Inkjet Printing on Fabric Workshop

Inkjet Printing on Fabric

Workshop taught by Heidi Rand

Canyon Trail Art Center, El Cerrito California

Saturday May 22, 2010 – noon to 3:30 p.m.
$35 + materials

Lavender rust quilt

Lavender rust quilt

Welcome to the exciting world of fabric printing!  Learn to print your artwork, images and designs on fabric using your home inkjet printer.  This exciting technique opens the door to endless possibilities for creating original fabric to use in quilts, art pieces, gifts, home decor, and much more.

Fabric vases

Fabric vases

I take you step-by-step through the entire process, from preparing your files to print, to choosing the right fabric and getting it ready to go through the printer, to post-printing treatment, and much more.  I will discuss the importance of knowing what kinds of inks your printer uses, and give you tips to get fabric through even the most finicky printer.

Fabric cuff bracelet

Fabric cuff bracelet

With many examples of printed fabric and fabric artwork and crafts, you’ll get new ideas about what to do with your images and designs, and the knowledge to go home and start printing your own!

Pre-registration required.  Please email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com

Upcoming workshops:

Saturday June 19, 2010, noon to 4. Art quilts and fabric hangings. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Saturday July 17, 2010 noon to 4:00 p.m.  Inkjet transfer techniques. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday August 29, 2010, noon to 3:30 p.m. Photo Art : Altered Imagery. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday September 19, 2010, noon to 4 p.m. Beyond paper : inkjet printing on alternative surfaces.  El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday October 24, 2010, noon to 3:30 p.m.  Exploring lutradur.  El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday November 21, 2010, noon – 3:30 p.m.  Handmade gifts with your inkjet printer. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Have questions? Interested in registering?  Please email me

If you can’t make the workshop, I also have an ebook to teach you to print on fabric and online classes at CraftEdu

More fabric printed by spoonflower

For my second order from spoonflower.com I decided to have them print a few large images on a yard rather than a tiled, repeating pattern.  My cousin had ordered a pillow from me months ago, and I was dragging my heels on it because I couldn’t  print it myself as large as she wanted.  This is the image she wanted:

Photograph of an angel's trumpet flower

Photograph of an angel's trumpet flower

I took this photograph of an angel’s trumpet (brugmansia) flower in our back garden.  I amped up the colors a bit and took out some detail, then smudged the lines to give the image a dreamy effect.  I used it for the front of one of my Open Studio postcards, and my cousin loved it.

I resized the image to 12 by 16 inches and had a friend convert it into LAB space for me, because I didn’t have Photoshop at the time.  As I mentioned previously, my cherished Photoshop Elements doesn’t have the capability of converting to LAB space.  It turns out that of course I couldn’t do anything with the converted file other than send it as is to spoonflower, because Elements wouldn’t open the file in LAB.  So my plan to address the colors that were out of gamut in LAB space didn’t work out.  As you can see from the picture above, the colors are quite vivid, and a lot of them were out of gamut.  I  decided to send the file as it was to spoonflower, to see what happened.   To fill out the entire yard I included some other designs that I planned to make into pillows or sachets.

This is how the fabric with the angel’s trumpet image on it turned out:

Angel's trumpet flower fabric

Angel's trumpet flower fabric

I’m satisfied with it, especially for the price.  The colors aren’t quite as they are in the file, but they are nicely saturated, which was the effect I wanted for the pillow.

This is how the pillow turned out.  The second pillow is also for my cousin, it’s my ‘Iris & Bromelia’ mandala design.

Pillows from spoonflower fabric

Pillows from spoonflower fabric

I know I keep mentioning the price in relation to spoonflower. If I wanted fabric printed that looked as good as it can on high quality inkjet paper, I would have to pay far more to do it myself with some of the very high quality treated fabrics, like EQ Printables or Colortextiles.  But then this pillow would end up costing far more than I want to charge.  As it is, I don’t sell many of the smaller pillows I make from pretreated 8.5 by 11 inch fabric, I suspect partly because of the price I set for them ($30).

I made another pillow from one of the other images that I included on this same yard order.  Here’s the image:

Butterscotch rose kaleidoscope

Butterscotch rose kaleidoscope

This is one of my favorite kaleidoscope designs, which to me evokes the Arts and Crafts style.  I started with my photo of a butterscotch rose in our garden and cropped it so that kaleidoscoping it put the edges of the rose together, and created a simple geometric design from the foliage and stem. The color of the rose is true – the rose is a rich, saturated caramel color that gets a tinge of blush as it ages.

I had spoonflower print it to about 8 by 14 inches.  Here’s the pillow I made from the fabric:

Butterscotch rose kaleidoscope pillow

Butterscotch rose kaleidoscope pillow

Again, I’m satisfied with the fabric.  The colors are a little bit out of gamut, which is my fault because I didn’t address that before I sent the file to spoonflower.  The resolution isn’t as sharp as the fabric I print myself, which matters more to me than the colors.

I haven’t spoken to the hand of the spoonflower fabric.  At this time, spoonflower only offers printing on Moda cotton.  Their blog states that they’re going to be adding more fabrics,  but that hasn’t happened yet.  I like the fabric for pillows.  It’s a nice tight weave, which is very good for detail.  It’s soft but has substance.  And it was a dream to sew.  I have found that some of the pretreated fabrics I use are hard on my sewing machine needles.  When I need to sew several layers, or have used stabilizer or timtex for a fabric vase, I can have trouble getting the needle through.  I have even broken some needles when sewing purses.  None of those problems with the spoonflower fabric.

I had some more images on that yard, stay tuned….!