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Everyday Printing  >  Printing tips and how-tos

Print on inkjet fabric sheets

Discover how to create and print your own designs on fabric using your inkjet printer.

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Content starts here

»  Use inkjet printers
»  Make your own printable fabric
»  Image guidelines
»  Colors on fabric
»  Sizing your printed fabric
»  Prepping your fabric sheets
»  Printer tips
»  Related content
»  Recommended products
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Creating original works of fabric art and craft is as easy as using your HP printer.  Whatever you can dream up—from book bags to floral sachets—can be created by printing art directly on to inkjet fabric sheets or printable fabric you create at home.  Below are some tips on how to best print on fabric.

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Use inkjet printers

Because HP inkjet printers spray ink, they can evenly and beautifully print on fabric. What’s more, they are cost effective and easy to use. Inkjet all-in-ones are a great option too. Their built in scanner function allows you to scan three-dimensional objects and print them on fabric.

  • TIP: When creating fabric arts and crafts, don’t use laser printers. The heat can melt fabric sheets. Pre-made inkjet fabric sheets can be purchased at local craft and fabric stores. They load into the paper tray of any HP inkjet printer.

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Make your own printable fabric

You can also make your own fabric sheets using cotton fabric, Bubble Jet Set, a liquid fabric soak that helps set ink, and freezer paper.  Here’s how:

1. Soak fabric in Bubble Jet Set.

2. Allow to dry, then iron to the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper (never use steam).

3. Cut to a size just slightly smaller than what your printer will accommodate (e.g., 8.5" x 11") and cut any stray threads.

4. Print according to your printer controls.

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Image guidelines

Stick to these image guidelines and you will print beautiful fabric art every time.

  • Photos: Use high-resolution (300 dpi or greater) digital photos. Otherwise, your photos may turn out pixilated (that is, objects will appear speckled and blocky). Photos can come from your digital camera, a photo CD, or you can scan prints with your scanner.  Digital photos copied from e-mails or the Internet may not have high enough resolution to make good prints.
  • Text: Text prints well onto fabric. Use any standard font, or scan in a page of your own handwriting. Again, be sure to scan at 300 dpi or greater for good quality print.
  • Artwork: Drawings work great. Use free clip art from an Internet search, clip art from one of your programs like MS Word, illustrations from an HP Activity Center project, or scans of your child’s latest artwork.
  • Original patterns: Finally, you can print your own patterns. Gather household items like paper clips or marbles, arrange them on a flat surface, and take a digital photo or scan the items to make a cool pattern for fabric printing. Any combination of photos, text, plaids or stripes, colors, or illustrations can be used to create a one-of-a-kind printed fabric.

Colors on fabric

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Since printers don’t print white, the white parts of your image will be the same color as your fabric—choose accordingly.

Avoid using photo inks when printing on fabric; the colors they produce are not as vivid as HP Vivera inks

Sizing your printed fabric

TIP: The maximum width of your fabric sheet is limited by the width of your printer’s paper tray. However, printing in banner mode can vary the maximum length of your fabric. Refer to your printer manual to learn how to use this function.

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Prepping your fabric sheets

To prevent fabric paper jams be sure to do the following:

  • Cut—don’t pull—loose threads from the fabric sheets before inserting into printer.
  • Always make sure the leading edge of the fabric is securely bonded to the backing paper before inserting into the printer. If the fabric has separated from its backing, it could jam inside the printer.
  • Wrinkled or bubbled fabric sheets can cause printing problems, so be sure that you load only smooth, wrinkle-free sheets.

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Printer tips

Always practice printing with a piece of plain paper before using fabric sheets. Make adjustments if needed.

Remove all paper from the printer’s paper tray and insert only one fabric sheet at a time to avoid jams.

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Related content

»  Creative ideas for printing on fabric
»  10 ways to get creative with your printer
»  How to print iron-ons
»  Quilting and scanning basics
»  See more tips and how-tos

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Recommended products

HP inkjet printers are ideal for printing on fabric because they spray beautiful color evenly on cloth. HP all-in-one printers.print on fabric too, and their scan function allows you to create original designs of everything from leaves to beads.

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Learn more

For help finding the HP products that are right for you, check out our buying guides. Compare prices, features and more!

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