Transfer Photo to Fabric: Tips for Using Citra Solv

Prayer flag detail by Jane Dávila

Have you ever tried using Citra Solv all-purpose cleaner to transfer photo to fabric?

I love this image transfer technique because it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t take a lot of space or materials. Citra Solv is an indirect image transfer method where the image is printed on paper and then transferred from the paper to your fabric. This indirect transfer means the image has a softer appearance than one printed directly on fabric. It is water-resistant and doesn’t change the hand of the fabric so it’s easy to add to works in progress. Plus, you can’t beat that fresh orange-y smell!

Fiber and mixed media artist Jane Dávila uses many image transfer techniques in her work. She’s written an article with everything you need to know about using Citra Solv to make easy image transfers in the February/March 2017 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.

Whether you love this method or you’d love to try it, here is a sneak peek at some of Jane’s helpful hints:

Jane uses Citra Solv to transfer the image of the grasshopper.
  • Print the image in reverse if it is text or otherwise directional.
  • This type of transfer only works with toner-based photocopies or powder-based-toner laser prints. It will not work with inkjet prints. If your image is printed with the correct machine and it still doesn’t transfer, try a different photocopy machine–libraries and office supply stores often have them available.
  • A freshly printed copy will transfer more easily and with better results than a printed copy that has been sitting around.
  • The weight of the copy paper makes a difference. A heavy paper like cardstock is more difficult to use and achieve a clean transfer, while a very thin paper may tear or break apart once moistened with Citra Solv. Average copy paper works best.
  • The smoother the fabric is that you’re transferring to, the sharper the image will be. A heavily textured fabric will result in a less crisp print.
  • Concentrate burnishing in the most important areas first–like a face if making a portrait or the center of an image–for best results.
  • Burnish the outer edges with less pressure for uneven edge effects.

I think this image transfer technique is so fun, you won’t regret giving it a try! If you’re like me you may even find it addicting…

Discover this and more art quilting techniques when you get your copy of the February/March issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. If you can’t wait to start to transfer photo to fabric, skip the shipping by downloading your copy instantly.


Brenna's Signature

P.S. Explore art quilting inspiration, techniques, and more when you subscribe to Quilting Arts Magazine.

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