One way to transfer an image to fabric is to use special inkjet transfer material, which is made specifically for transferring images to fabric. Another way is to make your own transfer material using transparency film. Pay attention when using the transfer medium because the steps are slightly different if you are transferring to dark or light-coloured fabric. Using the transparency film method will make an image that is not as brightly-coloured as the transfer material will produce.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- T-shirt or other material to receive the transfer
- T-shirt transfer material and a pillowcase
- Inkjet transparency film
- Polymer gloss medium
- Matt medium
- Plastic burnisher
- Foam "brush"
Create the image you want to transfer on your computer. If you will be transferring it to light-coloured fabric, consider "flipping" your image horizontally using image-editing software, especially if the image contains words or other items that will be obviously backwards. Do not "flip" the image if transferring it to dark fabric.
Print the image onto T-shirt transfer material such as Avery T-shirt Transfers (see Resources). Be sure to purchase and use transfer sheets designed for the colour fabric that matches your fabric, either light or dark coloured. Preheat the iron to the hottest setting.
Spread out the pillowcase and iron it to remove any wrinkles. Spread the fabric that will receive the transfer on top of the pillowcase and iron it to remove wrinkles.
Place the transfer on the shirt and iron slowly from side to side, and from top to bottom, if transferring the image to a light-coloured shirt. Peel off the backing paper. If transferring the image to a dark-coloured shirt, peel the transfer off the backing, place it on the T-shirt, cover it with tissue paper and iron it.
Allow the material to cool.
Print onto Fabric Transfer Material
Create your image. Flip it using image-editing software if you don't want it to be reversed (backwards). Print the image onto inkjet transparency film, making sure to print onto the rough side of the film.
Paint a thin layer of polymer gloss medium onto the fabric in the location where the image will transfer. Place the transparency film on top of the fabric with the rough side face down.
Burnish the image with a smooth, flat utensil, such as a plastic letter opener or a ruler. Hold the transparency film carefully in place while burnishing.
Peel off the transparency material. Wait for the gloss medium to dry. Paint clear matt medium over top of the transferred image if you feel the gloss makes it too shiny.
Make Your Own Transfer with Transparency Film
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