Sunday, September 30, 2012

Printing Labels on Fabric using your Home Printer

Wow - surprise, surprise you don’t need an expensive printer to print labels on fabric. A while ago I used this technique too print labels on fabric, using a "Brother" Laser Printer and a "Canon" Ink jet printer. Both printers worked for me with no problems.
These labels are washable, but the ink on the label may fade in time,  so to stop this from happening I needed to make sure I heat set the ink, I also appliqued the writing with thread.
What you will need
A printer (Laser or Ink jet).
100% cotton fabric works best.
Freezer paper to stabilize the fabric (makes the bonded fabric)
An iron and ironing board

Cut a piece of freezer paper to about 9 x 12 inches. Iron waxy side of freezer paper securely to the back of your fabric. This will give you a stiff sheet of fabric which you can feed into your printer. Trim your bonded fabric to an exact 8.5 x 11, make sure there are no loose threads or unsecured edges to catch in your printer, because the fabric is now stabilized with freezer paper, it will roll through the printer without any problem.
Carefully feed the bonded fabric into your printer like you would if you were doing a single sheet feed of paper, positioning it so that when it feeds through the printer the label information will print onto the fabric (whether the fabric is right side up or down will depend on how you normally feed your paper into your printer).
You can make a simple label using any text programme in Word, centre and type any information you want to appear on the label just enjoy yourself and have fun playing with WordArt, ClipArt, Fonts, etc. Remember to allow space around your label graphics for the ¼" seam allowances.
Select paper size Letter 8.5 x 11 then hit print on your computer.
Carefully remove the printed fabric (label) to the ironing board, and peel off the freezer paper, with your hottest dry iron setting, making sure you place a scrap of cloth or extra blank sheets of paper between the ink on the label and the iron and ironing board to catch any wet ink, heat set the ink to the fabric for a few minutes.
Soak the label in hot water to check that the ink has been set to the fabric, dry the label on a flat surface and iron it again using starch, turn over the edges approximately ¼" and press, ta da the label is ready to be stitched onto your quilt.
WARNING: There is always the potential risk of damage to your printer. While many printers are adjustable for thicknesses of paper, the manufacturers generally do not approve of you putting fabric into them, and you may void your warranty!!!! I give no guarantee that this process will work on your printer but I took the risk and had no problems with my printers
If you do try this remember to make a test sample first.

This label's writing was also appliqued with variegated thread.
Until next time happy quilting.


  1. I have been printing my labels on a laser for some years now and have the most success when I use a machine which has an envelope feed option as this gives the fabric backed with freezer paper a straight run through the machine. Take care.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I have been wanting to make labels for a while, but I only have laser printers. There are family quilts (still in my family) 150 years plus that need labels, and now I know I can do something about it. My handwriting and need for editing meant I wasn't planning on handwriting these labels. This will also enable me to add a picture of the quilter where known. Thank you.


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