Im trying to reupholster a bmx bike seat with a heavy white canvas, and im not currently trained in the dye sub station. If anyone has the time it would be greatly appreciated, and I would compensate you for the materials used as well as a reasonable amount for your time. The goal is to maybe do a couple different print transfers on a few pieces of canvas. If the dye sub process works well I have some bigger ideas for the seat, but thats a bigger can of worms.
Canvas isn’t the best choice for Dye Sub. Dye sub works best on all-synthetic fibers like 100% polyester - it will come out of natural fabrics like cotton canvas. Unless you plan to display and never ride the bike, I don’t think dye sub will be a good solution for you.
Also, consider the size. Our largest heat press is 16" x 20". You would need to piece together a couple pieces of printed paper as our dye sub printer is only capable of 11x17". You might or might not see the seams depending on your design and your luck piecing it. Creative Arts charges $10 for a 4-pack of 11x17 paper (this also covers the price of printing).
As an alternative, I would suggest Spoonflower.com You can get any design of your choosing printed on fabric (either choose one of theirs or design your own). They have two different types of canvas - the Eco Canvas appears to be their heaviest duty fabric. It’s $32 per yard (54" wide) but you can get a 28" x 17" piece (i.e., “fat quarter”) for $17 - with your image printed on it. More or less color fast (or at least as colorfast as any other washable fabric). You can order an 8" x 8" test swatch (also with your design) for $5 - which is probably a good idea because they caution that you should test it if it’s going to be subjected to high abrasion.
I think it should work. The net for the seat is about 10x12. BMX seats are super slim unless you have a heavy padded seat which is still pretty slim but taller, and these require sewing. The canvas is also 100% polyester. So far everything seems like it would work in theory, but im not extremely familiar with the dye sub process.
Does the canvas naturally lay flat?
If it is 100% polyester, and can lay totally flat, then dye sub should work. Your design needs to be created at actual size at 150dpi resolution. Give your design an 1/8" bleed all the way around to ensure the best transfer quality. If you need the print to be larger than will fit on an 11" x 17" sheet, I can print 13" x 19" at home.
Yeah the canvas lays flat and should fit according to my measurements. Everything should work but i just need to find someone now who is trained on the printer and heat press.
There is something you may be able to do beforehand: ensure the image is ready to print. For example, I had prepared a layout using Microsoft Word only to find out the computer used for printing does not have Word installed and LibreOffice is not quite compatible.
Also … bear in mind that there is no such thing as white dye (ink). White is the absence of dye. You may have to adjust your image accordingly, especially if you’re not printing on white fabric.
When will you be at the Space? I can try to meet you to teach you how to use the printer and press.
Im free all day today and im usually off around 6 on weekdays. Im watching the thread so if you are going up there to work on your own projects just drop a reply and i will try and respond and head up there if i can.
I can be there Wednesday at around 6pm. Sorry I can’t be there before that. Lots of orders for Christmas that I have to complete in the next couple of days.