Canvas hardening

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by bholderman, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    I've been experimenting with cut sheets of canvas in my printer with pretty good results. However, the canvas is very pliable. Does anyone have any thoughts on hoow to harden/stiffen the canvas. I've thought of simple Spray starch onto the obverse side (which I have not tried yet) and ironing it in.

    But, I thought this would be the best place to get some ideas.

  2. dwgannon

    dwgannon Member

    I think spray starch would work. But when you iorn it it's going to leave a shine. I would try some spray glue.
  3. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    Someone here at worked mentioned an adhesive as well. Time for some tests...

    Also in regards to Spray starch, it would be on the non-printed side, so I don't think a sheen would be an issue.

  4. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Try this

    I have used some freezer paper, the kind with one of the sides shiny, to send cloth through an inkjet printer. It stiffens the cloth enough. You have to keep an eye on it though because sometimes there is enough curl to the cloth/freezer paper combination to make it get hung up a little. No big problem though.

    What you do is cut the freezer paper and the fabric a bit larger than the finished size you want to run through your printer. You trim everything to size after you have bonded the two together. I usually make the cloth a little bigger than the freezer paper, too, so I don't wind up bonding the freezer paper to the ironing board. :oops:

    Set your iron to the temperature recomended for the fabric. I guess with canvas it would be the cotton setting. Place the fabric right side down on the ironing board and place the freezer paper shiny side down on the fabric. Iron the freezer paper onto the fabric. Keep the iron moving so you won't scorch anything. After the bonded fabric and freezer paper has cooled, trim to size, load it in your printer so the printing will happen on the fabric side, and print. After the printing is done you can remove the freezer paper.

    It works on cotton cloth quite well. The ink runs, though, if you get it wet. There are some treatments you can apply to the cloth before you print to prevent the ink from running, but I have not tried any yet to see how well it works. One is called Bubble Jet Set 2000 and another is called Retayne.

    ~Doug~ :)
  5. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    I've never heard of frezzer paper before. Where would I find that?

  6. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Freezer paper


    In the USA you can find freezer paper in the supermarket aisle where the aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and such stuff is. The kind I used is made by Reynolds.

    It has a plain paper side and a shiny plastic coated side. The plastic coated side is what you place down on the fabric. Heating the non-coated paper side with an iron melts the plastic and it bonds with the fabric. The paper stiffens the fabric enough so it can be sent through an inkjet printer. There is no residue left when you peel the paper from the fabric.

    I have an HP printer where the paper has to make a 180° turn from the feed tray to the print head and it works OK. I sometimes have to guide the fabric/freezer paper combo when it is first exiting the print head so it does not curl back into the printer. :)

    Here is some information and picture of what the packaging looks like.
    Freezer Paper
  7. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Which would be best then, printing the canvas and applying the freezer paper or applying the freezer paper and then printing. What would be the benefit of one over the other?

  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Aleene's sells a glue called Tack-it Over & Over. It's used to tack things together and can undergo reposistioning many times (something like a super postit glue). Use enough blobs on a sheet of card stock to stick down the canvas. Should work well...,

  9. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Apply the freezer paper first then print. The paper stiffens the fabric so it will go through the printer. I have not printed on canvas using this technique, just plain cotton fabric like what is used to make clothing. The freezer paper should add enough stiffness to your canvas so it will go through your printer.

    I have found some information at the HP website about how to do this. It is almost exactly like the information I found a few years ago when I first looked.

    Printing on Fabric

    All I can say is try it out. I was reluctant at first to try it because I did not fully trust the information. It did work though. Now all I have to do is finally get off my duff and get some of that fixative stuff to make the print waterproof. It would be great for quilt makers who want to make a family heirloom quilt with photo panels of family members. Those T-shirt transfer sheets leave too much of a stiffness. The printout using the freezer paper is soft and pliable like the fabric it is printed on. :)

    :idea: I was thinking that this technique could be used to print sails for ships. You could make them historically accurate if you wanted or put some fanciful thing on them. 8)
  10. dwgannon

    dwgannon Member

    I talked with my wife. She said that HP makes fabric sheets that you can run thru you ink jet printers and you can print any color or pattern on it. Then just use spray starch to stiffen. She said you could also put some iron on stabilizer to stiffen it also. She said the stabilizer would be on the non printed side so it would not show. I new I had a reason for marrying her.
  11. dwgannon

    dwgannon Member

    Interesting that we posted at the same time. And about the same subject. She uses it to print family pictures on her Quilts. I have seen it on a few of her sewing shows just naver made the connection.
  12. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Thanks everyone, you given me some ideas to experiment with. Its much appreciated.


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