Tag Archives: sun fading of fabric

Printing on fabric – update

My last post was about fabric I had purchased through Fabric On Demand by sending photo images to them and having them print the images on cotton fabric.  I have since tested the fabric for washability and sun fading.  Below are comparison images of two images.  The top image in each photo has not been washed or exposed to the sun.  The bottom image has.

Note that the elephant photos I chose to “torture” in these tests had been printed off the selvedge edge of the fabric.  The reference fabric was printed properly and not on the edge, so more of the sky shows in the reference fabric than the tested fabric.  This has nothing to do with the actual test.  If I had planned to use this fabric for anything other than a test, I would have asked Fabric On Demand to reprint it properly.  But since I only ordered and paid for three images printed on fabric once – and then received each image printed on fabric four times – I wasn’t going to complain.  As explained in my earlier post, there were some size issues also.  Again, had I been planning to use the printed fabric in a quilt where the size mattered, I am sure Fabric On Demand would have been happy to reprint my order.

The first photo shows the result from washing the fabric (delicate cycle with normal detergent).  The image has shrunk and has  slight fading.

Elephant photo wash test.

Elephant photo on fabric. Bottom image has been washed twice on delicate cycle with normal detergent.

The second sample shows the comparison for sun fading. The top fabric print has been kept inside and not washed. The bottom fabric print was placed outside in the sun for a month. Fading is considerable.

elephant photo sun exposure test

The top image has not been exposed to the sun. The bottom image was placed outside in the sun for a month.

Of course most of us aren’t going to put our photo quilts out in the sun, but it is good to know that long tern exposure to sunlight inside, such as on a sunlit wall, would not be good for this fabric – not that is ever a good idea for most any colored fabric!