Creating captivating designs or patterns on fabrics is the goal of textile printing. It is the process of making a piece of fabric look beautiful and unique. Most people don’t stop to think about how the pattern they love was actually put in the fabric of their favourite shirt or clothing. The process behind the design can look easy, but it is actually quite complicated. Textile printing takes a lot of precision and experience to produce an unforgettable look.
Yet, amazing textile creations are everywhere. They can be a representation of the culture or simply an aesthetically pleasing impression. Getting these textile messages to come to life can be done in a number of ways. Whether you are looking for T-shirts to promote your business or a new look for the office, there are many ways to use textile printing to your advantage.
What is textile printing?
Textile printing is the process of using colour, design, and patterns to create a unique look on fabric. Through textile printing, more flexibility can be offered beyond the type or colour of the fabric. It caters to many different tastes and styles, allowing consumers to create their individual look or atmosphere.
There is a lot of work that goes into creating these unique-looking fabrics. However, there are several different textile printing processes that can be used to achieve the desired appearance. Moreover, textile printing can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to get your message out.
Ways You Can Use Textile Printing
There are many different types of textile printing, from silkscreen to digital. They all have their pros and cons and, depending on the look that you want to achieve, there is one that will be best for your project.
Some methods of printing may not work for all fabrics, while other methods may be better for a detailed design. If you are not sure what method of textile printing will be right for your project, ask your professional printing company.
Silkscreen printing is the most common form of textile printing used by professional printing companies. It starts by placing the fabric underneath a wooden frame. The frame has a screen or mesh overtop of a design or stencil. Colour is applied with a squeegee, and the paint or ink covers the screen and the fabric. In this way, the image or design is transferred to the fabric.
The silkscreen process is one of the best methods to print on dark or light-coloured fabrics. It has become a popular method because it offers a lot of flexibility and versatility. Projects that need a large amount of printed fabric are ideal for the silkscreen method because it is easy to reproduce and is cost-effective. However, silkscreen will not work well for photos or graphics. It can also take a lot of time as each colour needs to be applied separately.
2. Digital textile
Another method to produce creative textiles is through digital printing, which is also called “direct-to-garment” or “direct-to-fabric.” This method uses an inkjet printer to transfer designs, patterns, and photos onto a textile. Because designs are created on a computer, digital textile printing allows for completely customized creations.
With this method, printing can be done either onto a roll of fabric or directly to the textile. The digital printing process is quite precise. There are a variety of ink choices that have been designed for each type of fabric. One of the advantages of digital printing jobs is that they allow for intricate designs or photographs to be used on fabrics.
The digital textile printing method is best for projects that require a high amount of precision. It would work for projects that require a unique and customizable look. However, it can be expensive to produce large quantities of fabric using this method. It may also take a long time to create the right look or design for printing.
There is another type of textile printing called “sublimation.” This process works through heat to transfer water-based ink onto the fabric. Designs are created for sublimation textile printing by using special paper. It is the application of heat that is key to transferring the pattern or image onto the fabric.
Sublimation is a good method to use for full-colour graphics, photos, and artwork. It works best for graphic T-shirts or similar projects. However, it is not the best process to use for patterns or smaller designs. Sublimation does not transfer ink to cotton fabric, but works well for polyester or synthetic fabrics.
It is important to be aware that the design may fade with time. Using the sublimation method can also be one of the more expensive textile printing options.
4. Engraved roller
Professional textile printers can also use engraved rollers to print on fabrics. This method involves using coloured dye that passes through rollers engraved with a design. The fabric is then passed through the rollers and the pattern is printed on it. A separate roller is used for each colour. After the fabric has been printed, it is put through a drying and steaming process that sets the dye. This is one of the most popular ways of creating a printed fabric.
It is also possible to create fabric designs using blocks of material like wood or copper. The process is similar to stamping on a piece of paper. The material is first cut or carved into designs or shapes. The colour is then placed on the design and the block is pressed to the fabric.
6. Photo printing
Printing a photo on a fabric also has its own method. The fabric is first covered with liquid photo emulsion. The chemical is light sensitive, which makes printing a photograph on the fabric easier. This is the best process for projects that need to use a picture for fabric printing.
There is no limit to using textile printing for promotional or decorative items. However, depending on the type of printing project, there may be some limitations to the method you’ll be able to use.