Thursday, March 17, 2011

Printing on Bookcloth

photo album with printed cover
Many years back I did a personal photo book project in which I printed onto a grey bookcloth and really liked the results.  The process and it's possibilities have been in the back of my head ever since.

Another, more recent, personal project allowed me to do some further testing.  I designed a CD cover for a friend who really liked the look of the foil stamping that I do onto bookcovers and so requested that I somehow incorporate that look into the design.  Again I loved the printing, particularly how the softness, created as the fabric absorbs the ink, contrasts with the sharp saturated marks of the foil stamping.

photo book with printed cover
The past couple of weeks have been particularly busy here at the studio but I was determined to find time to create a donation for my niece's school auction.  I'd been wanting to experiment more with inkjet printing onto bookcloth and this was the perfect opportunity so I made a scrapbook style photo album with a tree design printed on the cover.  It is a fairly low contrast design, with a dark brownish grey printed onto a light brown cloth.  To me it feels very atmospheric, like I'm standing on a mountain looking down into a misty forest. I also made a clamshell box to hold this album.  The box is covered in the same light brown fabric but it's brightened up a bit with burnt orange accents. In the bottom of the box I created a well that can hold a 1" stack of the photos that don't make it into the album.

CD artwork printed on bookcloth with yellow foil stamping

In each of these cases I printed onto Iris bookcloth which is a linen style cloth with very little texture so I'd like to move on to some other textures and incorporate some color.  I also addressed the issue of the ink running if it gets wet by coating the fabric with a spray varnish.  It didn't affect the color, texture or gloss but did prevent the water from reaching the ink.  As soon as I find some time, I will move forward with some experimenting. I'll report back, hopefully soon, with the result and if all goes well I hope to add this option for portfolios and boxes in the online store and for custom projects as well.

the printed cloth
album block and album case
uncovered clamshell box tray

finished clamshell box with album

finished clamshell box with well and ribbon lift


  1. I just have to say, I'm a bookbinder and printer in Philadelphia and your work is beautiful. Clean, crisp, awesome. Love the printing on cloth.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

  3. Nice blog. Thanks for sharing that looks awesome.
    Printing Malaysia