Sunday, 29 April 2018

Louisa's costume - printing fabric

For Louisa's costume I've printed my own choice of fabric on my inkjet printer. Its a Canon MP540 so pretty old now and not the cleanest inside but it worked pretty well considering. Here is the process:

Cut freezer paper into A4 squares. Helps if this is done quite accurately so as not to upset your printer.

Cut out A4 sheets of your fabric but cut them down a little bit to have at least a 5mm border around them when they're put onto the freezer paper later.

Take a shallow tray and pour some bubblejet set 2000 into it. You can reuse it but when you've done pour it into a new container rather than the original one as it can pick up some of the dye from the fabric if you're using non-white fabric. Place several pieces of fabric into the tray one at a time making sure each is covered. Its recommended that you use gloves though it doesn't smell strongly.

Leave for at least 5 minutes and then take out each sheet of fabric, ring out and leave to dry.

When dry, iron each piece of fabric onto the shiny side of a sheet of freezer paper. iron the fabric. Its its sensitive fabric like silk put a pillowcase over it and use a lower heat setting. Don't use steam.

Make sure the fabric is stuck well to the edges so it doesn't come off when you put it in the printer.

Put in the rear paper feed of your printer. make sure the edges arent' curled up so it doesn't get stuck. I've printed on the settings for Matte Paper on High Quality but it needs a bit of experimentation so plan to do it a few times before you get it right. Make the picture a bit darker than you want it to be. Different fabrics come out quite differently. I've tried calico, sateen curtain lining, habotai silk and some other silks and chiffon.

Leave for at least half an hour to dry then remove the backing freezer paper and rinse in warm water and ring out. I didn't get a lot of dye coming back out. Leave to air dry and it should be wash fast.

Here is the test piece:-

I made several of the very small book pattern on dark brown printed on white / cream curtain lining and also on the habotai silk to have contrasting fabrics for Louisa's costume.

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