06 October 2011

Natural Solvent Transfers

Oh how I love Citrasolv natural cleaner and degreaser! Not only is it an awesome cleaner (you know, if we had time for cleaning!) but it is also a perfect solvent for transferring laser-printed images or photo-copied images to fabric or paper.

CitraSolv orange-based natural cleaner and degreaser
Toner-based laser print or photocopy (either black and white or color) printed onto plain copy paper, in reverse
Foam brush
An old spoon or a burnisher
Paper or Prewashed fabric (the smoother the surface, the sharper the print)

1. Cut the printed sheet apart into separate images, if you’ve printed more than one on the page. Make sure that the image is printed in reverse or mirrored as the transfer process reverses the printed image, This is especially important for text!

2. Place the image face down on the desired fabric or paper and hold firmly.

3. Moisten the foam brush with a small amount of CitraSolv. Be judicious, a little bit goes a long way. 

4. Rub the moistened foam brush onto the back of the printed image, being careful not to shift or wiggle the paper which will result in a blurry transfer.

5. Once the paper is saturated you will see the image start to show through the back of the paper. At this point, vigorously rub the back of the paper with an old spoon or a burnisher.

Tip: It can be helpful to work on a slightly padded surface. I often place a scrap piece of batting or an old mouse pad under everything.

6. Lift up one corner of your printed page to peek and see if the image is transfering. If it isn’t, let go of the corner and resume burnishing. If it has transfered, remove the printed paper.

Tip: Printed images can only be transfered once, so discard the saturated paper after you’ve completed the transfer.

7. If you allow the transferred image to sit out the CitraSolv will evaporate in a few hours. If you are in a hurry, cover the transfered image with parchment paper and lightly press with a warm iron. Make sure your work area is adequately ventilated as the odor will be concentrated and more intense with the heat of the iron.

 Finished piece with CitraSolv image transfer.

There are many different ways to transfer images and photos to fabrics and other surfaces. Using a solvent and a laser-printed copy is one of them. I prefer a natural, orange-oil-based solvent like Citra Solv for its non-toxic properties and its great smell. It’s essential that the image is printed on a toner-based laser printer or photocopy machine as an inkjet printer or solid ink laser printer won’t work.


Quiltilicious said...

This is an awesome tutorial, thank you! A quick question: When the image is transferred to fabric this way, does it survive washing? Or is this technique only for items that will never see the washing machine?

Vivien Zepf said...

I keep saying this -- I gotta get me some Citrasolve! so cool!

norma said...

Great tutorial, Jane. You make it look so easy. You know I have lots of Citrasolve, including the lavender scent that you gave me. I really have to give this a try.

Kristy C said...

Awesome! Just got some Citrasolv and I am dying to use it for transfers :)