Sunday, February 27, 2011

Printing on Fabric

Lately I've been playing with printing on fabric to use for art quilts mostly. I tried out the EQ Printables brand since we haven't found a source to re-order ColorPlus Textiles. (anyone know if the product still exists?) EQ Printables doesn't have as many choices for fabric types. So far I've been happy with the results for the pieces of fabric that I've printed on and used. I tried out the basic weight cotton, the cotton sheeting, and the cotton satin.

The satin doesn't have a sheen like some satin, but it has a nice smooth surface for capturing image detail. This photo of a mountain in Glacier Bay, Alaska was printed on the satin. The left one is the original photo and the right is the photo printed on sateen. The right photo isn't really a good photo. The image on the fabric isn't quite as crisp in detail and the image is slightly less bright in color. (The pinkish tint in the right photo is just inadequate photo taking and editing. The print on fabric doesn't have any pink in the sky.)

The cotton sheeting is thin, but has a smooth weave. The resulting image on fabric comes out a bit lighter and has less detail than the original as you can sort of see below. The fabric one is on the right again.

This is photo was also taken in Glacier Bay.
 The fabric comes all ready to print in 8.5x11" sheets that are backed with a film to keep them nice and flat. Be sure to check for stray threads or lint on the fabric before printing on it or you could end up with funny little white lines or spots from where the thread or lint was like the white squiggle on this fabric.

The instructions say to soak the fabric for 5 minutes and to keep swishing the fabric around if the ink appears to be bleeding. I wasn't anxious to swish the fabric for 5 minutes. I was happy to see that the ink did not bleed at all for any of the fabrics that I printed and then soaked. I just set the timer for 5 minutes and let the fabrics soak. Even when I poured out the soaking water, I didn't see any ink in the water. There weren't any funny splotches on the printed fabrics either.
I have had trouble with ink bleeding before with other brands of ink jet printable fabrics. You can see the purple halo on this photo. That area isn't supposed to be purple. It's blue sky.
So far I am
very happy with the EQ Printables brand.

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