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Fabric Printing Resources

New products that enable printing computer imagery to fabric just keep appearing and there have also been several books on the subject. To help you keep abreast of the latest products for Fabric Printing, we've created this page to summarize the products and books we think you'll find helpful.

Printable Fabrics and Treatments
Inkjet inks are not permanent or washable when printed on fabrics! If you want to print images on fabric with an inkjet printer, you'll need to consider using the products described below. Laser printed images (black or color) and laser copier images are washable and do not require pre-treated fabrics. However, we have begun to hear that laser-printed images are susceptible to abrasion and may eventually wear off.

There are a variety of printable fabrics on the market now. As you encounter new products, we encourage you to look for a couple of key statements on the product packaging: washability and fiber content. There are many pre-treated fabrics that allow your inkjet printed images to be washable, so there is no need to settle for one that isn't washable.

Bubble Jet Set 2000 and Bubble Jet Rinse are treatments that can be applied to cotton, silk and linen to make inkjet printed imagery wash-fast. (How-to details for these products are described in detail on our Bubble Jet Set 2000 instructions page .)


The Electric Quilt Company
   

The Electric Quilt Company offers 4 varieties of inkjet printable fabrics (all backed with a plastic backing that helps the fabrics glide through the printer):

EQ Printables Inkjet Fabric Sheets
(in 8 1/2" x 11", 11" x 17", and 13" x 19")
200 thread count, 100% cotton
EQ Printables Premium Cotton Lawn Inkjet Fabric Sheets
(in 8 1/2" x 11")
240 thread count, 100% cotton
EQ Printables Premium Cotton Satin Inkjet Fabric Sheets
(in 8 1/2" x 11")
283 thread count, 100% combed cotton satin weave fabric
EQ Printables Peel & Stick Inkjet Fabric Sheets
(in 8 1/2" x 11")
200 thread count, 100% cotton

Electric Quilt products are available at quilting stores and on their website - www.electricquilt.com. Sharon's note: I have used these fabrics and like them. Also, I recommend them because The Electric Quilt Company has a long-standing tradition of outstanding customer service and support.

The Vintage Workshop®
    The Vintage Workshop offers a wide range of fabric printing products and paper printing products. The two fabric products that are most relevant to sewing and quilting are: Inkjet Cotton Poplin Fabric Sheets and Inkjet Cotton Canvas Fabric Sheets. These 8 1/2" x 11" fabric sheets are hand-washable or dry cleanable. The Vintage Workshop Inkjet Fabric Sheets are available at quilt shops and on their website at: www.thevintageworkshop.com.
C. Jenkins - Bubble Jet Set 2000, Bubble Jet Rinse, Miracle Fabric Sheets
   

C. Jenkins, a tie manufacturer, creates fabric treatment products that make it easy to print imagery to fabrics using an inkjet printer. Bubble Jet Set 2000 works on 100% natural fibers (cotton, linen, silk) and the resulting inkjet printed fabrics are machine-washable and dryable. Bubble Jet Rinse is a mild detergent that C. Jenkins recommends for washing the Bubble Jet Set 2000 treated fabrics. It helps prevent any loose inks from resettling into the printed fabrics during washing. Their Miracle Fabric Sheets are a relatively new addition which are pre-treated 100% cotton, 8 1/2" x 11" fabric sheets that are ready to print. Bubble Jet Set 2000 and Bubble Jet Rinse are available at many local quilt shops or through Caryl Bryer Fallert's website - www.bryerpatch.com. The Miracle Fabric Sheets are available through local quilt shops and through The Electric Quilt Company's website - www.electricquilt.com.

C.Jenkins also produces a line of pre-cut 8 1/2 x 11 industrial Freezer Paper Sheets that are supposed to help the treated fabrics feed smoothly through the printer. They are available on Caryl Bryer Fallert's website at: http://www.bryerpatch.com.

Color Textiles
   

Color Textiles offers a wide assortment of computer printable fabrics, called Color Plus®, in pre-cut sheets and by the roll. The pre-treated fabrics are mounted on a firm backing sheet that helps the fabrics move easily through the printer. The rolls and sheets come in a variety of sizes (8 1/2", 11" and 13" wide for example), even sizes for large-format printers - up to 60" wide. They have 14 printable fabric styles which result from a combination of fabric types (poplin, twill, broadcloth, and lawn) and a variety of fiber types (cotton, rayon, linen and silk). They also offer their fabrics in sizes for large-format printers - up to 60" wide. Color Textiles products are available at quilting stores and on their website - www.colortextiles.com. Sharon's note: I have used these fabrics and like them.

Printed Treasures by Milliken
    Printed Treasures' printable fabrics come in three varieties: Sew-On, Iron-On (has an iron-on adhesive backing) and Peel & Stick (has a self-adhesive backing). Their printable fabrics are all 200 thread count, Pima cotton and are pre-cut into 8 1/2" x 11" sheets. Printed Treasures fabric sheets are available through quilting stores and on their website - www.printedtreasures.com.
Crafter's Images PhotoFabric
    Blumenthal Lansing Company has a line of printable fabrics also. Their Crafter's Images PhotoFabric comes in 100% cotton poplin, canvas, twill and silk in 8 ½” x 11”sheets. The poplin, silk and twill fabrics are also available in 8 ½” x 120” rolls. The fabrics are hand-washable and dry cleanable. Crafter's Images PhotoFabric is available through quilting stores as well as crafting stores. Blumenthal Lansing Company's website (at www.blumenthallansing.com) provides a directory of stores which carry their products.

Iron-On Transfer Sheets
Iron-on transfer sheets are another option for getting computer-printed imagery onto fabrics. There are a variety of iron-on transfer products that have come and gone from the quilting and sewing market and unfortunately we have not kept up with these. Most quilters prefer the soft hand of printing directly to fabric over the stiffer feeling of iron-on transfers. However, there are situations where iron-on transfers are the perfect solution, so don't rule this method out. Some important considerations for iron-on transfer sheets are:

  1. How soft or stiff is the fabric after transferring the image?
  2. Is the transferred image washable?
  3. Will the item that the image is being transferred to required regular washing, drying and ironing? If so, you'll need to protect the transfer area from the iron with a pressing cloth. An iron can melt and smear an iron-on transfer. Caution: Fabrics with iron-on transfers will most likely not be machine-dryable.
  4. Does the iron-on transfer product use a cool-transfer or hot-transfer method? Be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Software for Creating Imagery
The following list just represents some products that I think everyone will like. If a software package allows you to create or edit an image and print it, then the image can be printed to fabric. Some software products provide 'clip-art' imagery that can be printed to paper or fabric without having to make any adjustments.
The Electric Quilt Company
    The Electric Quilt Company has an ever-expanding line of computer software products for quilters. Their flagship product Electric Quilt 5.0 (6.0 is on the way this fall) allows users to design quilts, complete with actual fabrics, and print out those full-color designs. Of course, Electric Quilt 5.0 (commonly known as EQ) also allows users to print templates, foundation patterns, and fabric yardage information. They also offer a wide range of other quilting software products that generate quilt imagery that can also be printed directly to fabric. Electric Quilt software is available at local quilt shops and through their website at www.electricquilt.com.
Corel Paint Shop Pro X (oops, make that XI)
    The Paint Shop Pro software, formerly from JASC and now owned by Corel Corporation, is a very easy-to-use program for preparing and manipulating photographs. It has a full range of image enhancement features, including special effects so you can turn photographs into simulated art and even kaleidoscopes. Paint Shop Pro XI is available from many retail computer stores as well as directly from Corel's website at: www.corelproducts.com. (Note: You don't have to use the latest version! I've been using Paint Shop Pro for my photo manipulations since back when it was JASC Paint Shop Pro 7 and it has always been a great photo-editing program.)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0
    Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 is another easy-to-use image editing software package. Although it isn't as fully-featured as Adobe Photoshop CS (the program of choice for most professional graphic artists) it has everything that most quilters need for preparing, editing and enhancing photos for printing to fabric. It is available from many retail computer stores as well as directly from Adobe's website at: www.adobe.com.
Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0
    Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 from Kaleidoscope Collections is a software package that makes it easy to create stunning kaleidoscopic images from any photo you can get onto your computer. You can find the software at quilting stores as well as at the manufacturer's website at: http://www.kaleidoscopecollections.com/ . With over 50 built-in templates for creating Kaleidoscopes you aren't likely to run out of kaleidoscope variations anytime soon. The software allows you to print in a variety of ways including placing multiple kaleidoscopes on one page or printing individual kaleidoscope wedges for use in traditional piecing projects.
There are too many photo editing packages to name them all. There are many wonderful ones and they often come free with scanners and digital cameras! If you don't already have a photo-editing software package, we recommend Corel Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop Elements because there are many good books written on these two software packages.
     

Clip-Art Software for Ready-to-Print Imagery
Some software products provide 'clip-art' imagery that can be printed to paper or fabric without having to make any adjustments. Be sure to check the copyright statements so you know what you are allowed to do with the images. Some allow you to sell products created with the images, others just allow personal use of the images.
The Vintage Workshop®
    The Vintage Workshop® offers beautiful vintage imagery for printing to paper and fabric through the Click & Craft CD series. Each CD comes with instructions for a variety of projects. The Click & Craft CDs are available at local quilt shops and through their website at: www.thevintageworkshop.com.
Crafter's Images CDs
    Blumenthal Lansing Company offer the Crafter's Images CD which contain high resolution images from well-known artists (including Mary Englebreit and Sue Dreamer) along with project instructions. A directory of stores which carry the Crafter's Images CDs is at Blumenthal Lansing Company's website (at www.blumenthallansing.com).
ScrapSmart®
    I've recently discovered this company's incredible line of imagery CDs. They have a wide range of beautiful vintage illustrations as well as modern illustrations. The imagery ranges from elegant angels, victorian children, holiday and scenery illustrations to sports, sewing, family and American History images. You can find their image CDs in quilting and sewing stores as well as online. They also offer their images for immediate download on their site at: http://www.scrapsmart.com. While you are there, be sure to sign up for their newsletter so you can be notified each time they post new free downloadable images.

Free Ready-to-Print Imagery
There are many sites on the Internet that offer free images. Here are two that I happen to be involved with and I know they'd love for you to visit and print out some of their free images.
Quilting Adventures Hill Country Style - Free Hill Country Photographs
    Quilting Adventures - Hill Country Style is a provider of week-long quilting seminars in the Texas Hill Country. To share their love of the Texas Hill Country, they offer a few full page nature photographs. You can find their free photographs at: www.quilting-adventures.com/special_interest/hill_country_printable_photos.htm .
Creations - Free Cat Images
    Creations is a quilting and sewing store in Kerrville, Texas. In addition to their wide selection of great quilting and sewing products, Creations is known for its love of cats. For fun, they offer a Pet Projects page that includes links to printable photos of some of their adorable felines. Visit their Special Pet Projects page for links to a variety of cute cat photos. (Okay, I have to admit, I am their webmaster and I love their kitties! So, I used my photo-manipulation techniques to create painterly versions of some of my favorite photos of their store cats.) You can find links to these printable photos at: http://www.creations-online.com/special/petprojects.htm .

Books that Teach Fabric Printing Concepts
Blending Photos with Fabric by Mary Ellen Kranz and Cheryl Hayes, The Electric Quilt Company, 2004
    Mary Ellen and Cheryl have a unique technique for building quilts around photographs so that the images blend almost seamlessly into the quilt. In addition to sharing their techniques for designing blended photo quilts, they provide step-by-step instructions for manipulating images on the computer and for printing images to fabric. This is an incredible book. It is available at local quilt shops as well as through The Electric Quilt Company website at www.electricquilt.com .
Quilt Savvy - Fallert's Guide to Images on Fabric by Caryl Bryer Fallert, American Quilter's Society, 2004
    Caryl Bryer Fallert has experimented extensively with printing computer imagery to fabric. Her expertise on C. Jenkins' Bubble Jet Set 2000 and Bubble Jet Rinse is probably unmatched and she eventually became a Bubble Jet Set distributor. She has shared insites into using these products freely on her website for many years. This book provides all of her fabric printing experience along with photo scanning and editing tips in a handy guide that is beautifully illustrated with the many stunning quilts she has created with computer-printed fabrics. Caryl's book is available in local quilt shops as well as through her website: www.bryerpatch.com.
Photo Fun: Print Your Own Fabrics for Quilts and Crafts by The Hewlett Packard Company edited by Cyndy Lyle Rymer, C&T Publishing, 2004
    The Hewlett Packard Company joined forces with Cyndy Lyle Rymer of C&T Publishing to create this easy to follow guide for getting images to fabric using a variety of software products and computer hardware. They cover how to use digital cameras, scanners, copiers and software to capture or create imagery and provide step-by-step instructions for a dozen quilting and accessory projects. Photo Fun is available in local quilt shops.
More Photo Fun: Exciting New Ideas for Printing on Fabric for Quilts & Crafts by The Hewlett Packard Company with Cyndy Lyle Rymer & Lynn Koolish, C&T Publishing, 2005
    This follow-on book to Photo Fun (mentioned above) by C&T Publishing and The Hewlett Packard Company provides instruction on many of the same basic techniques - but it also covers advanced photo preparation techniques to help you improve or enhance your photos prior to printing. There are many new creative examples of quilts and accessories to create from your printed fabrics. More Photo Fun is available in local quilt shops.
The Vintage Workshop Art-to-Wear: 100 Images & 40 Projects to Personalize Fashion by Amy Barickman, C&T Publishing, 2006
    Amy Barickman of The Vintage Workshop has created a book of vintage imagery that is full of ideas for ways to incorporate these images into wearable art. The high-resolution images can be copied directly from the book, but they are also all available on the included CD-ROM. The book is available in local quilt shops and directly from The Vintage Workshop website - www.thevintageworkshop.com.

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