Print On Fabric

How To Print On Fabric At Home? (4 Easy Methods)

I’ll demonstrate how to print on fabric at home using supplies you already own in this post. You can employ four different strategies, and I’ll go over each one’s advantages and disadvantages.

Utilizing a personal inkjet printer is a component of three different fabric printing techniques. My inkjet printer has previously been used to print on tissue paper and paper napkins. But did you know that a home office printer can also print on fabric?

Old fabrics, like bedsheets, can be reused to create creative crafts like fabric mushrooms by printing on them. Alternately, you can add a personal touch to your crafts by printing pictures onto the fabrics.

Further Reading: How to Print on Canvas Fabric?

Different Ways to Print On Fabrics At Home

Here, we will discuss four printing techniques.

  1. Freezer paper printing
  2. Printable fabric sheets
  3. Image Transfer Fluid
  4. Iron on transfer paper

Freezer Paper Fabric Printing Method

You’ll need freezer paper (plastic coated) to print on fabric at home using this technique. Thin fabrics like linen or even used bedsheets can be cleaned using this technique.

  1. First, pick a fabric that is thin enough to pass through a home printer. Also preferred are fabrics in lighter shades like white or cream. Over freezer paper, place the fabric that you want to print. Ensure that the paper’s plastic-coated side touches the fabric. After that, iron the fabric with a hot iron until it adheres to the paper.
  2. The fabric with a freezer paper backing should then be cut to computer paper (A4) size using a rotary cutter and mat.
  3. Next, insert this paper into the inkjet paper feeder. Verify that the fabric side and not the freezer paper side will be where the image will print.
  4. As you would normally, print from your computer, but make sure to go into the printer’s advance menu settings and select the best print quality option.
  5. Simply peel off the freezer paper backing after the image has been printed onto the fabric.
Can print on upcycled fabrics such as old bedsheets
The fabric’s texture is preserved because no film has been added
Cheap as all you need to buy is freezer paper
The fabric used has to be thin enough to go through the printer
A4 or A3 (if you have a large printer) are the only sizes that can be printed
Only really effective with light-colored fabrics
Print On Fabric

Printable Fabric Sheets

This technique for printing fabric at home must be the simplest. It is essentially equivalent to the freezer paper method. However, because the printable fabric sheets are already set up for computers, the work has already been done for you.

No preparation is necessary; it is as simple as ready to go
The fabric’s texture is preserved because no film has been added
Sticky back version available
Only one type of fabric to choose from
Can only print A4
More expensive then using your own fabrics

It is possible to transfer images using a variety of different media. Although I’ve used Dylon Image Maker, other products, like Mod Podge Photo Transfer, function just as well.

  1. You will need a mirror image copy of the image you want to transfer since this is another transfer printing technique. As directed on the packet, proceed.
  2. All transfer mediums use very similar methods. Cut out the mirror image you want to print on the fabric first.
  3. Place your image face up on a safe surface next (since the medium might leak). Apply an image medium with a brush to the image’s face. An opaque image requires a thick layer, which is what you want.
  4. After that, lay the image face down on the fabric so that it prints.
  5. To remove any creases or bubbles, roll the paper over with a rolling pin. Then wait at least 4 hours for the image to dry.
  6. After the medium has completely dried, wet a sponge with water and let it sit on the paper’s back for about two minutes. Next, gently rub the paper away. Now, the fabric will receive the image.
Can print on a wide range of materials, including cotton and leather
Can print on darker materials
Slower than other methods in how long it takes
Apply a film to the fabric to stiffen and change its feel
Compared to other techniques, the image is less vibrant

In a strict sense, these methods of printing fabric—then the next—are transfers. Specifically, a medium is used to transfer the images to the fabric.

  1. There are two different types of iron-on transfer paper: one is for light-colored fabrics, and the other is for dark-colored fabrics. Depending on the color of the fabric you plan to print on, choose the appropriate paper.
  2. The paper should be put into the printer’s paper feeder. Make sure the paper is placed correctly for printing. On the paper, this will receive a mark.
  3. As with the other techniques for printing on fabric, once more choose the best quality print from the advance printer menu. However also this time you will need to select the mirror print box in the menu settings. The image will be printed in reverse as a result.
  4. Trim the printed image as closely as possible to the desired image’s edge. Then turn off the steam settings and heat the iron to the highest setting.
  5. When ironing, place the image face down on the fabric. The instructions that come with the iron on transfer sheets will determine how long to iron for. But each section lasts for roughly 20 seconds.
  6. The paper backing should be peeled off after allowing the paper to cool for about a minute.
Able to print on a wider variety of fabrics
Vibrant colours
Can print on dark materials
It can get pricey buying iron-on paper
A film is applied to the fabric by the print

Where Do You Need A Printer To Print On Fabric?

You have a variety of options when using the printer. You can use an inkjet, bubble jet, or laser jet. An inkjet or bubble jet printer’s printed design won’t deteriorate or deteriorate very slowly, which is how they differ from other printers. versus the less durable and long-lasting ink used in laser printing.

What Ink Is Best For Printing On Fabric?

The ability to make the ink water resistant or not is also a choice. Non-washable ink can be used if you don’t intend to wash your finished products, but water-resistant inks are a must if you do plan to wash them. Two varieties of ink are available: pigment-based and dye-based ink. Contrary to dye inks, pigment ink is water resistant.

Another choice is to use Bubble Jet Set to pre-treat the fabric before printing. This treatment keeps the fabric’s natural texture and feel while enabling direct printing with an inkjet or bubble jet printer. It also prevents the fabric from becoming stiff or being covered in a plastic film. However, depending on your location, it might be more cost-effective for you to try pigment inks and bubble jet or inkjet printers.

A brief word on the printed fabric’s size as well: this method only allows for printing fabric in the size of the paper accepted by your printer. You can only print on a piece of fabric that is letter size, for instance, if your printer only accepts letter-size paper.

Printers That Print on Fabric

For specialized fabric printing equipment, there are numerous options available. However, they are frequently pricey, making them unsuitable for those who want to experiment with creating their own fabric designs at home.

Closer to your standard home printer price range, there are devices like the Epson Surecolor F570.

A desktop printer, it is excellent for printing on fabric and was made for printing on items like mousepads, coffee mugs, and awards.

We’ve already mentioned that an inkjet printer is preferable to a laser if you’re trying to modify a common home printer to print on fabrics. However, results will vary based on your particular inkjet printer, with some being more prone to ink bleeding.

It is possible to get good results for small fabric prints (up to 8.5 inches wide) using just a basic Epson XP-440.

However, if you’re looking to print on larger fabrics, the Epson P400 (printer designed for high-quality photo printing, probably the best printer for fabric printing) works well for fabrics up to 13 inches wide.

Use several tests to find the best settings before using any printer, regardless of your choice.

Conclusion: What Is The Best Method For Printing At Home?

The advantages and disadvantages of each method of fabric printing are listed. The printed images’ quality was similar across the board. Although the iron-on transfer was the most colorful, it did change how the fabric felt.

The fabric printer sheets offered the fastest printing speed and ease, but they were also the most expensive option. The freezer paper technique worked really well for recycling textiles.

There is a wider variety of fabrics you can print on with both transfer methods—iron-on and medium. In particular, I used the transfer medium to print on rocks and wood. The medium, however, was by far the laborious process.


Can You Print on Fabric With a Regular Printer?

While it is possible to print onto fabric using laser printers, generally speaking, inkjets are the way to go. This is due to the fact that toner doesn’t adhere to the fabric as well, making it easy for colors to rub off. Due to the toner’s thickness, the fabric becomes stiff and challenging to hand quilt.

How Do I Permanently Print on Fabric?

Since printer ink on fabric isn’t irreversible, you’ll need to soak it in some vinegar to help the ink adhere to the fabric. Put your fabric sheet in a flat baking dish and add just enough white vinegar to barely cover the fabric.

Do You Need Special Ink to Print on Fabric?

If you need your project to be washable then you’ll need a pigment-based ink, or you’ll need to use those pre-treated fabric sheets to make it stick. For printing on fabric, only use a genuine cartridge from the printer’s manufacturer as many inexpensive compatible cartridges typically use dye-based inks.

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