How to: Transfer text to fabric

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Hello All,

I'm trying to transfer text (1/4 to 1/8" tall letters) to small
pre-made draw string bags. Each bag has different text, and so far I
have not found an efficient way to transfer the text. I bought a stamp
kit, each letter is placed onto a holder then the stamp is dipped into
ink and pressed onto the fabric. This works very well, but it is very
time consuming! I have tried iron on transfers but they harden the
fabric where the transfer is, and the transfer cracks after washing a
few times. I have been reading about assorted print to fabric printers,
but they all seem to need fabric cut to a sheet of paper size.

I know from reading the archives here you some of you transfer patterns
to fabric,
So I thought someone may have some ideas I have not thought of yet,


Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric
Cat wrote:
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Can you put the project into a utility context? People's names or
lengthy prose? Simple wine bottle gift bags or kids backpacks for daily
use? (The other day I saw a burlap bag with tamles in it, and it was
covered with text. Looked like silkscreening.) How many are you making,
and what kind of fabric?

Can you transfer the text to a piece of muslin (using inkjet transfer
media), then stitch that on as an applique? I did that with a silk
T-shirt and it worked very well, but I sure wouldn;t want to create
more than a couple of them.


--Karen D.
wanna help!

Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric
Me, I'd pull out a fabric marker (take a look at )
and stretch the fabric out over a plastic cutting board and write it.


Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric
Good Morning Karen,

The bags are made out of linen or duck cloth (occasionally synthetic
blends), usually range in size from 2x2 inches up to 6x8 inches and are
used primarily for storage of metal parts. I've begun using them for
everything and the text I want to imprint on them is identification for
what is enclosed. The bags themselves will probably never be washed,
nor do they take a lot of abuse. However, it would be great if I could
use this same printing\transfer method for other projects such as
putting a logo onto clothing.

I started looking into silk screening, but WOW that's a lot of work
for such a silly little project like this :) - the bags are not sold,
but I do sometimes make fancy ones and put gifts in them (hence the
reason why this came up so close to Christmas).

The text is almost always one-off; that's why I've been using a
"create a stamp kit" it works well but often takes 5min to set up
the stamp for one press. It may be the best way of doing this, but as I
mentioned before I was reading the board and you all are very creative
I'm hoping someone here has a better way :)


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Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric
Based on this (not for public display) I would write directly on the
bag with a Sharpie marker.
Or on a duck-cloth patch stitched in place for the label.


--Karen D.

Cat wrote:
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Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric

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I wanted to suggest you machine embroider them.  I created a logo
file and edited it for each name for embroidering a soccer ball
logo and the players' names on windbreakers for DGD's team last

However, if your items are pre-made, I doubt you could hoop them
correctly.  And purchasing an embroidery machine might be


Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric

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Alot of electronic sewing machines that are not embroidery machines have
built in alphabets that you can stitch.  The are similar to decorative
stitchs and about the size range you are looking for.  Certainly less
expensive than a full embroidery machine.  And you do not need to hoop the
item, however some fabric may need a stabilizer.  Some stabilizers stay in
the project, others are tearaway or wash away, depending on what works for
you item.


Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric
Cat wrote:
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I label my bags this way:

1. Print up the desired text on paper using MS Word, label mode. Do both
sides in register for reversible tags of needed size.
2. Have the 8 1/2 x 11 paper laminated in plastic at Staples
3. Cut up labels to make tags
4. Punch hole in edge of tag
5. Affix tag to bag drawstring


Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric

If you draw guidelines with a ruler and a disappearing marker, you can
write very neatly with a permanent marker.   Line up the bottoms of
the letters, the tops of the bodies of the letters, and the tops of
the ascenders.   If there are descenders in your script, draw a fourth
line to line those up too.  

If you can see through the sacks -- perhaps by putting a light under
them -- you can draw just one set of guide lines and put it under each
sack while you are writing.

If you want fancy, look into rub-on letters from an art store.  (I
doubt that rub-on letters would wash, but I've had some stuck to a
metal bobbin for five or ten years and they haven't worn off yet.)  

Since the bags aren't to be washed, glued-on labels should do fine --
you may be able to run iron-on interfacing through your printer.

You can also write or print on thin paper, then turn it over and trace
over the letters with an iron-on pencil.   Works only for larger
letters -- pity nobody makes iron-on *ink*.  

Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net -- needlework
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: How to: Transfer text to fabric
Hi there, not sure if anyone mentioned this yet or if it will help but
I just found on the Hancock and Joann websites that they sell "sheets"
of fabric that you can run through an inkjet printer and print on them.
You could probably print several of your labels on one sheet, cut them
out and sew them, even to the lip of the bag, if not to the front
before it's sewn together? If you are interested go to the fabric
website of your choice and search for Inkjet.
Either way good luck and have a great day!
Cat wrote:
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