Friday, September 3, 2010

The Results...

After my previous post, where I was practicing with using white vinegar to set ink jet prints, I thought Id give you an update.
After soaking in vinegar for 10 mins, I left the images to dry naturally. I then ironed them, with the iron set to high, but no steam. I pressed each image for a few minutes, moving the iron around so as not to burn the fabric. Once they were totally cool I hand washed them.

The ballerina I washed in hot water, with handsoap. There was no marked difference, no ink leakage and I was getting quite excited, until I got a bit rough with it and gave it a good scrub,
then I found a slight smudging around the image, and slight fading to the colour. (please excuse dreadful photo!)

I took the fabric with the Tui and the cabbage tree on, and washed by hand in warm water, gently, no scrubbing just gently squeezing it in the soapy water.
There was very little damage done, very little if any fading, but perhaps very slight smudging around the edges, although this is not all over.

Next I took the seagul, again washed gently in warm water with soap.
The poor little guy did not come out too well! The image has faded to grey with a pink tinge to the edges, and all pale areas and detail have all but gone.
I compared these results to a sheep image, which has not been soaked in vinegar, but was ironed with a hot iron prior to washing in warm soapy water, and then accidentally got left on top of a damp facecloth for a couple of days. (don't ask, anything is possible in this house!)
As you can see, the ink has run, but mainly just the colours. The red has come out of the black, and the green of the leaves has seperated into blue and yellow and smudged around the image.

SO the conclusion to all this madness? Vinegar soak works to a certain extent. It is definitely worth doing more investigating into this method.
It works best on solid black images, probably as there is some loss of colour, but this isn't noticed as much on a solid black image. For items that are going to be constantly in the wash it probably is not going to work, but for things like labels in bags, or pictures that are not going to be washed often, and then can be washed with care it seems to be fine.
I am going to try this again, as there are several factors that may have affected my results.
1. I did not have a lot of vinegar left, so used the same bowl of vinegar for each image one after the other.
2. It was a dull day, and my hairdryer was broken, so I was unable to dry the fabric with heat immediately after soaking and rinsing, maybe this makes a difference? Next time I will tumble dry or iron them right after rinsing.
3. The sheep is not a good comparison to the other images, as it is highly likely that being left damp for a couple of days is what did most of the damage rather than the washing!

So there you have it. If you give this a go I'd love to hear any tips or success stories, in the mean time I will continue to test and search for a natural product that make the images totally colour fast.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Sarah from Dolls and Daydreams who got me started on this with her fabulous tutorial!


  1. I don't have any tips or success stories - but I do love your creations - and experimentations!

  2. Very interesting stuff! I'm still excited about the fact you can put fabric through a printer, never mind the vinegar setting! I love learning new things - thanks so much for sharing Pam :)

  3. Thanks PaisleyJade, if you give it a go I'd love to see!
    Printing fabric in the printer is so much fun Mel! Have you given it a go yet? It's just finding a way to set it without expensive chemicals that's had me stumped. I have a flash new Epson printer with the pigment based inks on my wish list, with those you only need to iron and its set solid!