You can heat set ink on fabric with an iron or with a heat press. You must heat set ink to make your design permanent on fabric.
Basic Instructions for How to Heat Set Ink on Fabric with an Iron
1. Let the ink completely dry before heat setting. I prefer to let it sit to dry but you can use a hair dryer or heat gun on the coolest setting to speed that up.
2. Set your iron on medium heat.
3. Place parchment paper both under and over the inked surface. You want parchment paper between the inked design and the iron so that the ink does not stick to the iron and lift. You want parchment behind the inked design to the ink does not bleed into another surface when you are heat setting. For example,
- when heat setting a t-shirt, you want parchment inside between the front and back of the t-shirt (under the inked design). And on top of the design to protect the design from direct contact with the iron.
- when heat setting a tea towel, you want parchment under the towel between it and your ironing board (this protects your ironing board from getting ink bleed through. And on top of the design where you are going to iron.
4. Iron for 4 minutes on each side. For a tea towel, flip it over to iron the other side. For a T-shirt, turn it inside out to iron the other side. Keep your iron moving in a circular motion when ironing. This will prevent the iron from scorching the ink which can change the ink colour in the final design.
Basic Instructions for How to Heat Set Ink on Fabric with a Cricut Easypress
If you are using a heat press, follow the instructions for your model. I use a Cricut Easypress set on 300° for 30 seconds on each side. Again, you want parchment between all the layers as with an iron. Keep the press moving on the parchment for the full 30 seconds.
If you haven’t tried ink, I encourage you to give it a try. You will find you are suddenly personalizing your jeans, making tons of t-shirts and filling your up your tea towel drawer. Or maybe pillows, pillow cases or even a banner for your mantel. It’s addicting.
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