Leaders in Cross Stitch Software

 Top » Information » F.A.Q. » Fabric Printing

My Account  |  Cart Contents  |  Checkout   

 Printing onto fabric

How do I print onto fabric ?

There are a number of ways to get a design printed onto cross stitch or tapestry fabric. The main requirement of the software is the ability to print at the exact holes per inch of the fabic and turn off the grid. All our software allows this.

Silk Screen Printing

This is the chosen method for long print runs in a business (around 200 copies or more of a design). Using our Publisher Edition, each colour in the design has a screen produced through which ink is squeezed onto the fabric. Each piece of fabric is printed and dried once for each colour. You need specialist equipment but you can also submit your design to a silk screen printer who will do the job for you. In the UK, there are at least two printers that can take our design format from any of the editions and make batches of prints for you. You will also get a discount for sending the design in our format.

Direct Inkjet printing

Most ordinary inkjet printers do not easily take fabric. You may be able to print direct if you can attach the fabric to a paper backing and/or starch it to make it more solid. Another problem is that washing the fabric may make the ink run unless you use a specialist ink - typically only available for large format printers.

There are large format roll printers for commercial use that can print direct to canvas. Normally the canvas is rolled with a paper backing so you can print over the holes without covering the printer. A special ink is used that is either already waterproof or can be fixed by steaming. This is an expensive investment but there are at least two companies in the UK that can print this method from our design format.

Sublimation Inkjet

This is where you make a transfer print on paper and then heat press (or iron) onto fabric. You use a standard Epson inkjet printer but use a special sublimation ink cartridge. Prints can be made onto good quality plain paper (not gloss coated) or special sublimation transfer paper. You must print in mirror image. The transfer is then pressed at about 180C onto a polyester fabric. You can get cotton fabrics with a polyester starch which give excellent results - ask your Zeigart dealer to special order polyester starched Aida, Evenweave or Tapestry canvas. You must have polyeseter for the transfer to work but if you are using a domestic iron it is difficult to use pure polyester due to the poor heat control. The polyester starched cotton is easier to use. The advantage of sublimation is the transfer is permanent and has no residue so any unprinted areas look and feel clean.

T-Shirt transfer paper

There are a number of T-shirt transfer papers on the market that allow printing with ordinary inkjet ink and then iron on to any fabric. The problem with these is that they work by transfering the ink on a carrier compound. You get a hard and unattractive residue on the whole area of the transfer and you will have to stitch through this too. It is however the cheapest method as you can use your existing printer.

Program settings for these methods

If you are using a transfer that requires a miror image, first select the entire design and then choose mirror from the area menu.

In the print dialog, set the stitches per inch to the count of the fabric you are using. For evenweave where you want to stitch over two threads, set it to half the count. This ensures the print is exactly life size.

In the options, turn off the grid as you only want the colour blocks not the gridlines. You may also want to turn off center marks, titles and page numbers.

In the format, set colour blocks.

For silk screen colour separations, there is a special button on the publisher version. This causes a separate print for each colour and also oversizes the edges of each colour area to prevent gaps due to alignment errors in manufacture. If you are trying to send separations to a printer, ask them for the oversize value to use. Better still, find a printer with our software and just send them the design file.

Contacts (UK):

Deighton Needleworks
No origination charges for Cross Stitch Pro designs. No minimum print run.

Phoenix Designs - +44 (0)1271 323749
Discounts for Cross Stitch Pro designs.

Sublimation information

Return to FAQ