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Textiles - transfer printing

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Opus Anglicanum, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Help please.
    I have a project making a calico pencil case with Year 7 (calico, 8" zip across the front, pentel crayons and paints) that works very well.
    For September I need to accelerate the pace so thought I would swap out the pentel & paint and replace with a transfer print. I am currently prototyping this and failing repeatedly with getting a transfer to work. It's either the paper, my technique - or both!
    Advice please (especially about paper sources) - assume I know nothing! The fabric WILL be unbleached calico.
     
  2. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

  3. I am assuming you mean you are using computer transfer printing paper...
    I am also assuming you have purchased the paper for 'light coloured fabrics'
    If the above is the case you need to know that some transfer papers are much better than others eg the more expensive ones produce better results, having said that i bulk buy them from a schools' supplier and mostly they work fine... However.... I do use bleached calico not unbleached. Many unbleached calicos have a finish on them, or size as it is called, this is used to ensure that the yarn stays stable when it is woven. This is why it may feel quite stiff. I would suggest that you try with a lightweight one which has no stiffness or used a bleached calico.
    If your calico has size on it, you can try washing it out, it will feel all gluey if you do it by hand so you will soon know, if this is the case, you are unlikely to get the transfer prints to stick until it is washed out, then you will need serious ironing to get rid of the creases. You also need to make sure the iron is hot, the design is reversed on the computer and that the students do not leave a large area around the design when they cut it out. If their design is large it may be hard to get it to stay on the fabric anyway - this is where a more expensive paper will help.
    Hope this is useful.

     
  4. I endorse everything Dressmate says but would add that you must make sure the transfer print has gone totally cold before trying to remove it, otherwise it lifts off.
     
  5. Are you talking about using transfer paper which is printed onto cotton - that is the stuff used for T shirts etc? Or are you talking about using transfer printing using sublimation techniques as in transfer paints and crayons etc. This technique is used also to print from computer using sublimation inks which then go onto synthetic fabrics - Hot press. Just checking?
     
  6. Paper and cotton.
     
  7. Dressmate, thank you, very useful.
    Could you suggest a supplier for the paper and the bleached calico? (I suspect our calico is a bit bargain basement for this).
    I tried today with both iron & press and the brand of paper that has the brown iron on heat-sensitive green disc - no luck.
    I'll try with some bleached white cotton tomorrow to check the paper & technique but it sounds like I need a different calico grade.
     
  8. some transfer papers are designed for polyester rather than natural fibres
     
  9. finamar

    finamar New commenter

    I have found that transfer prints work best when you iron on a hard surface rather than on an ironing board and allow the paper to cool before you start to peel it off (check a corner before you do this).
    Have you thought of running fabric through an inkjet printer? I use this technique for all sorts of projects, it works out cheaper than transfer and a bit more fool proof. Students create designs on the computer and then print. They are not washable but look fine. My students tend to make mistakes when printing on transfer paper e.g. not reversing the image or wasting most of the paper.
     
  10. Ha.. funny you should ask - I have been hunting for an inexpensive source of bleached calico for a dyeing project and spent today going through suppliers with my technician (she is brilliant I have to say) the cheapest we have found is Heart of England (£2.28mt for up to 24mts £2.05 for 25mts plus I think) which is expensive compared to the price I have found for unbleached (for obvious reasons it's more expensive). I am not sure where we buy our transfer paper from - maybe the same supplier - I buy boxes of 30 or 50 sheets. It works on poly cotton as well as cotton and you can get light and dark. I know the dark sheets are expensive (£1.60 a sheet) I think the light work out to about 30/40p but will let you know tomorrow.
    I too have tried the printing through the printer which is effective but.....it wrecks the printer eventually and you have to mount all of the paper. You can buy sheets of the pre-fixed fabric backed onto paper but its very expensive (about £3 for an A3 sheet!!).
    By the way do any of you use Fabricland as a supplier... they have some really good prices for schools if you bulk buy and are very very helpful and efficient.
     
  11. Dewhurst Dent is by far the cheapest , though I think thry have put their ptice up this year you will still find the price less thsn £2 for 150cm wide fabric. I also get my plain white cotton from them anf d sometimes coloured plain cotton ( small range of colours). Their polyester fasbric was less than £1 last year and was great for transfer printing with my hot press etc Ring them for a quote. I think transport free as long as you spend £250.
    http://www.behrens.co.uk/description_new.php?category=8#basics
     
  12. Cheers - that supplier was not on my list though I do know them so will contact on Monday...

     
  13. lizziegrace

    lizziegrace New commenter

    Hi! Probably a bit late - but there is a transfer paper by Thermok (don't have original packaging now - probably from Wilkinsons) which has heat sensiitive printing on the back, and a green/orange logo turns completely orange when the necessary heat has been reached. It works really well... Also a tip to get rid of the "shiny" look is to run the iron back ovre your transfer once the backing has been peeled off with some household greaseproof paper over the top instead - this removes the gloss and give the fabric a better handle. HTH?
    Lizzie
     
  14. Not as late as this lizziegrace!!
    Many thanks for all the input, various issues meant that we did paint/crayons/tiedye this term. I'm going to work through the suggestions from you all thanks again xx

     
  15. I thought transfer printing had to be done on a fabric which had some polyester in it. I use transfer paints, inks and crayons. They all come up great on polycotton.Don't use special transfer paper, just normal photocopy paper.
    When kids have got hold of cotton by accident, it doesn't work on it.
    Whalley's is great for for fabrics without any finishes on. They are specially made for dying and prinitng
     

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