Finally Friday – On Today’s Schedule: Focus on Fabric

Finally Friday with a Focus on Fabric

 

 

Friday is here again! I know this means more to people who work regular Monday to Friday jobs “out there” than it does for people like me who work from home. All my days tend to blend together, but Friday does mean the end of my hubby’s work week and I look forward to him being home for the weekend and being able to spend more time together.

I had so many lovely comments from yesterday’s post regarding my quilts and sewing – thanks! 

 

So I thought I’d implement some alliteration for today’s post:

Finally Friday and Focus on Fabric!

 

 

More specifically, I will focus on how I add the photos to my various fabric products.

So I’m going to borrow from an older post to cover this topic. Hope you enjoy learning about imprinting on fabric on this Friday (or whenever you happen to read this post!)

Learning to add imprinted photos to my products has extended my creativity in directions I never thought possible for my OTHER business, K-Lee’s Kreations. My goal for 2017 is to improve my marketing and promotion for it. I currently have my Etsy shop, and I’m working on creating a new primary site here on WordPress, hopefully before January is over).

 

BACKGROUND

 

It’s funny, because sewing, quilting, and creating (“kreating”) in general have become like second nature to me. I’m mostly self-taught, which I guess is consistent with my interest in and pursuit of lifelong learning.

 

 

 

I can’t quite remember when or how it happened, but several years ago, another Maine entrepreneur contacted me about collaborating with her to make photo-imprinted products. She had all the equipment to imprint photos on many types of products (mugs, hats, mouse pads, and similar items), but had received several requests for photo “memory” pillows and quilts.

 

That was my introduction to imprinting. For a couple years, she would send me imprinted photo fabric squares to add to pillows and quilts for orders she received, and I would send her the photos and wait for the photo squares back from her for orders I received.

 

Then, in 2007, I took a free 60-hour business course called “New Ventures” sponsored by the Maine Centers for Women, Work, & Community (now known as New Ventures Maine). The outcome of that course was an initial draft of a business plan for my KLK business. In addition, during the course, I received encouragement from the instructor and classmates to consider investing in my own imprinting equipment and supplies. This effectively cut out the “middle woman” (in this case) and helped decrease costs and time overall (especially time spent waiting for her to do the imprinting and mail the squares back to me).

 

 

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT

 

So with my hubby’s agreement and support, I got some advice from this other entrepreneur (who understood and supported the idea), plus I did some research into the whole imprinting process to learn what I needed to purchase:

*Epson C88 printer

*CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System)

*Sublimation ink

*Dye transfer paper

*Heat press

*Teflon sheets

*Poly-poplin fabric

 

 

METHOD

 

The Epson printer is rigged with the CISS and sublimation ink. This is what a CISS looks like and how it works in the printer (no affiliate link here – just a helpful video!)

 

 

 

After printing the photos or text in mirror image on the dye transfer paper, the next step is to use the heat press to transfer the image to the fabric.

 

 

 

I place the paper image side down on the fabric on the base of the heat press, and then place the teflon sheet between the paper and the top plate of the heat press. Only 25 seconds of 385 to 400 degree heat and pressure successfully transfer the printed image onto the fabric. Then I sew the imprinted photo fabric squares into various products.

 

 

The combination of the sublimation ink and the heat press transforms the ink into a gas, which permeates the fabric. This causes the photos to virtually become part of the fabric, making them permanent, while the fabric stays soft and flexible (not the stiff ironed-on feeling!)  AND you can also wash and dry the items with the imprinted photos!

 

 

So there you go – that’s the story of how I added to my repertoire of “kreative” talents and learned how to imprint photos on fabric. These products have become my most popular options for the variety of items I make.

I will also be making a pillow today using an imprinted photo square! 

 

 

One imprinted square on a table runner I made.
One imprinted square on a table runner

 

 

So What About YOU?

 

Did you have any idea before reading this about how much was involved in this method of imprinting photos?

 

Do you have a particular method for accomplishing something that might be interesting for others to know about? Care to share what it is? (Feel free to leave a link to a blog post about your method).

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Finally Friday – On Today’s Schedule: Focus on Fabric

  1. I love the look of having photos printed on quilts and bags. I knew there was a lot of work involved in it because I use to work in the crafting industry, but the pretty results seem well worth it! PS: Epson always makes fantastic printers!

  2. I often wondered how you got the photos on the fabric. I sew pillows, animals, and other items using clothing from a departed loved one and thought about adding a photo but didn’t realize it involved so much. Your work is lovely!

  3. Honestly, I had no idea how this all works and it really is fun to read this post and learn more about the process. It’s meticulous but it’s also very much worth it especially if you’re putting or adding pictures that mean so much to you to a fabric that you’ll use to make something special with.

  4. It has been so long since I last picked up a needle and some thread. Although at work we sew in fabric to mount them to frames, I cannot remember the last time I got creative and made a blanket or a pillow. Your stuff looks amazing by the way, keep up the great work!

  5. This is so cool, I didn’t even know it was a thing! There are so many awesome tools you can get for fabric and crafting now. I’m currently coming up with ideas for kids decor products I could make and sell and this has given me something new to think about, thanks!

  6. This is so cool. I wish I could be handy with fabric like this. I haven’t even touch fabric since Home Ec in high school lol. My aunt is the seamstress in our family. I may have to get some coaching from her.

  7. i wish i was as talented as you are with the sewing machine xD i want a sewing machine in the future 🙂

  8. I wish I had the room and ability to tackle learning and offering imprinting. It seems like such a fun task and not to mention, a great skill to know for gifts! I can think of so many ideas for gifts that I wouldn’t need to think about gifts for years, ha!

  9. I come from a long line of creatives and can really relate to your comment about kreating and lifelong learning being second nature. I’ve seen fabric imprinted with photos before but had no idea what was involved. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a quilt out of squares with favorite photos from the year? x

  10. Wow. I don’t even know this existed. I only see photos on cake, like they print out an edible version of your photo and place it on top of the cake. I’m gonna try this with my daughter one of this days. They did tie-dyed shirts in school, and even that I thought was very cool

  11. I have to admit that I had no idea how crafting industry works! But I love seeing the amazing transformation from the raw fabrics to the finished masterpieces!

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