How to Print on Burlap

Updated February 21, 2017

Printing on burlap is an inventive way to create a framed picture, jazz up an old piece of furniture or even create an interesting throw or cushion. This simple method of printing onto burlap is affordable, can take place at home and should produce fairly professional results. You can use pictures, words or both as part of your design, and in design terms the possibilities are endless, so you can really get creative with your soft furnishings.

Make the design your require on your computer. It does not matter which program you are using (Word, Publisher or Photoshop, for example). You can save your document in any format, as the printer should not have a problem recognising the format from your computer software. If you are using a printer that is not your own and you are printing an image, always save it as a JPEG as this will be recognised by any computer or printer. If you are creating an image, remember to ensure that the resolution is at least 200 to ensure good print quality.

Place your transfer paper into your printer, following the manufacturer's instructions. You may have to "flip" your image so that it is backward on the paper, but when you place it on fabric, it will be in the correct position.

Print the image or words onto the transfer paper. Make sure you allow the printer ink to dry. Take the paper out of the printer carefully.

Place you burlap fabric on the ironing board. Place the transfer in the correct position on the fabric. Place a pillow case or tea towel over the transfer paper so that you do not iron directly onto the paper.

Iron over the fabric for the directed time recommended by the manufacturer.

Carefully peel the backing paper off the transfer once the fabric is cool.

Spray the entire piece of fabric with a matt finish spray. This will ensure the longevity of the image or words on your fabric. This will also stop any of the transfer edges showing on your finished piece.


Most programs will allow you to "flip" your image; it is sometimes easier to do this than using the printer program to flip it. Cut around the image carefully, leaving about an inch around the actual image. If your only have an A4 printer and your image is larger, cut your image up into A4 side pieces and print separately. Then, place them together on the fabric. You can use any transfer paper, but remember to use the dark transfer paper for printing on a darker material and light transfer paper for printing on white or pale colours.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron-on transfer paper
  • Printer
  • Burlap fabric
  • Matt finish spray
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Pillowcase
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About the Author

Zoe Van-de-Velde began writing in 1990 and contributes to eHow and Answerbag. Van-de-Velde has a Bachelor of Arts & Humanities in media and English from DeMontfort University. She is currently studying for a Master of Arts in creative media arts specializing in digital photography at the London South Bank University.