Monday, August 02, 2010

Post 900 & Printer Results


Yes, here I am at post #900, pretty amazing considering that when I started the blog, I wasn't sure I'd find something to say even once a week or how long I'd keep it up. As long as I have readers, I guess I'll always be able to find things to share. Like how impressed I am with my first trial runs printing fabric with the new Epson Workforce 1100 printer. Everything I've heard about how different pigment inks like the Durabrites look on fabric compared to regular dye inks seems to be true. And no pre-treating the fabric! I used some of my poppy photo manipulations, printed a sample on matte presentation paper (propped against the monitor in the above picture), then on white cotton muslin. Virtually no difference in what I see on the screen, the paper print and the fabric print. This opens up a whole new world...


Of course, there was a tad of a learning curve. I set up the printer, installed the software, scanned the on-screen manual to determine features and procedures different from my other Epson, and decided to run a test by printing a few photos of recent quilts on glossy photo paper. Mmmm, they came out dark and cloudy and not too sharp - a few errant lines as well. So I ran the alignment function, tried turning off the high speed function and printed again. Better, but the dark, cloudiness remained (top). I spent quite a bit of time playing with the various settings in the printer software, thinking that my photo programs and the printer program weren't cooperating to sync up the colors. I printed quite a few before it occurred to me to try printing on the matte paper. Ah, that was perfect (bottom). I guess I should have believed Epson when it said to use the proper paper. While I have had no problem using this HP photo paper with the other Epson printer, apparently Durabrite inks are a different matter and simply don't work on it.


Other lessons learned - this printer does not like curling paper. Of course, the fabric must be adhered to something firm in order for it to feed properly, and my first attempt of ironing it to a double layer of Reynolds freezer paper was dicey - I couldn't get it to lie flat and there were some pretty ugly sounds coming out of the printer (but fortunately no jams). So I reverted back to my heavier freezer paper sheets by C. Jenkins (definitely worth the extra price). Since I plan to use this printed fabric in padfolios, it only needed to be 8-1/2" wide, but the length needed to be a non-standard 15" long. The printer allows you to create user defined sizes, so that was not a problem. However, the freezer paper was a standard 11" long. By overlapping two sheets, I was able to get my length, and this time it ran through the printer perfectly and quietly. I see that this freezer paper also comes in rolls and 12 x 15 inch sheets, so I guess I'll have to invest! I'm not sure if it was necessary, but I used the "thick paper" setting which I gather is usually used for envelopes. I also set up my user defined size for borderless printing. Worked like a charm. I am so looking forward to doing more of this.

4 comments:

The Happy Apple said...

Wow again. What fabulous results. The possibilities seem endless...have fun!

Olga said...

Not only fun, but how wonderful to get margin-free printing! I hope that your patience leads to successful projects.

Diane Elizabeth said...

Sheilla -- I'm impressed with your work with the printer. what are padfolios?

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks! Diane, if you haven't already looked at the next post, go here to see what padfolios are: http://idahobeautyquilts.blogspot.com/2010/08/more-birthdays-more-padfolios.html