Saturday, January 31, 2009

A neat trick for transfering images to fabric!

I've been trying all sorts of ways to get images onto fabric so I can embroider them for the Adorn purses. The images start as a sketch on the computer and are printed out to be transferred to the fabric. It shouldn't be too difficult a process you'd think...

I did some searching around on the internet and it seemed like the way to go was a transfer pencil. Draw your image with it on paper, then put the paper on the fabric and iron it and the pencil marks will transfer to the fabric. Great!

Except the olive coloured fabric I've been using DID NOT like the transfer pencil I bought, so I was at a bit of a loss as to how to do it and tried lots of different things. The first few ended up being done by piercing holes with a pin around the outline of the image on paper, then rubbing over these with a marker until a tiny dot went through onto the paper. It was effective, but time consuming. Unfortunately on the linen I just started using, the marker bled waaaay too much, so that option didn't work. The transfer pencil worked ok on that though. The problem with that was my ability to trace the image accurately on the back of the paper.

So I decided to just draw over the print and go from there. And when I put the paper on the fabric and ironed it, something I didn't quite expect happened. The transfer pencil transfered and so did the black toner from the (LASER! don't think inkjet will work)printer!

A few more printouts and ironings later and it works a treat!

The process goes like this:
  1. Draw the image on the computer.

  2. Flip it since I want a mirror image of the print out.

  3. Print the image with as much toner as possible.

  4. Place it face down on the fabric and put a hot iron on it for around 30 seconds all up. I lift a corner of the paper to check its progress after about 15 seconds and keep doing that til I'm happy. Any spots that get missed are easily filled in with a fabric marker.

I should have known this may happen since toner binds to things when heated, but it didn't occur to me so I'm glad I made this accidental discovery!

Here's one I prepared earlier!


FairiesNest said...

Thanks for that tip! And your shop looks very yummy...I'm off to look more!

LeelaBijou said...

How cool! Thanks for the tip! :)

Handmade said...

That's cool! I've been trying to print directly onto fabric - ironing the fabric onto a piece of "carrier" paper to go thru the deskjet printer - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't - so, well done, and thanks for sharing!

Nikki said...

Great discovery! Oh, and by the way I have an iron just like yours!

Melinda said...

What a great idea Kirrily!!! You Rock!!!