Printing Method | Method of Printing | Printing Processes | Different Types of Printing Method | Block Printing | Roller Printing | Screen Printing | Transfer Printing | Heat Transfer Printing | Ink-Jet Printing | Carpet Printing | Warp Printing | Resist Printing | Photographic Printing | Pigment Printing | Blotch Printing | Burn-Out Printing | Direct Printing | Discharge Printing | Duplex Printing

Printing Processes:
There are five main methods of printing a fabric, these being the block, roller, screen, heat transfer and ink-jet methods. The heat transfer method differs from the others in that it involves the transfer of color from the design printed on paper through the vapour phase into the fibres of the fabric. With the other methods the dye or pigment is applied to the fabric surface through a print paste medium. The ink jet printing process however is a comparatively recent innovation and is referred to as a 'non-impact' method, because the print paste is fired on to the textile from a jet which is not actually in contact with the fabric.


Block Printing:
The blocks are usually made of wood and the design is hand carved, so that it stands out in relief against the background surface. The print paste is applied to the design surface on the block and the block then pressed against the fabric. The process is repeated with different designs and colours until the pattern is complete.
 Block Printing
Block printing is a slow, laborious process and is not suitable for high volume commercial use. It is a method still practised in the oriental countries where markets exist for the types of printed fabrics produced.

Roller Printing:
Roller printing has traditionally been preferred for long production runs because of the very high speeds possible. It is also a versatile technique since up to a dozen different colours can be printed simultaneously. The basic roller printing equipment, shown in below figure, consists of a number of copper faced rollers in which the design is etched. There is a separate printing roller for each colour being printed. Each of the rollers rotates over the fabric under pressure against an iron pressure roller. A blanket and backing cloth rotate over the pressure roller under the fabric and provide a flexible support for the fabric being printed. A colour doctor blade removes paste or fibres adhering to the roller after contact with the fabric. After the impression stage the fabric passes to the drying and steaming stages.
Roller Printing
Screen Printing :
This type of printing has increased enormously in its use in recent years because of its versatility and the development of rotary screen printing machines which are capable of very high rates of production. An additional significant advantage is that heavy depths of shade can be produced by screen printing, a feature which has always been a limitation of roller printing because of the restriction to the amount of print paste which can be held in the shallow depth of the engraving on the print roller. Worldwide, some 61% of all printed textile fabric is produced by the rotary screen method and 23% by flat screen printing.

There are two basic types of screen printing process, the flat screen printing and the rotary screen printing methods.

Heat Transfer Printing :
Transfer printing techniques involve the transfer of a design from one medium to another. The most common form used is heat transfer printing in which the design is printed initially on to a special paper, using conventional printing machinery. The paper is then placed in close contact with the fabric and heated, when the dyes sublime and transfer to the fabric through the vapor phase.

Ink-Jet Printing :
There has been considerable interest in the technology surrounding non-impact printing, mainly for the graphic market, but the potential benefits of reductions in the time scale from original design to final production has led to much activity in developing this technology for textile and carpet printing processes. The types of machines developed fall into two classes, drop-on-demand (DOD) and continuous stream (CS).

Carpet Printing :
The printing of carpets only really achieved importance after the introduction of tufted carpets in the late 1950s. Until then the market was dominated by the woven Wilton carpets and Axminster designs were well established, but by the 1980s tufted carpet production accounted for some 80% (by area) of UK production. Much of this carpet production was printed because the range of patterns possible to produce using tufting machines was limited and there was a desire to produce a greater flexibility of design for these types of carpet.

Warp Printing:
The printing of a design on the sheet of warp yarns before weaving. The filling is either white or a neutral color, and a grayed effect is produced in the areas of the design.

Resist Printing:
A printing method in which the design can be produced: (1) by applying a resist agent in the desired design, then dyeing the fabric, in which case, the design remains white although the rest of the fabric is dyed; or (2) by including a resist agent and a dye in the paste which is applied for the design, in which case, the color of the design is not affected by subsequent dyeing of the fabric background.

Photographic Printing:
A method of printing from photoengraved rollers. The resultant design looks like a photograph. The designs may also be photographed on a silk screen which is used in screen printing.

Pigment Printing:
Printing by the use of pigments instead of dyes. The pigments do not penetrate the fiber but are affixed to the surface of the fabric by means of synthetic resins which are cured after application to make them insoluble. The pigments are insoluble, and application is in the form of water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsions of pigment pastes and resins. The colors produced are bright and generally fat except to crocking.

Blotch Printing:
A process wherein the background color of a design is printed rather than dyed.

Burn-Out Printing:
A method of printing to obtain a raised design on a sheer ground. The design is applied with a special chemical onto a fabric woven of pairs of threads of different fibers. One of the fibers is then destroyed locally by chemical action. Burn-out printing is often used on velvet. The product of this operation is known as a burnt-out print.

Direct Printing:
A process wherein the colors for the desired designs are applied directly to the white or dyed cloth, as distinguished from discharge printing and resist printing.

Discharge Printing:
In “white” discharge printing, the fabric is piece dyed, then printed with a paste containing a chemical that reduces the dye and hence removes the color where the white designs are desired. In “colored” discharge printing, a color is added to the discharge paste in order to replace the discharged color with another shade.

Duplex Printing:
A method of printing a pattern on the face and the back of a fabric with equal clarity.

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Founder and Editor:

Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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