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Photo Transfer To Fabric Do It Your Self!

We Can Do This For YOU!!!!  Photo Transfer

Photo Transfer

Photo Transfer


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

This page is intended to provide helpful hints and resources for four methods of photo transfer to fabric.  Associated pages include references for:  Photo Prep * Printer Info  *  Photo Editing Photo Transfer Fabric Selection

Photo Transfer to Fabric isn't brain surgery but it is quirky. This great technology caught my attention in about 1998.  I disremember the exact date however, I did start constructing photo quilts about that time.

We Can Do This For YOU!!! Photo Transfer

The history of this technology has been one of continuing improvement.  Many products are now available for home use. 

NOTE & WARNING!  The following information is editorial opinion only.  Whatever process you choose, please follow manufacturers' directions perfectly!

1.  Printer Fabric:  You can purchase printer fabric at most fabric stores, office supply and on-line.  This fabric works and newer versions are more durable, washable and with a lower fade parameter. Printer fabric is expensive averaging $3 per sheet.  How it works is that the fabric is treated with a chemical that allows printer ink (usually ink jet) to set into the fabric.   It is expensive enough that you might want to be sure to use every smidgen of it.  You can set printer fabric with several images depending on the size of photo panel you are looking for.  Some hints for digital editing for photo transfer can be found HERE: Photo Prep

NOTE:  If you are using the printer fabric for sewing projects, be sure to figure in your seam allowance for each image. Also be sure to soak finished print in water to 'bleed out' excess ink.  If you don't the first time you use it, it will bleed all over your project. 

Note:  As with all things 'quirky', you are going to burn some printer fabric until you get your printer ink calibration set correctly. See Hints for Printer Calibration HERE: Pinter Info

Quality:  Printer Fabric tends to be of lower thread count per inch (tcpi)  The best I've seen is at 200 tcpi.  As a comparison, our studios use 400 plus tcpi fabric for photo transfer.  I have even cut up 1200 thread count sheets (but only once).  See more on this topic at Photo Transfer Fabric Selection

Recommendation:  Don't like it, won't recommend it. 

2.  Chemical Soak:  There are products that allow you to soak your fabric with the chemical used in option #1 above.  I've done this and although many will argue, I've found that I'm not quite as fastidious with chemical measurements etc to achieve good results.  After soaking the fabric in a chemical such as Bubble Jet Set, you lay flat to dry.  Then you must cut freezer paper and the fabric to the size of your printer.  Iron the freezer paper to the fabric and then load printer and print.

Quality:  Earlier versions of products like Bubble Jet Set had warnings regarding fading with exposure to light.  One company even recommended storing photo quilts etc in closed closets to avoid fading.  I tried to dialogue with the company owner about this stupid idea but he refused my attempts to clear his thinking.  Imagine that?

To be clear, my dislike of this method is so high, I have not tried any recent versions of Bubble Jet Set or any other product.  This does NOT mean that this process does not have a purpose.

NOTE:  I found the chemical soak to be stinky - use well vented area.  If you want to make up a large batch, you need a lot of flat drying space.  It isn't always easy to cut both the fabric and freezer paper to the exact size of your printer.  If you don't iron the freezer paper to the fabric properly, it will separate or clog your printer.

3. Hand  Iron Transfer:  Any office supply store will sell you T-Shirt fabric transfer paper. Early on, this is all that was available.  The main complaints with the hand iron transfer paper are:  Shiny surface, transfer failure, stiff texture.  All of this is true.  Hand Iron Transfer works best with smaller transfers at say less than 4" square.  Large transfers can be done with a hand iron but you must be prepared for failure and 'do-overs'.

NOTE: This is a NO steam process and the steam holes in the iron can cause transfer failure or glitches.  If you use a steam press or iron, you must do the transfer in 'quick bits'.  This means moving the hand iron constantly around the transfer image.

Quality:  Not as great as using Heat Sublimation (see category #4)  Good for quickie projects like kid's tee shirts, novelty party items etc.

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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