Inkjet Printing on Fabric - How to make your fabric prints washable

Before you print your images onto fabric, it’s well worth taking the time and effort to ensure that your printed images will be water-resistant and/or washable. This can prevent disappointment at a later date when you accidentally discover the ink on your prints has run or washed away.

It’s important to take these steps prior to printing, because it’s impossible to make a print washable after it has been printed.

It’s not difficult to make your prints washable and there are several options.
You can find additional information about the products and resources I use and recommend here in my Resources Section

Commercial Pre-treated Fabric Sheets

EQ PrintablesThe easiest method is to use pre-treated commercial fabric sheets. There are several different brands of pre-treated fabric sheets available however I use and recommend EQ Printables because they provide consistently high quality images with enhanced color.

Pre-treated fabric sheets are already backed with paper and require no additional pre-treatment. You simply put a sheet in your printer, print your image, allow it to dry, then rinse with a mild detergent.

Pigment Inks

Inkjet Printing on Fabric - How to make your fabric prints washableCertain types of printers such as Epson, use pigment inks, and these types of inks are water-resistant. If you print your images onto fabric using a printer that supports these types of inks you will be able to wash your prints without too much loss of color, if any.

Depending on the colors you print, there may be a slight color run off. This is particularly true if you print a lot of black or dark colors, however it won’t usually affect the overall appearance of the printed image. If in doubt about color loss, always do a test print first.

Bubble Jetset 2000

Bubble Jetset
Bubble Jetset 2000 is a liquid that you use to pre-treat your fabric in order to make inkjet prints washable. It works only with 100% cotton or silk fabrics and doesn’t affect the hand of the fabric; in other words, the fabric remains soft.

To use Bubble Jetset you only need to soak your fabric for 5 minutes, lay it out flat to dry, then iron out the wrinkles. You then need to attach the fabric to a paper backing using freezer paper in order to feed it through your printer.

Bubble Jetset RinseOnce you’ve printed your image, allow it to dry then rinse with a mild detergent such as Bubble Jetset Rinse which will remove any excess ink. The amount of excess ink that washes out will depend on your printer however it shouldn’t be any more than 10%.

It’s worth noting that Bubble Jetset does only one thing – it makes your inkjet prints washable. It doesn’t enhance or affect the color in any way.

You can find additional information about Bubble Jetset here on the manufacturer’s website.

Washing Your Prints

Once you’ve made your prints washable, you can either hand wash or machine wash them however it’s recommended that you use a mild detergent that is bleach-free such as Bubble Jetset Rinse. Bleach of course will fade your prints and if you plan to wash your prints regularly, over time you can also expect them to fade by degrees due to the natural washing and drying cycle.

Resources

You can find additional information about the products and resources I use and recommend here in my Resources Section

Have fun printing!

Inkjet Printing on Fabric - How to make your fabric prints washable

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