Fabric Painting 2 – Transfer Printing with Ink Effects

Transfer printing is when you paint onto paper and then iron it onto the cloth, in most cases synthetic. Only certain paints will do this and generally only on fabric with lots of polyester in it. However Ink Effects Transfer paint changes that. It will transfer to fabric with 30% cotton in it and also you can buy a basecoat paint which allows you to transfer designs to fabrics with a higher cotton content.

Now in the past I have shown you transfer painting by splattering it onto paper etc, so this time I desided to do something different. Using a royalty free design from Dover publications, I printed it onto paper and then painted over the design using Ink Effects Transfer paint.

Ink Effects painted onto Paper

Ink Effects painted onto Paper

The true colour of the paint doesn’t show up until you transfer it onto the fabric. It’s a good idea to have a test swatch of colours printed onto fabric so you can see how the colour turns out.

Ink Effects printed onto Lutradur

Ink Effects printed onto Lutradur

In this case I used a heavy weight lutradur to recieve the design. You can see I printed the design twice across the fabric. Each time I print, I increase the time. 30 seconds for the first print, 45 for the next and so on. Now, you may be thinking that with synthetics you use a cool iron – not in this case! Use as much heat as you can to get the transfer to occur – I had my iron set on linen for example. Also keep the iron moving otherwise you print the steam holes! I also put down baking paper to protect the ironing board from accidential transfers of colour and if the fabric is larger then the painted paper. Its best to get the heat directly onto the painted paper, however watch the hot iron doesn’t touch the unprotected fabric.

Technique summary:
Paint Paper, let dry
Place baking paper on ironing board
Lay synthetic fabric down (light coloured), place painted design face down onto it
Have iron hot and baking paper around to protect any fabric not covered by painted paper
Iron painted paper with a continuous motion for 30 seconds
Remove paper, turn off iron.

Ink effects – great colour – great price too – see the range at my store Essential Textile Art. You can keep on printing until all the paint is used up, off the paper and then you have wonderful collage papers to play with too!


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3 Responses to “Fabric Painting 2 – Transfer Printing with Ink Effects”

  1. Beverlee Says:

    Are the Ink effects paints the same as transfere paints. Im a newbe at all this and a bit overwhelmed with products and my head is exploding with ideas.

    • susaneta Says:

      Hi Beverlee – Ink Effects are transfer paints – you paint on paper and then transfer the design to synthetic fabric (polyester) by ironing with a hot iron. They also have a base coat paint which allows you to transfer colour to fabric with is part polyester and part cotton which is very handy!

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