How to Print on Sheer Fabric
Printing on sheer fabric allows you to create fabric prints that are transparent with what appears to be a “ghost image” printed on them.
These types of fabric prints can be used to create special effects for use in art quilts and other textile art applications.
By overlaying the print onto a colored or patterned background, the two fabrics merge to create one illusional image.
You can print on sheer fabric in the same way as you print on solid fabric and the same rules for creating washable prints apply as for solid fabric. You can make your own sheer fabric sheets in the same way as for solid fabric sheets by attaching the fabric to a paper backing sheet using either freezer paper or a sticky label.
Or for convenience, you can use Extravorganza which are pre-treated organza sheets that are already backed with paper and are ready to be used.
How to Attach Sheer Fabric to a Sticky Label Backing Paper
When attaching sheer fabric to a backing paper, it’s important to make sure that the grain of the fabric is straight otherwise it can distort the effect of your printed image.
I prefer to attach my sheer fabric to a sticky label backing paper which has already been used several times so that it is not quite so sticky. Removing sheer fabric from brand new sticky labels tends to be a little difficult.
What you’ll need
- full sheet size sticky labels
- sheer fabric
- a brayer with a hard roller. A brayer is a hand roller and can generally be found at your local craft store. Brayers come with either a soft or hard roller. The soft roller is used for printing and painting, but the hard roller is used to remove bubbles and wrinkles when attaching sticky labels to fabric.
- quilter’s ruler
- rotary cutter
- cutting mat
- masking tape
Cut a piece of organza slightly larger than the sticky label. To ensure that the edges are straight on all sides, fray the edges on two sides of the organza until there are two perfectly straight edges.
Align the two straight edges of the fabric with the lines on your cutting mat, and tape all four sides of the organza to the mat using masking tape.
Position the edge of the sticky label along the straightened top and side edge and press it down firmly on all sides.
Using a brayer, press the label to the fabric to ensure it is stuck properly all over. Remove the masking tape, turn it over so that the fabric side is facing up, and run the brayer over the surface of the fabric side to get rid of any bubbles and wrinkles.
Trim the edges of the fabric even with the paper using a quilter’s ruler and rotary cutter.
Print your image.
You can also create interesting textural effects using sheer fabric and the double print technique.