Fabric graphics tips?

What are your favorite techniques and supplies for adding designs to fabric?

For instance, do you use your computer printer, paint, resist, stamps? Beading and embroidery would fit here, too!

Please share!

For me, I love to tie-dye. I use thrifted 100% cotton sheets. Soda soak and then dye. I have just the three primary colours and always mix the secondary colours from that. I do a lot of scrunching rather than much actual tying.

I tried ice dying with soaked fabric and dye powder- the results were great.

On top of the dyed fabric, I then either hand stamp with a lino cut, or use commercial stamps. Although I’ve just bought screen resist today, so there will be more silk screening in my future.


I’m a stencil and paint girl, mostly. I have also run cotton fabric through my ink jet printer if the project is something that would not be getting wet, ever.

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How did you prep your fabric for running it through the printer? Freezer paper, some other stiffener?

I have done freezer paper, yes. When that’s been unavailable I’ve just used packing tape to solidly tape the edges (ESPECIALLY the lead edge) of the fabric to a piece of printer paper and run it through that way.


I paint and stamp. I’ve also tried plant imprinting, spraying fabric dye fabric resist (removes color like bleach does, but isn’t as damaging). All in small pieces for projects like fabric journal pages, dolls and stuffies, dotees, etc.

I have also tried various kinds of transfer from printed pages…no great successes yet.


I’ve printed on fabric using the freezer paper method as well and I too have always been held back by the ‘can’t get wet’ part. In the past, I’ve bought the washable, printable paper from the store, which recently had me wondering what they treated the paper with to make it washable. In my research I discovered that the trick to making the ink washable/water resistant is to heat set it with an iron, which is what I always did with the store bought stuff, but never my homemade version :woman_facepalming:. I am doing a practice run today to see if this works. :crossed_fingers:


I’ve read that some people use a clear spray to set the ink, but that would make the fabric stiff.
I’ve printed fabric with an inkjet, but that was 15+ years ago, and I don’t remember any tricks or hazards.

I’m experimenting with using washable school glue as a resist, then painting with watered craft paint. Kind of like batik. There’s a lot of drying time, so it’s taking a while.

I’ve printed quite a bit with an inkjet printer on store bought material. It is always rinsed with water and then heat set. I have washed it ONCE and it came out fine. I have printed on muslin ironed to freezer paper, but haven’t washed that. I think I’d have been happier if I’d thought to use packing tape on the leading edge!

I do enjoy a freezer paper stencil with paint or bleach!

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The glue resist works pretty well.

I started with prewashed unbleached muslin in an embroidery hoop. Apply washable glue (right out of the dispenser tip), let dry flat so glue soaks in. Use watered down acrylic paint in your lightest color in a wash. Let dry. The glue gets slightly colored, but don’t worry.

Add more glue wherever you want to keep the first color. Let dry, apply more colors, light to dark, and/or glue to preserve colors. Let dry again. Repeat as desired.

When all paint is completely dry, wash the fabric. I hand washed with soap and a nailbrush to get off the slimy glue. Machine washing is supposed to work, but I worry the glue will get on everything.

Update: after handwashing, the fabric was still stiff, so I put it in the washing machine with a laundry load (I figured most of the glue was gone). The fabric is now almost as soft as unpainted muslin, and the color is strong.



Wow! That looks really cool!

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One more piece using glue resist; it also prevents colors from bleeding into each other so the pink and blue stay separate. The black is sharpie marker; the glue resists that, too