Printing on organza

stations 1The new printer is a hit. It’s an Epson C-88 with Durabright inks and I have to say, I’m very pleased. I’ve tried it out on paper and it does a great job. The colours are good, it handles a variety of paper thicknesses well and I have only has one jam and that was a loose nut behind keyboard error, when the nut in question didn’t trim the extra-thick paper to quite the right size.

One of the reasons I picked this machine is because it printed on fabric. Actually, I picked it because it was cheap AND printed on fabric and I’ve come to realise that any printer that is asked to handle non-standard materials like fabric will probably have a slightly shortened lifespan and therefore is not worth paying through the nose for. We seem to get two to three years out of a printer, mainly because, well, um, because I’m hell to work for.

StationsBut this one is behaving well so far and I’m coddling it. It will print on man-made fabrics as well as on natural ones, which opened up the possibility of printing on organza. Needing some translucent images for the book I’m working on, I decided to try it out.

As you can see in the photo above right, the printout is muted and somewhat ethereal (the original is at right, below it). It was exactly what I was looking for in this case, as I intend to apply some more stitching and paint to the piece. The photo above is of one of the Stations of the Cross at St. Francis Church in Outer Cove, Newfoundland. I printed it on grey organza and fused it to a piece of cotton that was tea-dyed and then overpainted with gold paint using a sea sponge.

The basic steps were:

  1. select photo
  2. do any formatting, resizing, etc. to photo that was necessary
  3. cut a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of fusible with paper backing
  4. iron fusible to organza, being careful of the iron temperature, the fusible leaking through the organza onto the ironing board and the lint that the fusible leaking through might pick up (use a pressing sheet – teflon or parchment paper work best). You don’t have to iron it within an inch of it’s life, just enough so that it won’t separate while printing.
  5. trim the organza to match the edges of the fusible. Iron the edges again, just to be sure.
  6. run the fused organza through the printer
  7. printer settings: set on matte paper, thick
  8. lay flat to dry after printing. Be careful of smudging
  9. leave to dry for at least several hours. A full day is best.
  10. Peel backing off. Trim. Fuse where you want it to go, using a press sheet (teflon or parchment paper work best)

You can also do organza sans fusible, just use one of those full-sheet label stickers, stuck to the organza. Follow the same procedure for letting things dry. I would run a light iron over it after, using a pressing cloth, just to be sure.

You can do text this way, too. Using Word and some funky fonts, I typed out some text, printed it on organza backed with fusible and popped it onto one of the pages of the book I’m working on.

This picture isn’t the greatest because of the glare of the flash refracting off the organza, but you can see how the background fabric largely shows through. The text is more obvious than it appears to be…

A close-up of the text above:
organza 1


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    Fantastic tutorial Vicky. Thank you!

  2. Micki says:

    These are very interesting pieces. I like the one with the figures. I don’t know if I can do anything like this but sure like to give it a try. Thanks for the explanation of how you acomplished these pieces.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s