One of the most creative things about printing images onto fabric is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a photo or a picture. Thanks to today’s amazing digital technology, you can print any type of image at all onto fabric or paper – or even fabric paper.

One of my personal favorite methods of creating surface texture and color similar to hand-painted surfaces, is to create a digital texture in Photoshop consisting of several layers of blended colors overlaid with textures. The added bonus of creating these types of images digitally instead of by hand, is that there is no mess to clean up afterward! Plus you can use the image over and over again.

Printing images onto fabric: lateral thinking

These types of textures can then be printed onto fabric or fabric paper in the same way as you would print a photo or image. I particularly like to print these types of digital textures onto textured fabric and then enhance them with additional surface texture techniques.

For this art bag, I printed a texture image onto fabric paper …

Printing images onto fabric: lateral thinking

… and then highlighted the texture with gold foil paper to add bright highlights.

Printing images onto fabric: lateral thinking

I did a similar process with this three dimensional fabric vessel. In real life this looks hand-painted, but it is in fact digitally printed.

Printing images onto fabric: lateral thinking

For the fabric vessel, instead of printing onto fabric paper, I used a digital texture image printed onto textured tissue paper which was treated with inkaid.

Printing images onto fabric: lateral thinking

Using Inkaid gives inkjet prints a rich deep color and fine detail that you just can’t get when printing directly onto fabric. Once printed and dried, I applied a touch of gold foil over the surface to highlight the texture.

Fabric Vessel

This is great solution for days when you want to be creative but just don’t feel like dragging out the paints and pastes. No waiting around for paint to dry, no cleanup, no mess!

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