Monday, January 07, 2008

How 2: Copy Machine Fabric Labels.

One of my big projects that I had been working on for most of December was for a few wool ties that I made as gifts for my brother, Dad and good buddy Jon. I wanted them to be as good or better than what they could buy at any men's emporium and that meant that I needed to have labels. I decided that I wanted to have not only the company logo and name but also the care/content, RN# and the number of made. (4 of 4)
I have heard that you can print directly on fabric with a bubble jet printer and thought that would be a good way to get my labels made and still have the custom handmade feel that I want. Well our printer at home is just lame-O, So I figured why not try a copy machine.... Now I guess the reason that you can do a bubble jet printer is that it does not have to go around in drums and get caught or something of that nature... I tried it with a black and white copy machine and it turned out better than I could have hoped. so here is a little step by step... Enjoy!

-Design you want to print. scaled to size and layout (picture, clip art, drawing, etc.)
-Freezer paper (a paper with one sided wax finish found at your local grocer by the tin foil)
-An electric Iron
-100% Cotton Fabric to print on (preferably a light ground color for best results)
-Pen or Pencil
-Fray Check, to seal the cut edges and stop them from, well, fraying (found at local fabric shop in the notions section)

I think that is about it. Now lets get started.

First step: prep the fabric.
If you plan to use the printed fabric on garments that will be worn and washed it is best to pre-wash and dry the fabric to make sure that it will not shrink after you sew it onto another garment, like a tee shirt.

- with the fabric all washed and dried place the fabric wrong side up (the side you do not want to print on) and put the wax side of the freezer paper down onto the fabric. (you can tell which side is the wax side by the glare it gives off in the light)

Next step: Bond the fabric to the paper.
- With your clothes iron set to hot (no steam) iron over the paper slowly working from one side to other until you have gone over the whole thing. The object is to bond the two together with a good hold.

After the fabric and paper are bonded, on the paper side, with ruler and pen/pencil draw the size you want to print (8 1/2"x11", 11"x17", etc.) I did mine at standard US letter size (8 1/2"x11") see picture above.

- Cut the fabric and paper to size.

Next Step: printing.
- now take your bonded paper/fabric that is cut to size, your chosen graphic or art that you are planning to print and go to the nearest copy machine (or bubble jet printer) if using a copy machine it is best to do a test print to know how to place the bonded paper/fabric so it will print on the fabric and not the paper side.
-open the paper tray and mark the top paper with an X (or use the bypass tray and mark the top page of a small stack of paper)
- run one print.
- if the print is on the side with the X then set your bonded paper/fabric with fabric side up to print. If the test page came out with a clean print and the X on the other side then place you paper/fabric with paper side up.

-(be excited!!!!) NOW PRINT YOUR FABRIC!

Next step: Cut it out.
- With your fabric now printed cut out your labels (or what ever you are doing)

Next Step: Frey check.
- after all are cut go around the outside edge with the fray check (follow instructions on bottle)

Next Step: Remove Paper Backing.
-Once all edges have been checked you can peal off the paper backing .

-Now set it aside and let dry and Be way STOKED cause you just printed your very own fabric labels!!!! Congratulations! Now go and do.
(you can click on each picture to see a more detailed and larger image if you have not already)

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