Printing with Gelli Arts® — Techniques on Fabric!!!

In this video you’ll see the 12″ x 14″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate in action! Printing on fabric with acrylic and metallic fabric paints, using MagicStamps™ — with plenty of tips and techniques!

Many monoprinting techniques work just as well on fabric as they do on paper. Watch this video and see how fun and easy it is to make your own printed fabric!

Love using fabric in your art? Try printing your own unique designs!

Gel printing on various types of fabric

Fabrics with a tight weave, like muslin and PFD cottons, are excellent choices.

Sheer fabrics, like organza and silk Habotai can be monoprinted and used in layered works to great effect!

NOTE: PFD fabrics means “Prepared for Dyeing”

Dharma Trading Co. is an excellent source for various PFD fabrics — as well as printable scarves and garments.

The process and techniques for monoprinting on fabric are the same as printing on paper. 

Instead of pulling a print on paper … place your fabric on a painted Gelli® plate, rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print. It’s as simple as that!

Monoprinted fabric

It can be helpful to iron your fabric first to remove any wrinkles, but not necessary. 

You also might want to stabilize your fabric before printing on it.

To do this, simply iron theWRONGside of the fabric to theSHINY (plastic) side of a piece of freezer paper. 

The fabric will temporarily bond to the freezer paper.

To release, just pull the fabric off the backing — so


NOTE:  If the fabric surface has bubbles when ironed onto freezer paper, iron on the fabric side and smooth them out. 

Monoprinting on stabilized fabric feels a lot like printing on paper.  

You may find it easier to stamp, draw or paint directly on your fabric when it’s backed with freezer paper.

Stabilizing fabric is completely optional — a personal preference!

You may not feel the need to take the extra step to stabilize muslin or sturdier fabrics, but I do recommend stabilizing sheer fabrics.  

Stabilizing makes sheers much easier to handle in the printing process. Also, it keeps the paint that bleeds through the sheer fabric off your hands 🙂 

Silk Habotai 5mm — so sheer and lightweight — with a lustrous finish

Sheer fabrics, like silk Habotai, are wonderful for layering and collage. 

This is a monoprinted piece of silk Habotai 5mm. 

It’s draped over a sheet of printed paper to show how translucent and lightweight it is!

Try fusing your printed sheer fabric over text for a muted, layered effect! Lovely and ethereal.

Mistyfuse is ideal for fusing sheer fabrics!

When printing on fabric, you have many choices for paint. Acrylic paints, fabric paints and water-based screen-printing inks are all good. 

Assorted fabric paints

Various brands of fabric medium are available — and can turn any acrylic paint into fabric paint!

Golden’s GAC 900 is an excellent fabric medium.

Add GAC 900 to any acrylic paint. The paint will print with a softer hand — and once heat-set, the printed fabric will have improved launderability.

IMPORTANT:  Follow the specific directions for the brand of fabric medium you use.

If you don’t intend to wash the fabric after it’s printed — there’s no need to add fabric medium to your paint.

You may need to use a bit more paint when printing on fabric than when printing on paper. But be careful not to use too much … it can absorb right through to the back — or create blobs when you print it!

Try using less paint when printing on sheer fabrics. 

NOTE:  It can take some experimenting to discover how different paints act on different fabrics. Same applies to learning how much paint to use!

Jacquard’s Lumiere fabric paints offer a great selection of rich metallic colors.

Lumiere is positively dazzling when printed on black fabric! I find it works best with a fairly heavy layer of paint on the Gelli® plate. 

These printed fabrics are way more metallic and luminous in person than these photos depict.

When printing on fabric, use combs, stencils, masks, rubbing plates … and your favorite texture tools for making marks!

MagicStamps™ are among my favorite fabric design tools. 

For complete step-by-step information on using these heat-moldable foam blocks, please take a look at the blog post, “When Gelli® Meets MagicStamps™” (Jan. 16, 2012) 

Gel printed fabric created with MagicStamps

NOTE:  There’s also a video slideshow at the end of that post showing samples of Gel printed fabric — created with MagicStamps. It’s not a tutorial … just printed examples 🙂

After you’ve printed your fabric …

Have fun adding writing — or your personal marks — to your monoprinted fabric!

Stained by Sharpie — Brush Tip Fabric Markers — are so perfect for this!

The brush tips allow for a range of marks — and these fabric markers won’t bleed on fabric the way regular Sharpies can.

Another fabulous pen isPentel’s Gel Roller for Fabric.

This 1.0mm pigment ink pen goes on so smooth! And it’s permanent.

Wonderful for fine lines and handwriting!

Handprinted fabric can add an exciting and personal touch to quilts, sewing projects, art dolls, mixed media pieces, collage, art journals, handmade books, cards, scrapbooks, and jewelry. If you haven’t monoprinted on fabric … go for it! … and add an element of unique textiles to your artwork!

This Contest is officially CLOSED. 

And now … 

We have a UNBELIEVABLE GIVEAWAY to get you 

super-excited about Gel printing on fabric!!!

Our AMAZING PRIZE includes:

      • One (1)  —LARGE 12″x14″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate!
      • One (1)  — MagicStamp package (8 stamp blocks)
      • Four (4) — MagicStamps (molded from my designs – ready to use!)
      • Six (6)    — Lumiere Fabric Paints
      • One (1)  — 8-color set of Stained by Sharpie – Brush Tip Fabric Markers
      • One (1)  — Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric (black)
      • One (1)— Golden GAC 900 (Fabric Painting Medium)— 8 fl. oz

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

All you need to do to be entered to win is: 

  1. Post a comment HERE on our blog – easy!
  2. If you don’t already, please subscribe to our Gelli Arts® blog.(Note – subscribing is NOT a requirement to win the giveaway!).

Entries (via comments on this blog) will be accepted until 5pm EST on Tuesday, September 24th! 

One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced no later than 10:00am on Wednesday, September 25th. The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

This Contest is officially CLOSED.

If you liked this tutorial we hope that you will share with others via your Pinterest page, blog or Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

500 thoughts on “Printing with Gelli Arts® — Techniques on Fabric!!!”

  1. The only thing I've ever printed was fabric!, it never even occurs to me to print on paper. This is a great giveaway, I'd love to win it.

  2. Wow! I just started playing with my Gelli Plate, and I am so excited to try all the wonderful projects I am finding on your blog 🙂 Keep the good work and inspiration. You rock!!!

  3. I loved the video and would LOVE to dip my hands in that wonderful playground. My fingers are crossed and too clean.

  4. OMGGGGGGGGG how great are the effects you get on fabric – Im a newbie to using the gelli to do papery stuff and only have 6inch one BUT WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW would luv be in with a chance to play with it on fabric with the Giveaway goodies 🙂

  5. My friend is hooked on Gelli plates! I would love to try it out. Thanks for the chance at this wonderful giveaway!

  6. Found you via "Ginny's Small Studio" and this looks like so much fun.. have been mono printing for years but the results look waaaay better– hope I win!

  7. this video tutorial is right on the mark of the current trends. i have just recently entered the fabric field and can not get enough texture into my world. thanks for the great share

  8. Holy Cow!!! You make it look soooo easy!!! Beautiful stuff!!! I love this blog for all the tutorials and inspirations here… Thank you!!!

  9. oh, this looks like fun! The possibilities are endless with no issue of copyright violation!!! The 1/12 post has my mind racing with ideas!!!

  10. How lovely these fabric prints are! I'm going to have a go real soon and try printing on fabric. Thanks for the opportunity of this giveaway! 🙂

  11. Would LOVE to win this to replace my homemade gelli! Thanks for the tutorial AND thanks for the opportunity to win!

  12. these videos are so helpful! I would love to be able to experiment more and would love to win the giveaway!!!

  13. Great video, super tutorials, tremendous tips, and such an exciting venue of creating you have provided!! We are all thrilled. Oh yes, I would dearly love to win this treat and get my hands on this Gelli plate. Thank you so much for sharing <3

  14. I'm so glad, finally I found an address were I can buy gelli plates in the Netherlands. Now I can play!! I don't think I can win this giveaway, living so far away, but I love the video and this blog!
    Greetings from Anja in the Netherlands.

  15. My fabulous ways to be creative with a Gelli. I have a roll of silk to use so would love to win this one – the plain silk is waiting to be transformed into something beautiful! TFS and thank you very much for the chance to win hugs Karen

  16. I love all the videos I am a visual learner, show me don't just tell me.
    Thanks so much! I hope I win this time!

  17. Amazing ideas and I would so love to win this giveaway- even though I already own a gelli plate. How's that for addiction? adore the idea of making ones own stamps.

  18. I really need this–Loved watching your videos and want to learn and use the gelli plates etc in my art
    Pick me
    Lynne Larkin
    Mixed Media Artist

  19. Oh my goodness!! This would be my Christmas and Birthday present for the next 5 years! What a great giveaway. Constantly amazed and in awe of the work that folks keep posting using their Gelli Plate. Thanks for the chance to win such a great prize package.

  20. This is a great blog!! I am amazed every time I read it. So many possibilities with Gelli printing!!! Hope I win a Gelli plate!!!

  21. The music and all the skills made for a fun video. I'm ready to go get the stuff to do this. It would be great to win. Soooo many ideas. thank you.

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