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  1. Diane

    Hi Luci,

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been running muslin through printers for the last 15 years using various printers and have had great success. However, the HP 1507 I have now doesn’t like the thickness of the fabric and freezer paper even though it looks very similar to your printer. I’m using the HP transfer setting and hand feeding the sheets and they still jam. I tried spraying heavy starch and that helped some but the jersey seems to want to curl no matter how much pressure I use in ironing to the freezer paper.

    Got any suggestions? Maybe I’m using the wrong settings.

    Thanks!

    Diane

  2. Diane –
    I’ll try to give a little more detail on my jersey so maybe that will help with the problem you’re having. I’m going to assume it’s not specific to your printer since you’re able to print on muslin. But it’s very possible a different printer may feed the jersey sheets better.

    I cut the jersey a bit smaller than 8×10 pieces using a cutting mat and rotary cutter, then iron them onto the freezer paper which is already 8×10 size. I’m careful not to stretch the jersey when ironing and there is a little extra freezer paper on the edge so the jersey isn’t hanging over the edge of the freezer paper. (a little wax gets on my iron)

    Other than that, it could be a difference in the jersey fabric we’re using. Mine is 100% cotton (no spandex) and is a medium weight with slight ribbing and 2 way stretch. I could have just gotten lucky with the jersey I’ve been using. When I run out and get new fabric I could have problem too.

    My fabric will curl at the edges, but never has after ironing on to freezer paper. So my last suggestion is maybe we’re using different paper? I’m using the C. Jenkins paper found here http://www.softexpressions.com/software/notions/frzpapr.htm which is very heavy duty.

    Hope that helps, and feel free to post again and let me know if things get better!

  3. Diane

    Hey Luci,
    I’ve been cutting the sheets 8 1/2″ x 11 so maybe that is the problem. Another site suggested covering the leading edge with masking tape and that actually worked great. However, the labels still came out messy with about half of the labels smudged with ink.

    My favorite label material is a lovely white cotton damask found at Walmart of all places. I don’t usually shop the Wally World but I’m glad I did because the damask is divine and runs through the printer like any muslin.

    I’ve also ordered some Fabric Magic from http://earthsafefinishes.com/Fabric-Magic.html that I believe might be cheaper than Bubblejet. It’s supposedly used as a fixative for the ink, quilters seem to love the stuff and mere drops make gallons of fixative without change in hand of the fabric.

    I’ll let you know if it works!

  4. Asia Leone

    Hello,

    I’m really new at this so I’m a little confused…Please help! So do I buy any fabric I want, cut it in the same size as the freezer paper (8X10) and than run it through the printer? How will the fabric stick to the freezer paper? Where can I get the freezer paper from?

  5. Asia Leone

    Ok, I just reread this again and I think I missed the paragraph where you explained it so I get it now! :)

    Do you know if I can get the Bubble Jet set/rince at a store or do I have to order it online? I want to have silk labels for my garments…can I pick any silk fabric and than cut them out in 8X10?

  6. Asia Leone

    Sorry for the many questions!! In regards to the freezer paper, is this the same as the ones at the grocery stores? If so, which side do I iron the fabric on? Any tips on that?

    • Hi Asia, I don’t mind the questions!

      You can buy freezer paper at some grocery stores, but I buy the heavier stuff already cut in 8×10 sheets at the same online place I get the bubble jet set. I have not found either of those items at local stores in my area – including Joanne, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, & Micheals. I asked at every store – they don’t have it – and one employee told me she has to get hers online too. Local Quilt shops might have it.

      The freezer paper is waxy on one side, that’s the side to put on your fabric. When you iron it, the wax melts and sticks to the fabric. Very easy.

      Any natural fiber should take the printer ink. 100% silk works great! I advise prewashing fabric before printing on it.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

  7. Asia Leone

    Hi there again! Another question — will it work on Satin (100% polyester)? Which website can I buy those products mentioned? Thanks again!

    • Asia,
      I got my supplies from Soft Expressions. (search for bubble jet set and you’ll find it.)

      Or you can go to Dharma Trading for the bubble jet set, as well as great prices on silk to print on.

      Polyester or other synthetics will not accept the dye from your printer. You must use 100% natural fabrics like cotton, silk, linen, etc.

  8. Asia Leone

    Hi again! =)

    Im just curious if you have ever tried the method of buying printable paper and than iron the logo onto a ribbon? If so will it wash out?

    • I think the iron-on labels will last OK if they stay out of hot water and hot dryers. My problem with the iron-on transfer and ribbon is the labels are stiff and scratchy, like a piece of plastic between your shoulder blades (on shirts). So I prefer printing mine on soft cotton jersey instead. But that’s my personal preference.

  9. Hi!
    I’m from Portugal and I’ve just found your tutorial about making labels.
    My question is: If I use the pretreated sheets do I have to use the Bubble Jet Set too?
    Thanks for your great tutorial!

    • Hi Sandra. If you’re using pre-treated sheets, you don’t need the bubble jet set since it is for making your own sheets with your own fabrics.

      But do be careful about the purchased fabric printable sheets. Some are washable and some are not – so choose based on the type of project you’re doing.

  10. Thanks for your help!
    I’m thinking to buy “Jacquard Inkjet Cotton Fabric Sheets” at Soft Expressions.com.
    I need the labels to put inside the pants that I sale on my web site, so they have to be washable!
    I just loved your tutorial! And the tips to organize the labels are great!!!

    • Hello again Sandra,

      I just visited your website and I wish you the best of luck with your clothing line for infants in braces for treatment of hip dysplasia. I love how you saw the need, and filled the niche yourself. Let me know if you need any more help with your labels. You are doing something wonderful!

  11. Lotta

    You don’t have to backstitch to fasten your thread, take a few stitches with stitch length “0” and it’s fastened with a much prettier finish than when backstitching.
    Also I use wooly nylon in the bobbin for a more stretchy straight seam, looks much more pretty than using a zig-zag if you don’t have straight stretch seams on your sewing machine.

  12. Asia Leone

    hello! Can you tell me when you fray check the silk fabric, did it make it itchy if you were to use it on your clothing? THX!

  13. Asia, I really don’t know if the fray check on silk makes the labels itchy since I haven’t worn anything with those labels. I use a very lightweight silk (5mm habatoi) so I think it would be OK. But as a general rule, I think fray-check is too itchy against the skin. Maybe try bias cutting the labels instead? The edges will fray a little but not unravel and come apart.

  14. Asia Leone

    Hello I have another question (sorry to keep bugging :)

    So I treated my silk fabric, ironed it on the wax paper…I printed it and the ink came on the fabric wonderfully. I have a bunch more to do but I got busy so I have not ironed the other treated fabrics on the wax paper yet. It has been 4 days. Does treated fabric still work if its left out after being treated for that many days? I’m going to do it again this weekend but wanted to know if I should re-treat my fabric or if I can go ahead iron them on the wax paper and print on them….Please help!

  15. Hi Asia, (I don’t mind the questions :-)

    Your treated fabric should be good for a long time. Once you have treated it with bubble jet set and then let it dry – it will stay that way until you wash it, or until it gets too dirty or greasy. Otherwise you should be able to iron it onto wax paper at a much later date. I haven’t tried it, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t work that way.

    Glad to hear your silk printed successfully!

  16. Just wanted to update with another comment brought up in another tutorial…

    I use an HP printer to print my labels. I’ve printed both black and color. I have had success printing fabric labels with the generic ink refills from Office Max. I typically let the ink dry a day rather than washing/rinsing right away. There is an excellent FAQ on printer and ink compatibility at Soft Expressions…
    http://www.softexpressions.com/help/faq/FAQbjs.htm

    After wearing and washing several of my handmade garments with labels, I can say that the printed labels have lasted very well with a little fading but still very legible. The iron-on labels I had made before have very little text left on them.

    I have a high efficiency washing machine that is rough on clothes – but the printed labels have held up so far.

  17. Just came across your site. I cannot thank you enough for all th wonderful information. I make girl’s tutu’s. With the new laws I am trying to decide the best way to label them. I have heard of using twill tape and printing on that. Have you heard of that?

  18. Hi Angie, and you are welcome.

    Cotton twill tape would need to be treated, and I don’t know how to run it through a printer but have heard other bloggers complain about it. Stamping with fabric ink or paint might work better.

    Many people use iron-on labels with twill tape or ribbon. This works OK for the law, but it is too scratchy for children’s wear in my humble opinion. It doesn’t wash well in the long term, and it will melt gook all over the iron if your customer irons their garment. (I stopped using those labels in favor of printed fabric.)

  19. Pam

    Thank you so much for these amazing instructions! My question is in regards to the actual design of the labels… How on earth did you get the font to type sdieways on the label you fold in half? I’m wondering how to manipulate the document to recreate what you’ve done with your labels. Thank you so much again!

    • Hi Pam,
      I use an old version of Avery label software for PC that I downloaded from them several years ago. It lets me rotate text boxes in 4 directions. I don’t see that option in the newer Avery version I have on my Mac.

      Look for software that has a text box rotation feature. I’m pretty sure MS word can do that, and you can get free label templates for Word. Or google the words “text box rotation” along with your preferred software to see if it’s possible.

  20. Thank you for your help. I will have to do more research. I am trying not to label with anything scratchy. I Cannot iron them on to tulle. So I will have to sew them in. I just may have to try the jersey.:)

  21. Pam

    I do in fact have the new Office Word. It would not allow me to type upsidedown or rotate the label but I was able to rotate the text to achive the desired result. Once again, you’re amazing!! Thank you for all your help!!

  22. Thanks for the tips! I’m going to try the recipe you mention from the idearoom, but I had one question about it vs. your tutorial – has anyone tried the DIY recipe for clothing tags? I see on the other blog that it washes well, but I was wondering if I should use the Bubble Jet Set Rinse step listed here after I print the labels with the homemade recipe? Any thoughts?

    This post was AWESOME, btw! EXACTLY what I was looking for to add tags inexpensively to my items!

    • Hi Stephani,

      I don’t know of anyone who has tried the homemade recipe for labels yet, but don’t use it with bubblejet set since they are doing the same thing. If you’re buying the bubble jet set, just use that.

      I would like to try the homemade recipe, and maybe test it against bubble jet through several washings, but I don’t know when I’ll have time to get that far. If anybody else has feedback on this – please post!

  23. Well, I made the homemade recipe, so I’ll report back later as to how it washes and wears. I’ve never used the Bubble Jet Set though, so I won’t be able to compare the two. The homemade one WAS incredibly easy; the only box of washing soda I could find was huge for how much you need :) It’s the Alum that will determine the cost of that recipe, but I think it’s still significantly cheaper.

    • Keep me posted Stephanie. I have the soda ash from Dharma trading since it’s required for dying cotton anyway. I just bought some alum in the spice aisle so I’ll be trying the recipe soon and I will try to compare it with bubble jet set for an apples to apples comparison if I can.

  24. I have decided to make my own labels but i went and got stuff tonight before finding your tutorial. I purchased transfermations, design and iron transfer sheets. super soft natural 100% cotton fabric sheets. It does feel super soft, so i have an hp photosmart premium printer specific for color photos, I don’t have an inkjet printer and don’t really know the difference between the 2 types. Having sewn for many years, i do know that for deeper richer color fabric i used vinegar in warm water to set the color so it won’t fade. I wonder if i can do this with these sheets to set the ink or do u know of another way. It doesn’t say if it is washable or not, but they have pics of t-shirts on the front, which u do wash so i am assuming it is washable

    • Isabella – I’m not sure what kind of fabric sheets you bought, I’ve never heard of them. The iron-on transfers should work fine.

      Your printer sounds like an inkjet printer. The 2 types are inkjet/bubblejet and laser. Laser printers cannot be used on fabric but inkjet can with varying results based on the ink they use.

      I wouldn’t treat any printable fabric sheets with vinegar, since that will interfere with whatever chemical the sheets were already treated with. The acid in vinegar is used to set certain kinds of dye but I don’t know how it will work with printer inks. I wonder if anybody has experimented with that yet? (I only use vinegar when dying silks, I use washing soda (soda ash) when dying cotton and rayon.)

  25. Terry Buccat

    Hello,

    I’ve tried making these printable fabric sheets and am wondering if you have ever come across the ink smearing when you hand wash the fabric sheet?

    Terry

    • Terry – there are a couple of things that might make the ink smear in the wash.

      First of all – make sure you have properly prepared the fabric for printing. You cannot print onto plain fabric – it must be treated with bubble jet set or similar chemical. It also needs to be 100% natural fibers, since synthetics will repel the inks. (they are essentially plastic and not very porous)

      Make sure the ink has plenty of time to dry. I prefer to dry for 24 hours before I wash my printed sheets.

      The first time the printed fabric gets wet – it is best to use either bubble jet set rinse, or synthropol as the detergent. These will suspend excess ink in the water so they can’t redeposit back onto your fabric. You will get some fading, but it shouldn’t smear or run.

      And if all that doesn’t work and you still get smearing – it is most likely the type of printer ink you have is not compatible with the bubble jet or other setting compound. Changing brands of printer ink cartridge may fix that – try google searching for bubble jet and printer inks. There is a list of compatible inks somewhere on the web.

  26. Sara

    Hi,
    I am happily following your instructions for making labels with the Avery software. I’m going to try the handmade recipe for making the fabric ink-settable, then cut some cotton on the bias and print it on that. However, I had this idea for people who want to use pretreated sheets but don’t want the edges to fray: in the Avery software, you can rotate the text so that it is slanted. Surely there is some way you could print off labels that are oriented on the bias – you’d lose some fabric, but you wouldn’t have to use fray-check.

  27. You’re right Sara, aligning labels on the bias is a good way to avoid the unraveling threads without yucky fray check. (I don’t even keep fray check anymore, the thought of it makes me itch!)

  28. Sewingsista

    If there was a Sewing Tutorial Oscar you would get it!!

    Best pictures/Best explaination/Best word choice.

  29. Sewingsista

    The thought about cutting fabric on the bias is
    a trade secret. Have you ever thought of posting this on you tube?

    Thank you so much, I will try this , THIS WEEKEND!

  30. I almost paid way to much for the info you have here for free! Lucky for me the shop went on vacation before I bought her item! I am going to work on this as soon as I can get the Bubble rinse stuff.

  31. @Joyce –

    freezer paper is a heavier form of wax paper. Regular wax paper will probably cause problems for many printers, but the heavier freezer paper feeds through better. So get some freezer paper for this project, either from the grocery store, or buy the pre-cut sheets when you buy your bubble jet solution. Best of luck! It’s easier than it sounds and you’ll be amazed at your custom labels.

  32. Sara

    I just wanted to come back and say – that was silly of me to suggest orienting the labels slanted-wise in the software. Of course you just iron the fabric onto the paper on the bias, lol.

    Great tutorial and it worked perfectly with just vinegar, nothing else needed. (This was on cotton – maybe silk will be different? I am trying that next).

    Anyway, thanks again for the great tutorial, I’ve used it a bunch!

  33. christina

    HI I make My labels for clothes but I dont treat my fabric..I found out when I put them in washing machine they fade..If i use this Bubble jet set will that water proof my labels so they wont fade in the washing machine?????

  34. Christina – yes, treating the fabric will keep the ink from fading so quickly. It will still fade, just not as fast if the fabric is treated vs. untreated.

  35. Love this way of labeling – thanks!

    To avoid getting your iron gummed up with wax, put the fabric down first on your ironing board, then put the freezer paper on top of it with the wax side down (in contact with the fabric) and iron on the paper side of the freezer paper.

  36. I buy a lot of thrift store items that I cut up to use for various projects so I save the tags to reuse wherever reasonable. Still, I know I will need to have some special ones. In particular, I’ll need one for my store name, FuddyDuds2New (on Etsy.) Thanks Duhbe for your willingness to pass on what you’ve learned!

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