Defocusing the laser to "print" on fabric



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

Figured I would start a new Thread.

Using on fabric?

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


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?



There’s this one too:


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…