Friday, May 10, 2013

the perils of printing

okay... so I've learned a lot about printing from Crayola images. And a lot about my printer. By all accounts according to industry standards, it should not still be working or communicating with any computer currently on the market. Also, Crayola colors are hard to reproduce off a printer, and just because you have an image that is 6 inches square does not mean that you will be able to get it to print off 6 inches square. It may be bigger, or smaller, than the original size, if you are working with scanned art. And good luck if you are trying to conserve paper; that requires fiddling with bitmaps in the paint application on Windows - this is if you are working with the most basic of software. I'm not a graphic designer, so if you are a GD, I'd appreciate free software suggestions or any other digital advice. For those of you doing this by the seat of your pants like me, do not lose heart: It. Can. Be. Done.

I did, finally in all the monkeying, figure out how to get the printer to just plain work - it involved paying attention to the printer status and a lot of restarting the computer at inopportune times. AND I have a whole bunch of test batch fabric squares in a moment-of-truth test wash. One of the squares did finally reproduce true-to-color - yes there are printer lines, but it's true to color, and if this works Bubble Jet set stuff works, and the colors don't bleed or wash out it will be color fast, which is what I want. It's not in the test batch wash. I'm going to hold off and see what happens.

So if everything washes, the next challenge is getting the rest of the squares to produce true to color. I have a new ink cartridge [super helpful] but one printer setting does not fit all images. Some of the images are done with more reds and oranges, and some are more green and blue, and telling the printer to print off the blue-and-green pictures on the red-and-orange setting doesn't quite work.

Sadly, some of the test images would have been just fine if I hadn't run them through the printer a second time. Live and learn. Stay tuned for a how to prepare fabric for printing tutorial, because that's coming up. Hopefully your printer is newer than mine and talks to your computer.

And now, for the Moment-of-Truth


Some of the questions I asked of the printer were:

"Can I print twice to get a richer color?" No - the printer won't feed the same way twice. [You really are seeing double on some of them]
What will this vibrancy setting do? What does dark do? Well, let's find out... 

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