frayed edges or loose threading that could get caught in your printer. We know how expensive fabric printers can be. Make sure the cuts are clean and tidy to protect your investment.

Make sure you have loaded the fabric and freezer paper sheet carefully into your printer so that the ink will go on the fabric side.

Selection of image/Motif and printing

Now select the image you want to be printed onto the fabric from your computer. When the prompt that gives you printing options pops up, select the “high quality” or “photo quality” or “best image” (the name will vary on your computer) option. Now you are ready to print.

You may have to help the fabric through your printer depending on the kind you use. You can do this by holding each end of the fabric as it is fed through and gently pulling it as your printer works.

Once it is all the way through and your image has been printed on the fabric you can gently peel off the freezer paper and voila! You have just printed fabric in your very own home!

If you’ve been yearning for a new creative outlet or are starting a printing business from your home, we hope this has helped you learn a bit more about this craft. Now it’s time to create!

This article is written and shared by Imaging Spectrum team.

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