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Sunday, 10 July 2011

A Morning of Printing

Printing on fabric using an inkjet printer is not for the faint hearted but I LOVE making my own material and it is worth all the effort as far as I am concerned.

I bought a continuous inking system with quality ink which makes the ink a lot cheaper but it requires some setting up and if something goes wrong you need to be prepared to surf the net to get answers.  I now have a good idea of most of the foibles!

I like to leave a whole day for printing because once a printer is working well and the ink is flowing, it is worth doing as much as possible.  One things for sure, do all the printing you want for one article because tomorrow the printer might be printing a different shade!

I start off by making sure all my ink tanks are full.  In your case, make sure that the cartridges are full.  There is nothing worse than the printer failing half way through a print or print run.

I redid my paper samples and a small fabric sample to check that the ink was coming through properly.  It was printing well so I decided not to do a nozzle check.  Big mistake.  Ran my first print and the ink flow changed after a couple of lines.

Actually a nozzle check is not always a perfect indication of ink flow.  I have printed a perfect colour test print and it suddenly goes belly up. So I did a couple of print head cleans and after that all went well.

A major tip when you are about to put your fabric through the printer, get a piece of sticky tape and dab the sticky part of the tape over the fabric to pick up any bits of lint or cotton.  Believe me, there is nothing more irritating than taking out a perfect print and a small piece of thread comes away leaving a white stripe!

I have to say, too, that putting a strip of masking tape along the front edge definitely cuts down the number of times the material doesn't go through.

Here are some of the samples:

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