This tutorial sets out one method for preparing washable, printed labels for quilts and textile works. I have tried lots of methods and products and find this method quite efficient, reliable and economic for my purposes. (Some people may not like the plastic sheen and texture of the transfer.) You will need:
- Epson Iron-On Cool Peel Transfer Paper available Australia in A4 sheets from Office Works;
- a PC with Word and Paint applications or equivalent. (You could do this entirely within a photo editing or graphics application but, for this tutorial, I am using tools that are standard on many computers.);
- an inkjet printer; and
- white or light coloured fabric (at least 50% cotton).
Step 1: Create Label in Word Document
Type your label text in your desired font and size in a Word document. I like to use a bold, non-serif font. For optimal economy, I try to fit the label(s) across the full width of the A4 document. Sometimes I insert an image of the quilt too. Highlight and right click copy the label.
Step 2: Set Up in Paint
Open up the Paint accessory on your PC and set up the page to match the size and format of your label. In this example, I selected A4 format with narrow margins and unchecked the horizontal and vertical centering options.
Step 5: Copy the flipped label back into Word & Print
You may be able to print the flipped label directly from Paint but I found that, depending on the printer page settings, the labels sometimes printed out in unpredictable locations. Instead, I like to copy the flipped label (which is now a graphics file) from Paint back into Word and print from there.
In Paint: Click Edit>Select All>Copy and then right click paste into a Word document.
Test print on paper before printing on the Epson Iron-On Cool Peel Transfer Paper on an inkjet printer. Take care to print on the right side of the transfer paper (the reverse side is clearly labelled). The label will be inverted (mirrored/wrong way around) before ironing.
Step 6: Trim the Printed Label
Because of the surface of the transfer, I like to trim the label quite closely to the text. A clean horizontal cut across the page also means that used balance of the transfer sheet can be used for future labels with minimum wastage.
Step 7: Iron On the Label
If you are brave, you can iron the label directly onto your work! However, a safer approach is to place the label, image size down flat against the material you want to use leaving a perimeter of at least 3/4 in on all sides. Then apply a hot iron to set the image in accordance with Epson’s instructions. For a neat edge, iron a 1/4in fold of the perimeter fabric to the back of the label BEFORE removing the transfer paper (see label at right below).
I hope this tutorial saves some readers from quilt label headaches. What is your favourite method for labelling your textile work?