Defocusing the laser to "print" on fabric

Continuing the discussion from Beta Project: RyanL's Hello World:

Figured I would start a new Thread.


First attempt, well actually second…(first one burned through)
Don’t have time today to tweek this…would like to see if I can get the lines darker. Vector etched on 100% cotton T-shirt. (Undershirt weight…)


That’s just “AWESOME”

Soooo cool! Does it weaken the fabric?


Another great idea. Thanks

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Doesn’t seem to, but I’ll have to do the laundry test just to make sure…:wink:


Ooh. Any idea how it reacts with dyed or printed areas?

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There’s this one too:

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Different fabrics will get different results. The tribal cat above was on 100% cotton…haven’t done poly blends except for fleece.
This was raster etched though.


Looks great. I can’t wait to try velvet. Hoping it gives a nice crushed velvet look. Would be great to engrave a name or pattern in it and cut to fit as a fancy box liner. Especially if the edges seal well when laser cut.


Thanks again. It is one of the things I was really hoping to do with the GF is custom t-shirts.

Oh, and KITTY!


I do screen printing as a hobby and I’m so glad you posted this. I know there has been some posting of laser on jeans, but tshirts are my thing!!! This type of thing might be my first thing I try. Here are some of my goofy designs;)


For velvet you would have to get just enough to singe the top layer away without hitting the back fabric sort of like with the fleece. I considered doing that for my liners for the boxes but I had fleece in the office…lol


I do a lot of crewel embroidery and this looks perfect for transferring designs to fabric. This is very, very exciting! This would be so much easier and more accurate than tracing a design onto fabric, and a lot faster than screen-printing (which is overkill for only making one of something).

For example, here’s a recent project when I’d just started it, so you can see the lines marked on the fabric. (Note that this was a commercial kit so the fabric was already printed; so far I’ve never tried to draw my own designs this complicated.)

And in case anyone’s curious to see how it turned out, here it is a month later when I’d finished all the embroidery:

Custom designs would be so much better if I could use the GF to simply “print” the image onto the fabric before embroidering. :slight_smile:


Did it hurt when it burned through? :cold_sweat: Could be a neat tattoo.
Do you think that marking fabric will cause the fabric to weaken?


I didn’t read all of the posts before I posted. Sorry.


Very cool stuff! I’ll almost certainly be throwing my jeans into the Glowforge soon after I get it.

And I think I can add something somewhat relevant to this thread. At work we use a CO2 laser (I believe it’s a 30 watt laser) to mark date codes into our bottles.
Here’s an example:

The labels are blue (and sometimes other colors) on the front, and the back is white. The laser is able to vaporize a very thin layer on the front side revealing the white paper underneath. I’m not sure what it would take to replicate this on a standard cutter/engraver, but it would sure be fun to try! :smile:


Russ at SabarMultimedia again has a relevant video printing fabric, a tshirt.

Edit: Shoot. Posted before finishing original topic. Ok, a little repetition.


What happens when you laser HTV on the shirt? Would it adhere … Although I think they do make laserable HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl ) for that (maybe?). Or is HTV really vinyl and the laser releases fumes that a heat press doesn’t… Just kind of thinking as Im typing away…