Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fabric Transfer Tips

  After reading a post by Kristine at The Painted Hive, I checked out a website she recommended called The Graphics Fairy.  WOWzers!
There are so many amazing free printables!  Did you catch the free part?
I printed seven of these beauties.
You can choose to print them in reverse for transfer use, which is what I did.  
Just remember you need copies from a LaserJet printer not InkJet.  I had a few made at Staples for very little.  Good thing I made several, because it took a bit of trial and error to get the end result.

 Now, all the tutorials I found for the transfer called for a product called CitraSolv.  I found it about 20 miles from my house and went to get it, but when I got there it was $20 for a 20 oz bottle.  
So, needless to say I didn't get it.  It was a citrus degreaser and I've seen other brands so, I thought I'd try one of those first.  First one I tried was the Walmart brand.  I got a little bit of ink to transfer, but not enough to matter.  So, I did a google search on the active ingredients in the CitraSolv and found a comparable product at Home Depot for $3.49... I can live with that.  It's called Zep.  (the one pictured above)
I spent a total of $6.50 to get the right product, but I'm okay with it since I like the way the citrus cleaner smells I'll just use the Walmart brand to clean my bathroom.  I'm still $13.50 better than I would have been with the CitraSolv.

 When I said trial and error, I meant it.  I did this 8 times before I got it close to right.  Most instructions I found said to lay the copy face down on the fabric and spray the back.  Then take a metal spoon and "burnish" the backside.  Burnishing just means rubbing the paper with the back side of the spoon transfer the ink to the fabric.  The problem I ran into was this; when I sprayed the back of the paper enough to dampen the image on the other side it was too wet to burnish and the paper would tear.  
Eventually I just sprayed the fabric first.  Then sprayed the ink side of the image.  I sprayed a pretty good layer on it, but not completely saturated.  This made it possible to burnish hard enough to transfer the ink, but not tear the paper.  Though you can't see it here, you should straight pin or tape the image down.  Otherwise it moves a bit and will blur.

 I really like the result.  I forgot to take a picture of the next step, but it's pretty simple.  Just iron the fabric to set the ink.  I set the iron to the cotton setting since I was working with a grain sack.  I ironed over it for about 30 seconds.  By the way, this is one of the $2 grain sacks from last weekend. 

 I waited a about 20 minutes after ironing it, just because I was making dinner.  I washed it out in the sink with a teaspoon of my homemade detergent, but I'm sure any kind would work.

 It faded a little, but it's all good since I wanted it to look vintage.  Next time though I may iron it a bit longer.

Hope this was useful!  There are so many great resources out there.  
Let me know what some of your favorites are!

And just an fyi, I don't get paid to blog.  I think everyone knows, but thought I'd remind.  I buy and use products based on what I find that works best, so you can always expect honesty here. :) 


Unknown said...

I wonder if you put some type of fabric paint... A very small thin amount on the ink side before the process or if you used it to darken after... if it would make it look more pronounced. I am definitely interested in decorating fabric. I think I am going to take a class on screen printing. Love your project!

Unknown said...

You're so right. A little paint on after it dried would do the trick. I think this technique was really just meant for an aged look. Plus, I could've ironed it a longer to set it. I've always been interested in screen printing too. If you take the class let me know, I'd love to pick your brain! :)