Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Anything not covered by other forums
Forum rules
No links to competing software producs, illegal material, serial numbers or ofensive material.

Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Postby py52nz » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:48 am

We frequently get requests for creating patterns and printing them onto canvas. I have just received a photo sent to us this week from the UK and the customer wants it scanned and printed onto a tapestry canvas.

We don't offer this service and I have no idea how to do it or where to start. It all sounds a bit difficult. Do you have to purchase a special printer to print patterns onto canvas? I presume this is what you refer to in manual as "Silk Screen" printing.


KC Cross Stitch
New Zealand
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Postby DPSoftware » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:41 am

The way the professionals print onto canvas is by silk screen printing but it is only suitable for large quantities from a single design (200 plus).

You make a photographic film master for each colour in the design, which these days can be inkjet printed using special ink on transparent film. This is used to expose with UV light a prepared silk screen. When developed you end up with the holes in the silk covered where that colour is not present in the design. You then force ink through the screen onto the canvas to print the first colour. This is then dried and the process repeated for each colour in the design. You normally print the lightest colours first. Where two colours meet, there is an overlapp in case ther is a registration error from one layer to another. This oversizing of the lower layers is all handled by the Publisher version of Cross Stitch Professional. To complicate things further, the colours used often have flourescent dyes added and this affects the covering power and thus the order you need to print the layers. I would not go down this route unless you intend to set up a very large production factory - best to use someone that has been doing it for years. In the UK, try Phoenix designs who will give discounts to users of Cross Stitch Professional - it used to be half price origination charges and 10% off the first print run but check with them for the latest deals. They do them from other software or hand drawings as well but then the masters are drawn by hand using a pentel pen !

The other way for small runs (even one offs) is to inkjet print using special inks onto the canvas. The inks used are fixed by steaming the canvas after printing. You need a large format printer that will take the thickness of the canvas and you must add a backing sheet to the canvas because of the holes. See for a service that can take cross stitch professional design files and produce small quantities.

There are some cheaper possibilities using image transfer technology. You can get dye sublimation inks for Epson inkjet printers. These allow you to print transfers onto paper that can be transfered to fabric using a heat press. The transfer only works on polyester but you can now get polyester starched cotton that works well. Talk to Zeigart about the fabric and to learn about the transfer process. You can get Aida, Linen and Tapestry canvas in polyester starch. There is also a 100% polyester fabric that is used in pre-printed cross stitch kits but its not nice to work on and you need a press with good heat control to avoid damaging it.

For home users there used to be something called image magic - I don't know if its still around. You take a colour photocopy of the life sized image, coat it with the substance and stick it to the fabric face down. When dry, soak the paper and scrub it off to leave the image on the canvas. Slow and messy but the results are fine. You could probably use a colour laser to print from the program without grid at the appropriate count of fabric rather than using a copier.

Lastly there is a waterslide transfer paper called Lazertran. You colour photocopy onto the paper then dip in water. The thin plastic film slides off onto the canvas. This gives colour over the holes too but you then have to stitch through the plastic over the holes. I haven't tried it but I wondered what would happen if you baked it - maybe it would melt out the holes and bod more securely to the canvas. You can use this material to put pictures onto ceramic tiles by baking them after the transfer - but I think polyester coated tiles and sublimation transfer is easier !
Dave Peters
DP Software
Site Admin
Posts: 733
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:05 pm
Location: Bristol, England

Re: Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Postby py52nz » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:49 pm

Thanks Dave for your detailed explanation. I don't know if this is something we want to get into just yet but we do get quite a few enquiries. I think I would prefer to refer customers to someone who is already setup with the right equipment to do this, perhaps on a commission basis. We need all the spare money we can get at the moment for developing a new web site and purchasing new PC equipment etc.

Thanks for the info on Phoenic Designs because this might be worth exploring for producing our own canvas patterns that we can on-sell. Will just have to do some research and look at the market potential.
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Postby yanika » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:03 am

How do you clean plastic canvas art? My sister made me a wall hanging using plastic canvas and yarn. I would like to know how to clean it without destroying it. It took her a long time to complete and it has sentimental value. I called the local dry cleaners and they said, "The plastic will melt." Well, DUH!!! If you have sucessfully cleaned a plastic canvas wall art, please tell me how.... It is not on a frame of any type, no wood or cardboard backing...Mine is dingy and I would like to make it look better. Thanks in advance.
keyword research ~ keyword tool ~ keyword tracking ~ affiliate elite
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:37 am

Re: Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Postby kristinedrake » Sat May 15, 2010 8:55 am

hi all

i have a prefab77 original skingirl canvas for sale or trade or a mixture of both. i really like it but the misus hates it so id like to move it on instead of putting it on ebay, so if this intrest anybody then pm me please

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 8:52 am

Re: Printing Patterns on Tapestry Canvas

Postby bigtlt » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:35 pm

I would be interested in the prefab, contact me please, can't PM you.
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:26 pm

Return to Anything else

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest