Note* if you are looking for information on printing fabric with an inkjet printer and or, a homemade Bubble Jet Set solution......please click on the "Tutorials" tab above.......it contains the most complete and up to date info
I have been printing on fabric a fair bit lately and am getting low on my BJS supply. I came across a post by goddessofdyi from a couple years ago about making your own, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'll show you what I found through my tests. In the top photo , the fabric on the left was treated with BJS and the one on the right treated with the homemade version. The next photo is the result after rinsing. as you can see very little colour remained on the homemade version but the black ink is definitely set.
I also tried it again, modifying the recipe by adding salt and vinegar, left it 24 hours before rinsing and heat set it..........the result was no different.
So if you only want a black and white image then the solution works otherwise I say stick to the real thing, I know I will be.
Now I will point out that goddessofdyi directions were to "quickly rinse" ...............well that's fine, you will retain some colour but what happens when the image later gets wet? Lets say you use an image on a tote bag and you get caught in the rain, I'm guessing you'd have a bit of a mess. So for my testing I rinsed/washed the images to make sure no more ink would be coming out.
So if you'd like to try this.
The recipe used was as follows:
2 Tablespoons of Alum
2 and 1/2 teaspoons of Washing Soda
1/2 teaspoon of fabric softener
1 cup of very hot water
note: the recipe posted by goddessofdyi was by weight not volume..... I did a conversion because I do not have a delicate enough scale to weigh 3 grams.
Mix these all together.......it will be quite foamy so you'll want to let it settle down before using the solution, it should resemble watery milk. Let your fabric soak for a few minutes and then leave it to hang/drip dry, print as usual.
I will assume that results may vary depending on the inks your printer uses.
I have also been playing a little more with my Photoshop Elements program. These images were taken (with permission) from The Comic Book Lady's gardening blog. I really like the way the one with the pumpkin turned out.
The clematis you see in the photo above has been altered in PSE from a photo I took of a pure white one that blooms in my garden.
These altered images are all destined to become postcards.
Something else I discovered while playing with printing is that you can get a good black ink print by simply coating your fabric with clear aloe vera gel. Again, let dry and print as usual.