Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Printing on Fabric

Years ago (1999), when I first started in the business of creating fabric landscapes, rock fabric was the hardest to find. When I did come across any, it was way off scale. So I decided to search for other methods to get the fabrics I wanted. My search led me to Bubble Jet Set 2000, invented and manufactured by the C. Jenkins Co. This product 'has revolutionized the way we print on fabric!' As they further state, this non-toxic chemical formula is designed to treat fabric so that permanent images could be printed directly on fabric using an Ink Jet Printer. I have been using this product for years. I take lots of photos of rocks and cliffs to be used in fabric printing. However, I will usually manipulate the photo, sometimes stretching it, before printing out a page of 'rocks'. When working on a piece of art, I will cut up the page and make rocks the size needed for it. I prefer to use silk instead of cotton for the 'rocks' as it is so nice to needle turn and applique in place.

I do print my fabric labels onto 200 thread count cotton (see photo below). After I print and heat set the labels, I put 'fast 2 fuse' interfacing on the back before cutting them out. The labels are ironed on to a project as well as stitched in place. I really don't trust the 'glue' for long time use. I have purchased pretreated white cotton from C. Jenkins and this cuts down on production time. The silk, however, still has to be treated with the liquid.

The iceberg, shown on the second photo, was printed onto cotton, cutout and stitched in place. The sandy beach is from recycled silk that was purchased at Value Village (second hand clothing shop). These shops sometimes have clothes that are perfect for a particular project. All the leather and suede used for the backs of my wearable art pins, come from such places. And, it's way cheaper than going to a tannery for scraps.


  1. I love your fabric rocks! Thanks for sharing your process. Very interesting.

  2. I thought your beach scene was a photo at first. Beautiful, Judy!

  3. Thank you for the valuable information about ink jet printing. When you use the pre-treated cotton, does that mean you don't need the bubble jet set? ie, do you just iron it onto freezer paper and print? I love the beach piece!