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Thread: What Type of Ink to Use For Block Printing on Fabric?

  1. #1
    Mooly's Avatar
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    Have any of you multi-talented people ever used blocks or stamps to print on cotton fabric? I have a complete book on the subject, but it has two full pages of different types and brands of inks to choose from and I'm overwhelmed.

    I need the ink/paint to withstand multiple washings. It also has to be completely heat resistant for use on pot holders, etc.

    For days I've searched these forums as well as the Internet. And I haven't found exactly the information I need. I don't want to just start buying stuff and experimenting. I can't afford that route. Been there, done that too many times...have the reciepts to show for it. LOL

    I hope someone has gone before me on this path and can tell me what to use.

    Thanks,
    Mooly

  2. #2
    Super Member cherylynne's Avatar
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    I saw this technique demonstrated at a quilt show last fall. My mom was with me and she had some of the inks. If you can wait until tomorrow I'll call her and ask what they were. They were using copper stamps, I believe.

  3. #3
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly
    Have any of you multi-talented people ever used blocks or stamps to print on cotton fabric? I have a complete book on the subject, but it has two full pages of different types and brands of inks to choose from and I'm overwhelmed.

    I need the ink/paint to withstand multiple washings. It also has to be completely heat resistant for use on pot holders, etc.

    I hope someone has gone before me on this path and can tell me what to use.

    Thanks,
    Mooly

    Mooly ~
    Hello from another Oregonian! I'm not sure I fully understand your question. Are you wanting to use your printer to print onto cotton fabrics? If that is the question ....... I use Bubble Jet Set. You soak your fabric in Bubble Jet, drip dry, and the press it onto freezer paper (to 'stiffen' it). The cut to the size you desire and run it through your printer.

    I purchased my Bubble Jet Set from Dharma Trading Company ( in CA)
    http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3446-AA.shtml

    Here are some labels that I made using BJS. Hope that is what you want.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #4
    Mooly's Avatar
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    Hi Grammy!

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Seeing your graphics make me think that I may have to use my printer to get the effect I am looking for after all. I love yours.

    Actually though, I have been wanting to make block prints by hand...you know, carve a stamp, ink it, and press it onto the fabric. Maybe I will have to give up on insisting on doing it the 'artsy way.' Funny how thinking as an artist sometimes limits my understanding of how to make a project better and easier.

    Yes, nice to see a fellow Oregonian. Geez, it's snowing here! Just when I started geing use to the fall rains.
    Mooly

  5. #5
    Mooly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherylynne
    I saw this technique demonstrated at a quilt show last fall. My mom was with me and she had some of the inks. If you can wait until tomorrow I'll call her and ask what they were. They were using copper stamps, I believe.
    Thank you...I look forward to tomorrow.
    Mooly

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly
    Have any of you multi-talented people ever used blocks or stamps to print on cotton fabric? I have a complete book on the subject, but it has two full pages of different types and brands of inks to choose from and I'm overwhelmed.

    I need the ink/paint to withstand multiple washings. It also has to be completely heat resistant for use on pot holders, etc.

    For days I've searched these forums as well as the Internet. And I haven't found exactly the information I need. I don't want to just start buying stuff and experimenting. I can't afford that route. Been there, done that too many times...have the reciepts to show for it. LOL

    I hope someone has gone before me on this path and can tell me what to use.

    Thanks,
    Mooly
    Your first decision should be whether to use paints or inks. Acrylic ink is thinner and more liquid than acrylic paint, dries faster, is very highly pigmented and does not change the hand of fabric. If you mix ink with fabric medium to thicken it, the medium will not change the color of the ink, just the viscosity.

    Inks are great for detail work, but if you are going to use lino or wood blocks or stamps of some kind, you will want something thicker than straight ink. Have you done any block printing on paper? Printing on fabric is just the same as on paper.

    Acrylic inks and paints, either made especially for use on fabric or combined with fabric medium, are permanent and washable when heat set with a hot dry iron. The same cannot always be said for ink jet image transfers. I would not give up on going the art route if I were you.

    If you are looking for specific brand names to use, it's really a personal preference for most artists. For block/stamp printing, I would start with Jacquard textile paints in the three primary colors plus black and white. The one other thing you might want to add is some colorless extender. It keeps the paint from drying quite so fast and gives you more time to work with it...something you may need as you are first starting out. Does that help you any?

  7. #7
    Mooly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly
    Have any of you multi-talented people ever used blocks or stamps to print on cotton fabric? I have a complete book on the subject, but it has two full pages of different types and brands of inks to choose from and I'm overwhelmed.

    I need the ink/paint to withstand multiple washings. It also has to be completely heat resistant for use on pot holders, etc.

    For days I've searched these forums as well as the Internet. And I haven't found exactly the information I need. I don't want to just start buying stuff and experimenting. I can't afford that route. Been there, done that too many times...have the reciepts to show for it. LOL

    I hope someone has gone before me on this path and can tell me what to use.

    Thanks,
    Mooly
    Your first decision should be whether to use paints or inks. Acrylic ink is thinner and more liquid than acrylic paint, dries faster, is very highly pigmented and does not change the hand of fabric. If you mix ink with fabric medium to thicken it, the medium will not change the color of the ink, just the viscosity.

    Inks are great for detail work, but if you are going to use lino or wood blocks or stamps of some kind, you will want something thicker than straight ink. Have you done any block printing on paper? Printing on fabric is just the same as on paper.

    Acrylic inks and paints, either made especially for use on fabric or combined with fabric medium, are permanent and washable when heat set with a hot dry iron. The same cannot always be said for ink jet image transfers. I would not give up on going the art route if I were you.

    If you are looking for specific brand names to use, it's really a personal preference for most artists. For block/stamp printing, I would start with Jacquard textile paints in the three primary colors plus black and white. The one other thing you might want to add is some colorless extender. It keeps the paint from drying quite so fast and gives you more time to work with it...something you may need as you are first starting out. Does that help you any?
    Thank you, ghostrider. This is exactly the information I needed.

    Yes, I am experienced in block printing on paper with Speedball inks, but not fabric. My avie is one of my works.

    I will be much more confident now buying my supplies and doing the fabric printing. I like the idea of the ink with the extender. Very logical.

    Kind Regards,
    Mooly

  8. #8
    Senior Member Momof3Es's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammy Dwynn
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly
    Have any of you multi-talented people ever used blocks or stamps to print on cotton fabric? I have a complete book on the subject, but it has two full pages of different types and brands of inks to choose from and I'm overwhelmed.

    I need the ink/paint to withstand multiple washings. It also has to be completely heat resistant for use on pot holders, etc.

    I hope someone has gone before me on this path and can tell me what to use.

    Thanks,
    Mooly

    Mooly ~
    Hello from another Oregonian! I'm not sure I fully understand your question. Are you wanting to use your printer to print onto cotton fabrics? If that is the question ....... I use Bubble Jet Set. You soak your fabric in Bubble Jet, drip dry, and the press it onto freezer paper (to 'stiffen' it). The cut to the size you desire and run it through your printer.

    I purchased my Bubble Jet Set from Dharma Trading Company ( in CA)
    http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3446-AA.shtml

    Here are some labels that I made using BJS. Hope that is what you want.
    Can I use an ink jet? I was looking for some of that packaged stuff u can run through the printer but it all says Dry Clean Only!. I don't think she's gonna be to fond of that.?

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    check out dharma trading company. they offer tons of free information and carry everything you need for printing/dyeing/batik-ing/ fabrics. but a good quality textile ink is what you need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly
    Have any of you multi-talented people ever used blocks or stamps to print on cotton fabric? I have a complete book on the subject, but it has two full pages of different types and brands of inks to choose from and I'm overwhelmed.

    I need the ink/paint to withstand multiple washings. It also has to be completely heat resistant for use on pot holders, etc.

    For days I've searched these forums as well as the Internet. And I haven't found exactly the information I need. I don't want to just start buying stuff and experimenting. I can't afford that route. Been there, done that too many times...have the reciepts to show for it. LOL

    I hope someone has gone before me on this path and can tell me what to use.

    Thanks,
    Mooly

  10. #10
    Mooly's Avatar
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    ghostrider,

    --Of course, I meant ink with medium--I was very tired last night.

    Again, thank you so much!
    Mooly

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