Before you print
To print on fabric, you need to have a printer that is capable of handling fabric sheets. Let's take a look at the different kinds of printers and learn about their capabilities:
• Inkjets: The most common type of printer found in homes today is the inkjet printer. This is a cost-effective, fast and easy-to-use machine. Because inkjet printers spray ink to print, they are great for fabric printing. HP has a huge variety of inkjet printers to choose from, encompassing a wide price range and including many options for speed, print and photo quality.
• All-in-ones: All-in-ones deliver multiple functions -- printing, faxing, scanning and copying -- in one compact device. They also have memory-card readers for getting pictures from your digital camera. The benefits are clear: They cost less than several separate devices, take up less space, and use less energy because there's only one machine. All-in-ones with inkjet printers make ideal candidates for quilters because they can do it all -- print, scan, copy and fax -- and they don't even need a computer.
• Laser printers: Because they use heat and pressure to print, printing on fabric with a laser printer is not recommended.
You really can print anything on fabric: photos, artwork, scanned images and much more. You can use a fancy font in a word processing program to print a meaningful quotation, poem, wedding vows, or a message to a friend. And it's possible to make a one-of-a-kind fabric using your own artwork. Anything goes!
You can print on a ready-made fabric sheet or make your own. Learn how to make your own printable fabric. Here are the basic steps for printing on fabric:
• Open the file you want to print.
• Select Print from the File menu.
• Choose Properties.
• Under Print Quality, choose Best.
• For Paper Type, choose Plain.
• Click OK to accept the settings.
• Click OK to print.
Once you've started printing artwork, photos, memorabilia and unique textiles on fabric, you'll be hooked. You can also scan an existing fabric, adjust the colors and print it -- just read the scanning basics to get started.
If you're interested in using photos in your fabric projects, read the introduction to using photos. Explore the possibilities and you may never need to visit the fabric store again! (Well, almost never.)