I have spent much of the last few days trying to transfer these images

better rahamimrahamim barmitzvah

onto silk for  the lining  of the tallit bag.


I had prepared the silk shantung with a chemical that allows the ink from my printer to set permanently onto the silk.  The product has a really stupid name, Bubble Jet 2000, but it works really well.

Printers don’t love to print fabric, so you have to trick them into the job. I had prepared the silk, and then ironed it onto some  wax coated  cloth backing with the trade name Chartex.  Chartex was created to back photographs. A neighbor had given me a box years ago. We had thought that it would work to actually transfer the image from a photocopy to fabric. The Chartex was useless for that task.  It is wonderful though for giving the fabric enough body so it can go through a printer without destroying it. Chartex is no longer being manufactured and I have most of a box of 100 sheets so I’m set until I find something better in the future.


Thursday I made my first attempt to print the photos.  My printer just wouldn’t print. It was one of those awful scenarios where you have to re-install the printer driver.  Actually, this was one of those awful scenarios where you have to make many, many attempts to re-install the printer driver.


I made several attempts Friday, and even more tries on Sunday. Eventually on Monday I got the printer up and running.

Unfortunately, this is what I got.

SAM_0215Yes, the images are blurry and indistinct. It looks pretty awful.


I tried a fix I have used in the past, coloring the image with wet colored pencils. Often coloring the image just makes you read the image as much better than it actually is.



It’s somewhat improved, but I’m really not happy with the image quality.


I ten treated some charmeuse in the bubble jet. This looks much better.  Tomorrow I have to set the color.SAM_0213

Setting the color with the Bubble Jet is completely counter intuitive. After you let the image sit for a while, you wash the image in detergent. The detergent makes the image permanent. I don’t understand the chemistry behind it at all. I guess it is a bit like believing in God, but it works.


  1. This is tongue firmly in cheek, but printers and fabrics are recipes for getting a lot closer to God. ;-) or at least I spend most of the time praying while I am trying to print onto fabric!

    Some people use freezer paper to stabilise the fabric, but I still have to tape that to thin card and send it through. Some people also use a full size page of those sticky address labels (like the smaller ones for having your name on at a meeting) Apparently you can use it several times before the sticky wears out. just park it on the backing paper in between uses.

    If your printer ever stops, get an Epsom with Durabright inks next. Okay the ink is expensive, but they don't need setting and are lightfast because they are pigment inks rather than dye based inks.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. For a long time I used freezer paper or the sticky paper you described. The Chartex though, has been the best backing by far.

    My problem this time was at first a softwear issue. My secondary problem was one of the choice of fabric.For this printer, ( new to me) I had to go with the smooth faced silk rather than the shantung.

  3. they are like sewing machines and all have their own likes and dislikes of product, don't they?


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