Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Don't Waste Printer Fabric

There's been a discussion about printing on fabric on a couple of lists to which I belong. I just want to add some of my tricks for printing on fabric when you don't have a full 8 1/2" X11" sheet of fabric that is prepared for permanent printing or you may want to print on a smallish piece of fabric. The commercially available pre-treated fabric sheets are expensive, costing upwards of $3/ sheet for my favorite (EQ), so I want to make sure that I use every single square inch.

Whether I am printing on regular fabric or the pretreated variety, I first print my word/image on a sheet of paper.

As soon as the paper comes out of the printer, I draw an arrow on the paper to remind myself which end goes into the printer first. Then I take the piece of fabric and center it over the printing on the paper. Usually you can see the printing through the fabric, but if not, hold it up to a window or use a light box.


Tape it down while smoothing it down really well, and put it through the printer again. It should go through like a charm as long as the printer can grab even the tiniest bit of paper.

Remove the tape and trim to size.

Pre-treated fabric, such as the EQ Printables, is adhered to a backing. If you are only going to use part of a sheet of this product, cut out the section you are using and do not remove the backing from the section you are not using.

  • Then, as above, print your image/words on a piece of paper. Spray the back of this product with reposition able glue. Then place it over the printing.
  • Smooth it down and send it through the printer.
  • Remove the backing from the fabric and you're good to go.


I save every little scrap and I have used pieces as little as 1"x2".




  1. Brilliant!I've never tried anything like this. The tape really doesn't get caught?! I will definitely try it, thanks!

  2. Thank you thank you thank,you. I end up throwing them away because I couldn't figure out how to do what you did! Thanks again. Missed you at Guild today.

  3. of course the manufacturers wouldn't want this to be publicized, because it might cause less printable fabric to be purchased.

    i have an embroidery machine and have the same problem with the stabilizer that you hoop. a tiny bit may get used and the rest is waste. i sew (not tape) a patch over the part that was used with a basting stitch. then i am able to reuse the sheet again. no problems whatsoever.

  4. Awesome tips. thanks Cheryl. Can't wait to try it. I always have small pieces left from quilt labels.

  5. great info! Thank you Cheryl. i will read it once again, so i can absorb your helpful, like minded waste not, info.
    mahalo. sonja


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