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Please Ask Any Questions Regarding Fabric Selection For Photo Transfer Projects


Photo Transfer Fabric Selection
Photo Quilts - Purses - Do It Yourself!



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Fabric Selection for photo quilts and purses could be one of my favorite topics.  I LOVE fabrics!

White Fabric Photo Transfer - Heat Sublimation

You may find this hard to believe, but photo patches in quilts start as white fabric.  The heat sublimation process imbeds the ink/dye down into the fiber of the fabric.

TCPI = Thread Count Per Inch.  You may have noticed the term THREAD COUNT on bed sheeting and other linens.  The higher the thread count, the better (and more expensive) the product.   A 200 tcpi sheet feels a whole lot different than a 1200 tcpi sheet. 

The same applies for photo transfer.  I think I must have figured this out all by myself because I surely have seen NO publications on this topic.

What I have learned is that a higher tcpi fabric has more fiber for the ink/dye to get into.  Makes perfect sense doesn't it? 

When you select your fabric for photo transfer you will find that most fabric bolts don't actually list the TCPI.   Here is a trick I learned:  Hold the fabric up to the light.  If you can see your hand through the fabric, it has a low thread count.

Fabric for photo quilts: 

Our studio likes 100% cotton.  Many heat transfer sublimation products claim they work just as well on polyester and cotton/polyester blends.  Remember, polyester is synthetic.  Synthetic melts.  Also, polyester stretches.  When you peel the photo transfer paper from the fabric, polyester tends to stretch which can distort your image.  If you use polyester blends, be careful about scorching and have a helper hold the fabric down when you remove the transfer paper.  This will help secure the fabric so that it doesn't stretch and distort your image.

A high quality bleached muslin is a good option.  I'm not talking about the 98 cent/yard stuff.  I'm talking about the $5/yard higher quality.  Muslin has a tendency to have flaws within the weave.  When the fabric store opens the fabric, inspect it carefully for pits, snags and marks.  You can ask the fabric cutter to cut beyond the flaws to get a good piece. 

You can also use 100% cotton sheeting (not percale).   A 400 tcpi or higher white cotton sheeting works great too.

Artistic expression can lead you to many fabrics for photo transfer.  We've used sheer fabrics, silks and even pastel and tea dyed fabrics.  Remember, if there are any 'natural flaws' in the fabrics, your photo transfer will show these flaws within your picture.  For example, raw muslin is great for landscapes or other brown toned transfers.  However, you might find a fabric flaw in the middle of a face if you aren't careful.

Whiter white is the key for white fabric photo transfer.  Always wash your fabrics to remove any chemical sizing applied during manufacturing process.

Fabric for photo purses:

Hands down we like white cotton trigger cloth. It is a sturdier heavier weight fabric that stands up to the demands of a purse.  Avoid canvas for photo transfer.  It has flaws and a wider woven texture.

If you want to be very extravagant, you can buy a roll of special treated artist canvas.  It is very finely textured and very pure and white.

Dark Fabric Photo Transfer

This product is excellent for many imaginative projects.  If you use sufficient heat and pressure,  your photo image will be permanently fused to any solid dark or light fabric surface.

As an obvious purpose, this product works great on dark t-shirts.  It is also excellent for other garments including denim and other garments.  We've even used it to transfer photos to pre-made quilts.  The only hitch with this is that printed fabrics can show through. 

Let your imagination fly with this process!  For an interesting effect try heavier textured  or open woven fabrics (best for buildings, landscapes, seascapes etc.).

Home Up Photo Transfer Photo Prep Photo Editing Heat Sublimation Photo Fabric Printer Info

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Choose Connie's Corner because we are SMARTER, PRETTIER and NICER than all the rest!  Connie's Corner accepts no responsibility for business relationships transacted between Associates, Affiliates, Sponsored Links  and Customers.  There are no refunds or returns on any photo transfer custom art. Connie's Corner and all contents and products are  trademarked and copyrighted by  Constance R. Pottenger in 1997 - 2011