Textile printing is an art form that dates back hundreds of years. It’s the process of applying a pattern or image to a textile, and throughout history, people have developed a number of different methods of transferring beautiful patterns, images, and text onto fabric.
Below are some of the most important examples of these methods!
- Digital Printing
- Stencil Printing
- Screen Printing
- Roller Printing
- Block Printing
This style of printing is somewhat like a highly specialized version of an office inkjet printer. This is the most modern printing technology, having been developed in just the last few decades.
New improvements and refinements are still being engineered. Digital printing allows for very high quality images to be printed with great resolution. Another advantage is that it’s easier to produce short runs of a print, instead of having to commit to a very large order.
In contrast to digital printing, stencil printing is one of the most technologically simple methods of textile printing. However, it can still produce stunning results despite its simplicity.
Holes in the shape of the desired pattern are cut into a sheet of paper or other material. This sheet is placed over the textile that will receive the pattern. When dye, ink, or paint is applied over the stencil sheet, only the pattern holes allow the colour to reach the textile.
This method is a kind of advanced version of a stencil that uses a woven mesh. An impermeable material is applied to portions of the screen to form the stencil. The areas without the coating serve as the holes of the stencil. A squeegee is then used to force ink through the mesh and onto the textile. This is one of the most flexible methods of printing, and as a result it is also one of the most common.
This is a mechanical form of printing that can produce large quantities of a repeating pattern quickly. Cylindrical rollers are engraved with the desired pattern in relief. Ink is applied to the engraving so that when it rolls over the textile, it transfers the pattern.
This is one of the predecessors to roller printing, and is also one of the oldest forms of printing. Instead of a roller, the pattern is engraved onto a flat block of wood, rubber, or some other firm material. A rubber stamp that you use to mark documents is essentially a type of block printing. Since each block can only be used for one colour at a time, multi-coloured patterns require multiple blocks. Block printing is a slow process, but it can still produce interesting and creative results.