Fabric printing refers to the process of applying colors, patterns, and designs to a finished piece of fabric. This printing is different from conventional printing methods as the dye and color is attached to the cloth fibers. This will fasten the ink into the clothing that prevents them from getting removed during washing or due to friction.
Textile printing is a process used right from the ancient times. In fact, some of the ancient methods of fabric printing are still being used in textiles. Nevertheless, there are different printing methods used for textile printing. Each of these methods varies depending on the application techniques and quality of the print. These methods are responsible for the thousands of complex patterns and impressive colors seen in textiles today.
Nowadays, the printing technology has progressed greatly, as current fabric printing relies on computers and advanced printing machines that can deliver patterns and colors into the fabric with astounding accuracy. Below are three basic fabric printing methods used in textile industries.
Block printing is one of the oldest techniques used for fabric printing. This type of printing uses a wooden block where the design is engraved. It is then transferred on to the fabric by dipping it in ink and pressing it onto the fabric surface. This process is repeated for covering the selected regions of the textile. Mostly done manually, it is one of the simplest forms of fabric printing techniques used today.
Roller printing is similar to block printing, but this method uses a large copper cylinder engraved with the design needed to print on the fabric instead of a wooden block. The textile is then fed into these rollers where it is pressed against the cylinder surface, which will imprint the designs on the fabric. Roller printing can produce repeated prints quickly, and thus, it is used for high-speed fabric printing.
Screen printing is one of the most commonly used methods for printing designs or patterns onto any fabric. It is a highly versatile method of fabric printing and uses flat or cylindrical screens made from materials like silk, nylon, polyester, etc. The screen has several unblocked areas in it corresponding to the design. Once the printing ink is applied on the screen, it is pressed either manually or automatically to the textile. This forces the ink through the unblocked areas to get imprinted on the fabric surface.