Printing on fabric at home

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Have you ever worked on a project and wanted to have a special something printed directly on matching fabric? Well today, I’m going to share an easy tip that will have you printing on fabric at home. That’s right, directly from your home computer!

Learn how to print on fabric from your home computer. It is easier than you think. The Sewing Loft

There are four key ways to print directly on fabric from your home computer. Each requires you to cut the fabric to size. Let me explain each option and then give you a brief tutorial. The instructions will work for all methods of printing on fabric.

Fabric Stabilizing Options:

Freezer paper– This standard household kitchen item has many talents in our work space but if you are located outside of the US, it might be hard to find.
Office stickers– Full size sticker sheets are available at your local office supply store.
Paper backed fusible– My personal favorite is Heat n Bond Lite by Thermoweb.
Printable fabric sheets– We have chatted about these before. You can purchase them on-line or at your local sewing supply store.
Spray adhesive and card stock- This method requires the most work on your end but will work in a pinch. Spray the adhesive onto the card stock, position on wrong side of fabric and cut fabric to size.

Printing on Fabric

 This project is for all levels.

Skill Level- 1 Button


  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ fabric
  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ fabric stabilizer of choice (see above list)


  • computer
  • printer

Basic Instructions:

  1. The first thing you need to do is select a fabric stabilization method. After you determine which method to use follow these basic instructions for printing on fabric.
  2. Apply the stabilizer to the wrong side of fabric and cut the fabric to size.Learn how to print on fabric from your home computer. It is easier than you think. The Sewing Loft
  3. Place in your printer. Be sure to check your printer and make sure the fabric is position properly for ink. Otherwise, you will need to flip it over and do it again. (Don’t laugh, I’ve done it!)Learn how to print on fabric from your home computer. It is easier than you think. The Sewing Loft
  4. Cut your image to size, peel away the stabilizer and use printed fabric as planned.Printing on fabric is much easier than you think. Learn the basics. The Sewing Loft

Which ever method you select for printing on fabric, I’m sure the results will be amazing.

 UPDATE 1/29/15

There was such a great response to this post and many of you had questions. To help demystify printing on fabric at home, I have tackled each of your questions here. You can see photos of printing on different types of fabric sheets, printer information and how these labels look after being washed.

Get the skinny about printing on fabric. All your questions answered and photos after washing. The Sewing Loft



ps- Did you “spy” those cute labels? They come in 4 different sizes and are perfect for adding that special message on your project. Click here for more info.

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100+ Free Zipper Bag Patterns Rounded Up in one place. The Sewing Loft100+ Free Tote Bag Patterns Rounded Up in one place. The Sewing Loft


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  1. Does heat setting with an iron set the colors enough to make them washable?

    • Mary James says

      Yes but it depends on the media you’re using. One brand has to be set by soaking in cold water, others by ironing. Follow the directions on your packet carefully to use the right iron setting for the fabric and for the ink to set. You can always email or call the company who makes the product for further details. One main point, give ink time to dry before setting or you can have smudging

  2. Jacquie Bonneau says

    Freezer Paper is available in Canada at all grocery stores.

    • The surge in using freezer paper for templates has died down so many places are dumping it in their clearance aisles

  3. i’ve done this and the ink washes out. i have a HP deskjet/inkjet printer.
    is there a certain type of ink i should be using? or a different type of printer?

    • I wonder what brand you used Ann. Since there were so many questions about how to print on fabric, I put those labels to the test and washed them over and over again. I will admit that they faded a little but no more than I would expect of my clothing. You can see pictures here along with questions that other folks wrote in about.
      I hope you find it helpful.

    • I have tried different fabric printing techniques on several different printers. Usually using the standard, specified ink by the manufacturer, they won’t wash out. Sometimes these inks can come from second hand sources or get refilled and I don’t trust those as much. Do allow enough time for the ink to dry before using the specified “setting” technique. Some products require a cold water set. As with any project of this nature, try test swatches before hand, if possible. Types of fabric also make a difference, if you’re not using the pre- packaged fabric iron-ons.

  4. Jo Henderson says

    Can you wash these labels?

  5. anneweaver1974 says

    Great how-to!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your tutorial:

  6. I can’t wait to try this, but first I have to ask:
    How well does this hold up to washing? Is there a specific type of printer/ink to use?

    • These are great questions Bree. I have a few samples in the wash now and will be posting a full question and answer post with plenty of photos later this week. I think you will be happy with the results.

  7. becky kendrick says

    does this have to be a ink-jet printer?

  8. Jonnie Britton says

    I have tried making labels this way and think it’s a fun way to do a special label! But I also find that home printer ink will not last through multiple washings. So for children’s quilts or any quilt that will be USED and therefore need to be washed, I would not suggest used a printer produced label Just my nickel’s worth!

  9. will this work on ANY kind of printer? I have seen some where it say INKJET printer…..

  10. How washable is the fabric when done this way?

  11. Nice, straight-forward tutorial. One cautionary note. The dye ink on some inkjet printers isn’t permanent, and will rapidly fade with washing. So if the item will be washed, the fabric should be pre-treated with something like Bubblejet Set. The fabric purchased in packs at fabric and craft stores is usually already pre-treated. Pigment ink printers have ink that usually doesn’t fade, either on paper or fabric. And regardless, as with most techniques, it’s best to run a test, first with a bit of the fabric you want to use. After printing, heat set the ink after it dries thoroughly, protecting your iron with a pressing cloth or pressing sheet. Let sit 24 hours or more and then wash. That will let you know whether you need to first pre-treat your fabric. Of course, the fabric already prepared for printing that comes in packs wouldn’t need to be tested.

  12. Is this for inkjet printers only? I have a laser printer, and can only use transfer methods.

  13. Hi! I was wondering if the printer you use is ink jet or laser printer. I’ve tried printing on laser, and it did not turn out ok.

    • I have never tried with a laser printer Shanny. My printer is an ink jet. I will be sharing more information regarding my printer and other questions readers emailed in a post this week. It includes before and after photos of the labels washed. So, keep those eyes peeled.

  14. Laurelle C says

    Great information thanks. I have always purchased the printable fabric because I thought it made the ink permanent. I didn’t know you could print on any old fabric! That would be so much cheaper . Will it still be permanent and not wash out? How silly am I! 🙂 I just always stress about doing things the wrong way . Thanks for sharing.

    • Not silly at all Laurelle! I have not had any issues with printing on fabric but since there have been many questions, I am sharing all questions in a post this week. It includes before and after photos of the labels washed. So, keep those eyes peeled.

  15. Can you tell us more about the computer software needed and the source of other printables?

    • There is no special software required for these labels Suzan. You can download the pattern and hit the print button on your computer. Then I hand wrote a special note with a fabric marker. Super simple!

  16. M Williams says

    Did you treat the fabric before or after printing? How do you ‘set’ the ink so it doesn’t wash out?

  17. Deb Stribley says

    How do you set the ink? I have had my images fade with washing.

  18. Xaviera Magallon says

    Hello there! Thank you for this nifty tutorial, I’m positive I shall be printing many things from now on, hehe. Ah, before I forget, what kind of printer are you using (ink jet or laser)? 🙂

  19. srmaddox1469 says

    Can you explain the computer set up? This looks super and I would like to try it.

  20. You can buy freezer paper in the Uk, it’s available through several sellers now on ebay. I am going to try this out soon, love the idea!

  21. Will this work on a laser printer?

  22. I see that this is an older post so my information might be old news. There is a product now to preserve the printing – Bubble Jet Set 2000. I’ve not used it; in fact, I just learned of it today. I would like to know your impresssions if you use it.