I meet so many creative people, both in person at sales and events, and online on Etsy and Pinterest. Lots of people ask me about how I learned to print on fabric, and the truth is, I’m almost entirely self-taught! I learned traditional printmaking techniques (relief printing, intaglio, lithography, etc.) in college, but I didn’t learn to print onto fabric until after graduation.
I learned fabric printing, both silkscreen printing and relief printing with hand carved blocks, by reading lots of books and by experimenting. The best way to learn to print on textiles is by trying it out for yourself, and you don’t need a fancy studio to get started. These books will help you learn the basics, and guide you through some basic and intermediate project that you can give as gifts, or keep to decorate your home.
These books are invaluable parts of my library, and I return to them often. Some of them focus completely on printing on fabric, but a few are great introductions to printmaking in general, and cover the basics of printing on fabric as well.
Print Liberation / Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design / Dyeing and Screen-Printing on Textiles / Little Owl’s Little Prints / Lotta Prints / Printing By Hand / The Printmaking Bible / A Field Guide to Fabric Design
This book from Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop is a great way to introduce young ones to printing – the projects included in her book are absolutely adorable, and will keep you entertained all afternoon.
Lena Cowin’s new book Made By Hand also has some fun printing projects. I didn’t include it in the roundup because it’s not strictly about printing or textile design, but it’s worth picking up!
Want to learn more about printmaking? Check out my screenprinting class for CreativeLive, and learn to print your own designs!