Lino printing on fabric can open up a whole world of homemade decor that you can add to your home – from tea towels to t-shirts, cushions to canvas bags. In this lino printing on fabric tutorial, we’ve gone for bright yellow paint onto plain fabric for a tropical feel.
We’ve made the cushion from scratch, but if you don’t feel like sewing, you can buy plain cushion covers ready to print onto – like this pack of two linen cushion covers from Amazon.
IDon’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics and inks for different effects! Here’s a top tip: print the image on scrap fabric first to determine the amount of ink and pressure you need to apply.
Looking for more printmaking inspiration? Check out the work of designer and printmaker Kiran Ravilious.
45 x 45cm (18 x 18in)
How to lino print onto fabric
You Will Need
- Soft cut printing block (300 x 200 x 3mm)
- Lino cutting tools
- Bench hook
- Ink roller (brayer)
- Speedball fabric block printing ink in yellow
- 1 metre of fabric
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Sewing machine
- Black marker pen
- Soft pencil
Copy the pineapple cushion template using a black marker pen. On the reverse side draw over the black lines with a soft pencil. Place the design, marker side up, onto the soft cut lino block and draw over the black lines. This is to transfer the design to the block. Go back over any lines that are faint so you can see them when cutting.
Cut away all the black line areas using the cutting tools. It’s best to start with a thin cutter to work around the outline first to create an edge, then cut into the lines on the design. Use a thicker cutter to cut away larger areas on the outside. Take your time as slipping could mean ruining your design.
Trim around the stamp with scissors leaving 3cm (1¼in) of board to enable you to hold and position it when stamping.
Cut a piece of fabric 3cm (1¼in) larger than the cushion pad for the front of your cushion. To find the middle of the cushion, place the stamp onto the centre of the right side of the fabric and mark the top, bottom and sides with tailor’s chalk. This will help you position the stamp correctly when you’re ready to print.
Cover your workspace in old newspapers and place the bench hook over the table edge. Squeeze out a length of ink about the width of the hook and use a brayer to roll over the ink. You’ll need to roll the ink quite a few times until it forms small peaks and the roller is well covered.
Roll the ink onto the pineapple stamp; you may need to go over this a few times to get good coverage, but try not to over ink or you’ll lose the finer detail. Stamp the image into the centre of the fabric, peel back the stamp and leave the paint to dry. It should be touch dry after 24 hours.
Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 48 x 29cm (18¾ x 11½in). Fold the long edge over 1.5cm (½in) and sew to make a hem. Fold another 1.5cm (½in) and sew again. This makes an envelope opening edge. Repeat for the other long piece of fabric.
Once the design is fully dry you can sew the cushion together. Place the front of the cushion design side up, then pin the two back envelope pieces onto it right sides down, making sure the ‘hole’ is horizontal to the design. Sew 3cm (1¼in) in around the edge of the cushion, press out the seams and clip the corners. Turn through, then insert the cushion pad, to finish.
Download your free pineapple cushion template
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about lino printing on fabric. If you like this, then check out our beginners guide to lino cutting, or if screen printing is more your thing, read up on all the best screen printing kits, and then why not try out this gorgeous DIY cushion screen printing tutorial.