Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pin Test: Print On Fabric With Your Home Printer

I was so pleased that this little trick actually worked without a hitch! 

For several months I've noticed a few different pins on Pinterest that link to tutorials on printing on fabric with your home printer.  At first I just passed over these, thinking how is this possible, but with a few very large expositions that Bourgeois Baby will be at this fall and winter I have been busy making infinity scarves as a booth attraction.  The problem is that they need labels, as per FTC regulation, and my label company requires a fairly large minimum.  These scarves are solely a booth attraction item, and not something that I plan on carrying via the BB website (unless there is a big draw to them) so I don't plan on making a lot.  Therefore, I don't want to invest a lot in tags.

Enter the print on fabric idea.  I scoured Pinterest and read through a few tutorials.  They are all pretty simple.  Choose a fabric, attach it to a thick paper, run it through the printer.

And yes, it really was that simple!!

Here is a picture of my first run through of labels for my infinity scarves:

Here is EXACTLY what I used:
-One sheet cardstock (67lb weight)
-Quilt basting spray
-Basic cotton woven fabric in white
-Home printer with black ink (I have a HP Photosmart 5520)

Here is what I did:
-First, I sprayed the cardstock generously with the basting spray.
-Second, I laid the cotton fabric over the cardstock, and smoothed it as best as possible.
-Third, trimmed the fabric to be flush with the cardstock.  I let it dry (not long at all- maybe 15 minutes to be safe)
-Last- ran it through my printer as I would any other paper!

And, it came out perfectly!  The ink is printed crisply onto the fabric.  Then I cut them to size, using pinking sheers to help them from fraying, and easily sewed them to my scarves.  Here you will see that I also did a sheet of these on a tea colored cotton muslin, which I actually like better than the white cotton woven.

Here are some tips that I came across, as well as some concerns that I read others had about this method:

-Black printer ink works very well for long term application.  Color printer inks seem to fade with washing.
-One way of increasing the life of these tags, soak the finished product in white vinegar and let dry.
-There are products to help in printing on fabric, including a fabric prep solution called Bubble Jet Set.  I haven't used it, but if you are really worried that your printed fabric will fade or wash out completely then this might be worth a try.  I would imagine it might be worth using if you plan on printing something like a picture or a monogram that would be the centerpiece of your project.

Of all the things I've tried on Pinterest, this by far was the easiest!  And what a money saver!  Is this something you've tried? What did you print?


  1. Thank you - Love your label!! And, as I am frantically trying to finish a t-shirt quilt celebrating 15 years of marriage I found your post and I think this idea will work (hopefully) for the words (inscription?) I want to include on our quilt. thanks again! BP

  2. Beth, did these work out for you?

    I've found that color definitely does fade to basically nothing. However, the black ink holds up very well.

    A couple of other things regarding these tags: If you don't want the edges exposed, add a 1/4 inch margin to your tags then press under before sewing onto your item. OR, cut your fabric on the bias and cut the labels with pinking shears- this should help keep any fraying to a minimum.


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