Several years ago Judy Heim wrote an article about using your inkjet printer to print needlepoint canvas. It’s got good step-bby-step information and you can read it here.
But all is not as it seems and I have some advice for you if you are thinking of doing this to create your own designs.
1. Are the inks in your printer colorfast? Some are some aren’t. The ink in my current HP runs if water comes anywhere close to it. You do not want to ever, EVER put needlepoint canvas or threads near something that will run. The chances are very good that the color will run onto your threads, ruining the piece.
My advice: Test printing on paper first before you print on canvas.
2. Do you have enough ink? Check your supply level. I don’t know about your printer but mine gets very odd colors as the ink runs out. Canvas is too expensive to waste on something unstitchable.
My advice: My advice, check your ink supply levels and don’t print if they are very low.
3. Is your canvas flat, really flat? Often printers have problems with paper that isn’t flat. Make sure your canvas is flat, sometime ironing it to freezer paper helps. In addition many printers can’t manage thicker paper, so they won’t be able to handle canvas. You might need to consider lighter weight canvas such as C=interlock or Congress Cloth for this project.
My advice: Make sure your canvas is flat and check to see that your printer can handle heavier paper (heavy card stock or thicker).
4. Is you design one where it can be reproduced on canvas (which is more hole than thread) and stitched easily? Designs with lots of color changes and small details don’t reproduce well on canvas (no matter what Heim says). You want a good result, so you need to either make the design big enough so the detail will come through or pick another design.
My advice: Print your design on paper in the size you’ll do on canvas. Lay the canvas over it and see if too many of the details drop out. If so make adjustments.
5. Is your design too big? Printers have limits on the size of paper they can use, and therefore limits on the size of canvas. It’s 8.5″. If I figure on even scant margins, that mean the maximum width of my design is 5.5″.
My advice: Check your design size before your print. Can it be done on apiece of canvas?
I’m going to try this myself and will report on the results, but probably not for awhile until I get a new printer or test out my husband’s black and white ones.