Thursday, December 12, 2013

A little printing and more cafepress

I'm down to the last few Christmas cards, some which will go with gifts, and so I took a bit of a break from writing yesterday to do some printing on fabric. (Sssh, don't tell anyone that some of these are presents!) I'm using cotton sateen that comes adhered to a stiff paper backing in a 24" wide roll. While my Epson Workforce 1100 does not accommodate rolls, let alone anything this wide, it will print up to 13" wide, and this particular backed fabric when cut to size feeds so well through it. The resulting prints look as sharp and true to color as if printed on photo paper - I just love it!

This printer hasn't gotten much use in the last couple of years, and when I printed something off on paper a few months ago, I got some odd lines running through my graphic. Printers that sit tend to develop heads that clog up. Sure enough, when I did a nozzle check, there were gaps in the test print proving that the heads required cleaning. I also took the time to check alignment to assure good clean and accurate prints. If this all sounds like Greek to you, I suggest you check the manual or help screens for your printer and work through these basic maintenance steps, particularly if you have been unhappy with the quality of your printing lately.

The difference between ICM & Adobe RGB settings

Another thing that is worth checking is the advanced setting for color matching and other settings found within the preferences or printer set-up (like unchecking "fast printing" and checking "envelop" to accommodate extra thickness). If what you see on your screen differs from what prints out, it may just be a mismatch of settings. I'd written down the settings that seemed to give me the truest color match on fabric in the past, but when I printed my first image, it was not very close. I checked the other settings I could choose from and decided to try a different one, and it was much closer to my screen image. Now for those of us just wanting to get on with it, all the time I spent yesterday morning cleaning and aligning heads and changing settings from the defaults might rankle, but with the price of ink and fabric, it is worth taking this time to get your settings right. I am so pleased with the results. And as so often happens with me, as long as I was set up and on a roll, I worked on and printed an image for my next art quilt. Holidays or not, the creative urge cannot be denied!

Angel of the Rock Journal through cafepress

And now for a commercial break. I've changed the image on another item in my cafepress shop. My "Angel of the Rock" art quilt is in a private collection, but you can enjoy it on the cover of this 5" x 8" journal. The journal is available with 4 paper options: blank, college ruled, dot grid or task pages. And does anyone use mousepads anymore? If so, perhaps you would like the mousepad I offer with the image of one of my journal quilts "Texture". Happy shopping! 


Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila!
My father gave me money to buy a printer this year and I needed to ask my little brother to tach me to change the ink when it first time finished.
I only do the basic task with the printer. How good to see that you are self reliant!
Now, you are right, when inspiration comes, it is good thing not ignoring it, holiday or not!
Great week!

Connie Rose said...

Well I certainly still use a mousepad! I'm impressed that Cafepress offers journals with dot grid paper -- it's hard to find. Love that printed fabric, it looks really great. Re: printer settings, etc., I've found that I get a much better print if I go through Windows Photo Viewer than I do printing directly via Photoshop Elements, even though I use PSE to do all the manipulation. Go figure.

Olga said...

I still get a thrill when I see work printed onto fabric through my own printer. It is so good - when all goes well, but as you say, takes an age when fiddling about sorting stuff.