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surface pattern design

Experimenting with printing on fabrics using a home printer.

Yesterday I was playing around with printing on fabrics, I love painting and stamping on different materials but after working on a design on the computer I wanted to see it on fabric, I only needed a pocket size piece A quick google later for fabric printers (not for the faint hearted!) I spied my old printer and thought lets give it a go.

The good, the bad and the ugly of the experiment follow below:

First up I measured an a4 size of medium weight cotton canvas (I tried with a light cotton but it was slightly stretchy and didn’t sit well on the backing paper) also I recommend ironing first something I did but I could have done better!


Once I had chopped it out I cut an inch of off one end and placed a light piece of a4 cardboard underneath.

Tape the end of the fabric to the cardboard and this is the end I inserted into my printer to give it some “grip” and stability.

My image was A5 size so a quick adjustment before printing in the print settings I was able to place the design in the middle bottom of the fabric and avoid printing on the taped end.

So far so good, fingers crossed and press print……..

What followed is the ugly and a note to myself to clean the printer heads and plate before doing things like this!  Not good!

Second attempt after cleaning………….

Quite pleased with the results, the colours are bright and the thinned black outlines came out really well.  Would I try it again?  Yes for small amounts and for things that do not need washing as I have my doubts that the colours would with stand a wash but a quick iron on the back and popped in a frame it is super and fun!  I love to hear if you have ever used a printer to make fabric patterns.

But I haven’t quite finished with this piece yet, stay tuned for my next experiment – a bit of embroidery!


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  1. wow, great experiment, with good outcome!! I don’t dare it with my printer 🙂

    • Miranda I was like that with our printer, but I decided it was so old I wouldn’t be to upset if I had to get a new one 😉

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