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  • Writer's pictureJulie S.

Transferring Designs with an Ink Jet Printer

I will start by saying, you are not supposed to do things like this.

Some of our designs are rather complicated. There needs to be a solid chunk of time set aside for transferring the line work onto the fabric for embroidery. We’ve used both the prick and pounce method and the light box and pencil tracing.

Recently Fr. P sent us a really beautiful tracing of Blessed Mother and baby Jesus. He said he found it in a thrift store (I'm totally going thrifting with him the first chance I get. Might need a passport though). It has lots of little lines. Lots. In fact, go see for yourself, and if you’re like us, you will want to grab a needle and silk and go at it.

I thought I remembered seeing a post about using an ink jet printer to transfer line drawings onto fabric. Hmmmmm.

Yes, it can be done quite easily. Flip the artwork (I did that for you on page 2 of the PDF above) and send a piece of plastic through the ink jet printer. In my case it was a three ring divider sheet that I pilfered from one of my children’s binders. The print comes out pretty damp so be careful not to smudge it.

Invert it carefully onto your fabric being sure not to let it shift. Slide firmly over the line work with a credit card. I’ve even been able to do two impressions with one print.

I could totally stitch this. I’m not sure how any watercolor under painting will react with this very soluble ink jet ink. They might not get along. I did find out that running the fabric through your basic warm water wash fades the lines significantly (thus removing any excess ink that might be problematic), but they're definitely still visible. One bonus is that the remaining ink on the plastic sheet rinses right off so you can reuse it. I am kind of feeling sold on this method.

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