Who would have thought it could be so easy to create personalized fabrics? Anything that can be printed on paper can be printed on fabric, and the possibilities are endless. Put your favorite photo or drawing – of your dog, of course – on a pillow or quilt or make a sophisticated gift box. For a festive room decoration, sew or hang up small squares of fabric on a wide ribbon, à la Mexican papel picado. You can even print on silk – how cute it is to have a scarf with your pup’s picture on it.
As a big fan of Pointer denim jackets “made in America”, I decided to do the 60s thing and embellish one with a portrait of Lola, my very special Pointer. For the younger set, a photo of sleeping puppies printed and sewn onto a romper makes an adorable gift. This charming craft began more than 20 years ago and has been refined and popularized over time. The basic tools are a computer, inkjet printer and fabric. Printers using the more colorfast, water-resistant pigment-based inks are preferred over those using dye (or standard) inks. Big brands like Epson, HP and Canon have affordable models. For fabrics, start with paper-backed, pre-treated and print-ready cotton cloths. A number of companies including Jacquard, EQ Printables and Avery make both standard paper size sheets and rolls of fabric. Follow the instructions on the package for preparation and printer settings. More skilled DIY enthusiasts can apply their own fabric to a pad (called a “backing”) and then treat it so that it goes through a printer without jamming.
You can find good how-to videos on YouTube detailing all the steps, or you can find more information at Instructionals.com. Those interested in improving the craft even further might want to take a look Inkjet printing on fabric by fabric designer Heidi Rand, an e-book full of valuable tips and examples of inspiring creations. In addition, there are many on-demand services that support you in designing individual textiles. For more information, visit the Spoonflower.com, FabriconDemand.com, and TheFabricStudio.com websites.
Try your hand at fabric printing and send us your ideas and examples for your projects – we’d love to see your stuffed doggie.