The suggestions below are based on the use of EQ Printables Inkjet Fabric Sheets.
Printing onto pre-treated printable fabric is just like printing onto paper. The printout goes directly from the printer onto the fabric. Don’t confuse this with printing a photo transfer. Photo transfers print onto transfer paper which are ironed onto fabric.
EQ Printables fabric sheets are for inkjet printers only. Do not use laser printers or color copying machines. The fabric is washable and dry cleanable. The colorfastness of your fabric printout will depend on many factors including the number of washings, chemicals in your water, the total exposure to light, and the type of printer ink used. Be aware that the fabric may shrink slightly, so we recommend printing your photo approximately ¼” larger in width and height to allow for any shrinkage.
Prepare fabric for printing
- Flatten any curl that may be in the fabric by weighting the fabric sheet down overnight with books.
- Trim any loose threads from the fabric. Do not pull them.
- On your computer, prepare the image for printing. This can be a digital scan, photograph, or design. The recommended image resolution is 150-200 DPI (dots per inch). Printing at a DPI higher than recommended will put excess ink onto your fabric that will be rinsed away in step 5. A lower DPI may result in a fuzzy image. Be aware that the fabric may shrink slightly, so we recommend printing your photo approximately ¼” larger in width and height to allow for any shrinkage.
- Adjust printer setting to Plain Paper (Use Thick Paper if printer has this option). The quality setting is up to you. Sometimes we find Best or Photo quality can put out too much ink. Normal quality may be a better setting, but each printer is different.
- Remove all paper from tray (use Manual Feed if available), and insert fabric one sheet at a time. Print onto fabric side of sheet.
- Let dry for 15 minutes after printing. (For Vivera inks one of our testers suggested allowing the prints to dry for 2 or 3 days, but this is up to you. You may also let them dry for 15 minutes.) Peel off plastic backing.
- Soak in room temperature water for 10 minutes. We recommend soaking in distilled water, since local tap water may have additives that affect the printer ink. If you notice ink bleeding, soak in a solution of one part fabric softener to three parts distilled water. The soaking is intended to remove excess printer ink, so keep the fabric moving gently by swishing it around in the water solution if you notice bleeding, and change the water often.
- Lay flat to dry. You may want to blot with a paper towel so that water does not pool on your printed fabric.
- Since printers do not print white, the white in your image will be the same color as the fabric sheet.
- You can snip off the corners of the leading edge of the fabric or fold masking tape along the leading edge to help it feed through the printer.
- If the fabric does not feed smoothly through the printer, we suggest you clean your print rollers, according to your printer manufacturer’s instructions for this. When rollers pick up paper or fabric lint, they can eventually not be able to pick up certain media (even though they may still pick up plain paper).
- Wash gently by hand or machine, using a mild detergent. Do not use bleach. Lay flat to dry.
- Iron on low to medium heat if desired. Hot irons can cause some printer inks to look muddy, so do not use a hot iron. You are not heat setting—ironing is only needed if you want to smooth wrinkles from the fabric.
- Do not place in direct sunlight. The colorfastness of your image depends on how colorfast your printer ink is. All fabric will fade in direct sunlight.
- Store unused fabric flat, in a closed package away from direct sunlight or other light sources. Keep out of hot and humid conditions.
These cotton sheets are specially treated to absorb dye inks. Please be aware that the sheets will absorb and trap loose dyes in your wash water much like a color catcher. For this reason, we recommend that you wash the other fabrics with a color catcher BEFORE sewing the inkjet fabric sheet(s) into your project. Other fabrics (especially batiks) will release excess dyes when washed. Prewashing your fabrics to eliminate loose dye in the wash water will keep your inkjet fabric sheet(s) from absorbing the excess dyes.