How to Print on Fabric : With Simple Step

Printing on fabric is an exciting way to express your creativity. Whether you’re designing custom clothing or unique home decor. To print on fabric there are various methods depending on the fabric type. We’ll help you choose the right method for each fabric type, to ensure that your designs look spectacular  and last as well. Let’s get started to know how to print on fabric step by step.

Step 1: Fabric Choices for Best Results

The choice of fabric plays a pivotal role in the quality of your final print. Cotton, silk, and polyester each react differently to ink and require specific approaches to achieve the best results. 

Cotton is highly absorbent and works well with pigment inks for long-lasting prints. Silk offers a luxurious sheen but needs careful handling to maintain its delicate structure. 

Polyester is perfect for vibrant and sharp images, especially when using dye inks. To ensure success, select a fabric that aligns with your project’s needs and the capabilities of your printer.

Step 2: Selecting the Right Printing Method

When it comes to fabric printing, not all printers are created equal. Ink-jet printers, particularly, stand out for their versatility and quality in fabric printing. It’s crucial to understand the type of ink your printer uses. 

Whether it is pigment or dye it will impact the outcome on different fabrics. Pigment inks are durable, water resistant, and make it ideal for fabrics. It requires frequent washing. Dye inks, on the other hand, offer vibrant colour saturation but may require special treatment to ensure longevity on fabric.

Choosing the right printing method is key to getting high-quality, long-lasting designs on fabric. Each method comes with its advantage that is suited for certain types of fabrics and design. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose the best technique for your fabric printing project:

Screen Printing: 

This is one of the most popular methods for high-volume orders. Especially when using the same design repeatedly. It’s cost-effective for large runs and works well on cotton and cotton blends. The method involves creating stencils and using them to apply layers of ink to the fabric. It’s ideal for designs that require vibrant, opaque colours.

Heat Transfer:

 Heat transfer is great for small batches or unique designs. You print your design onto special paper and then press it onto the fabric using heat and pressure.1 This method works well on many fabrics, including synthetics. It is ideal for detailed, full-colour images.

Direct to Garment (DTG)

DTG printing works like a paper printer, directly applying the ink to the fabric. This technique is perfect for producing detailed images in a variety of colours. It’s especially good for small to medium orders. Also, it works best on cotton or other light-coloured fabrics.

Sublimation Printing:

Sublimation printing is perfect for polyester, embedding vibrant and detailed designs right into the fabric. When heated, the ink becomes a gas and fuses directly with the material, making it perfect for large, stretchy designs.

 Vinyl cutting is perfect for bold, graphic designs. You cut your design from coloured vinyl and then heat-press it onto the fabric. This method produces durable designs with crisp edges and a textured feel, adding a unique look to your fabric.

Step 3: Printing Process for Each Method

Once the fabric selection is done depending on the type of fabric we can print through a particular printing method. Now let’s jump to the next step on how to print on fabric in each printing method.

Screen Printing

  1. Create the Design: Start by finalising your artwork and separating the colours if necessary.
  2. Prepare Screens: Each colour in the design needs its own screen. Coat the screens with a photosensitive emulsion and let them dry.
  3. Expose Screens: Place your design on the screen and expose it to a strong light to harden the emulsion, leaving the design area soft.
  4. Wash Out: Wash the screen to remove the soft emulsion, leaving a clear imprint of your design.
  5. Setup: Align the screens on the printing press.
  6. Print: Apply ink over the screen and use a squeegee to press the ink through the stencil onto the fabric.
  7. Cure the Ink: Heat-set the ink to make it wash-resistant.

Heat Transfer

  1. Create the Design: Design your artwork on a computer and print it onto heat transfer paper using a suitable ink.
  2. Prep the Fabric: Ensure the fabric is smooth and placed correctly on the heat press.
  3. Transfer: Place the transfer paper onto the fabric and press using a heat press at the recommended temperature and pressure.
  4. Peel: Remove the paper after the heat press cycle is complete, according to whether the paper is hot-peel or cold-peel.

Direct to Garment (DTG)

  1. Prep the Garment: Pre-treat the fabric with a liquid that helps the ink bond to the fibres, and dry it.
  2. Load the Garment: Place the fabric onto the DTG printer platen.
  3. Print: Start the printing process as the machine sprays ink directly onto the fabric.
  4. Cure the Ink: Heat-set the ink using a tunnel dryer or heat press to cure the ink.

Sublimation Printing

  1. Design: Create your artwork digitally and print it onto special sublimation paper using sublimation inks.
  2. Heat Press: Place the printed paper face down on the polyester fabric and use a heat press to transfer the design.
  3. Transfer: Apply heat and pressure to turn the ink into a gas that embeds into the fabric.
  4. Remove Paper: Peel off the paper to reveal the vibrant print.

Step 4: Post-Printing Fabric Care

Caring for your printed fabrics properly is essential. Because caring extends the life and quality of your prints. Wait at least 24 hours after printing before washing any fabric type to allow the ink to fully set. 

Wash printed fabrics on a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent to prevent fading. Avoid using bleach and do not dry clean. For silk and polyester, ironing through a protective cloth on a low heat setting can help secure the print and keep the colours vibrant.


The art of fabric printing on fabric, allows you to personalise everything from clothing to home decor with unique designs. With the right tools and techniques, you can transform any fabric into a work of art. 

We encourage you to experiment with different fabrics and printing methods to discover what works best for your style and needs. Embrace the joy of creating something truly unique and enjoy the process of bringing your creative visions to life.

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