Citrasolv Photo Transfers

Last night at my quilt meeting I demonstrated how to transfer a photocopied image to fabric using a cleaning product called Citrasolv. Several of the ladies asked for written instructions, and so here they are:

1. Make Copy of Image: Find an image you would like to transfer. If you have words in the image you will need to print the image backwards (also referred to as a mirror image). The copy shop may be able to help you with this if you cannot do it on your computer.
Once you have your image, take it to your local copy shop to have the image color copied. It is VERY IMPORTANT to make sure the color copier they have uses TONER not ink. ONLY color copies made with TONER will work for this method. The ink from your ink jet printer will NOT transfer. (I learned this the hard and expensive way) I have read that Color Laser Prints also work for this method but I have not tried them as I don't have access to one.

2. Prep Fabric:
Once you have your copy made, wash, dry and iron your fabric. I have only tried cotton and silk organza. The image didn't show up very well on the organza but works beautifully on cotton. (I have read that you can also use this method to transfer images to paper, wood and metal.)
Tape the fabric on all sides to a flat surface - One that you don't mind getting wet with the cleaning product. I have found that my large square quilting ruler works very well. In the above photo I have used a piece of fabric slightly larger than the ruler and taped it to the back of the ruler giving me a larger work surface.

3. Transfer Image:
Place photocopied image onto fabric with image down and tape at least two corners down to keep the image from shifting while burnishing. Put Citrasolv onto cotton ball and rub over the top of the photocopy. As you apply the Citrasolv you will be able to see the image through the paper (as in the photo above.) To fully transfer the image rub over the image with the back of a spoon or other flat object (I forgot to do this last night, sorry). You can also rub across the top with the cotton ball but a hard surface transfers the image better. Burnish the image several times in different directions. You can lift a corner to peek at how well the image is transferring and gently rub places that need a little extra and then remove photocopy.
4. Set Image:Iron the image to set inks and then rinse Citrasolv out of the fabric.
You can enhance the colors of the image using
Prang colored pencils, paints and/or thread
as I did in my Price of Peace quilt:

NOTE:  I have discovered that you can use a colorless blender to set the transfer, keep the color from fading and make the piece washable as well!  (I have been using Jacquard textile colorless blender with great success)
Leave a comment or email me if you have any questions.


Anneliese said…
You go girl! You should compile all of these quilting ideas into a book.
Alan said…
What a cool concept! I love the effect on the transferred image!
Jane Babcock said…
You are a thoughtful diligent blogger.
Jennilyn said…
I have done this, but used...can't think of the product name, not "Transfer This" but something very stinky, wasn't turpentine, but similar. You are right about "TONER" not ink necessary for transfer to work. I will look for the citrasol stuff. Thanks for great ideas!
Patt Scrivener said…
I will have to add this to my photo transfer techniques!! It looks fast and easy. Thanks for sharing
Faye Pini said…
Wish we had citri-solve in Australia though this site where I found a link to your blog mentions Orange Power Sticky Spot Goo Dissolver so I will try that. Love the textures created by the citri-solve!
Ally Street said…
I was wondering about washing? I want to try this method for tshirts. I tried the turps method along time ago(14 years ago) and it worked fantastic. I think it was an ink photocopy, not 100% sure.It was on a life style show Healthy Wealthy and Wise in Australia.
They used it on a couch cover, placemates and other things. I was assuming it was washable! Smiles Ally
Lisa Chin said…
AllyStreet - These images are washable if you cover it with Jacquard Colorless Textile paint. This will seal the colors in to the fabric and still give it a soft hand. Good luck!
ashLeigh said…
I have printed on a Xerox laser printer that uses toner. It's black and white. I'm trying to use Orange Oil to do the transfer. I did this in college quite a lot, but it's not working at all now... I'm confused about what I am doing wrong. I think I'll find a different printer or copier as my next step.
Lisa Chin said…
Ashleigh - it could be the orange oil that is the issue as the process does not work with every orange product. I know Orange power, available in Australia, works well as does the Citrasolv. If a new copy doesn't work then I would look at the orange oil.
Wow Lisa,
You are a very talented lady. You are doing stuff I haven't even thought about. I love all your work. Amazing!
noe said…
Tried this with a copy from our copier and a print from an old laser printer--neither worked. I was bummed. Don't know what went wrong...
CarrieLeigh_ said…
Hi Lisa,

I assume that you iron the image to set, apply colorless Jacquard and follow its directions, then use thread? Or not to iron image before applying Jacquard?


Lisa Chin said…
@CarrieLeigh - Yes you can iron the image to set it and then apply the colorless medium, wait for it to dry and then stitch away. Your email isn't connected to your account so I could not respond to you directly. I hope you come back and see this comment!

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