Types of Fashion Prints on Fabric

Last Updated on 26/06/2022

Fashion of Prints on Fabric

Shabuz Biplob
Apparel Professional
Cell Phone: +8801511779988
Email: shabuz.biplob@outlook.com


Textile Printing:
Most of the garments we wear are decorated with attractive fashion prints. Printing is done to make garments attractive and fashionable. Printing is a technique of reproducing text, images, design, pattern or motif using a master form. Textile Printing is the process of applying colored patterns & designs to decorate surface of fabric.

Following steps are needed to complete process of Textile Printing:

  • Pre-treatment of fabric for printing.
  • Printing paste making by using printing ingredients.
  • Making print impression on fabric using printing techniques.
  • Curing or drying of fabric / print.
  • After process treatment or neutralization (soaping, washing if required).

Following four styles are being used for Textile Printing till now:

1) Direct Printing Style: It is the most common textile printing style. Print paste is transferred directly on fabric to produce a pattern. Dyestuff’s, thickeners, amount of water are dissolved to prepare printing paste. Wood block, copper roller & screens are examples for Direct Printing.

Direct Screen Printing
Fig: Direct Screen Printing

2) Mordant Printing Style: A substance known as Mordant is first applied to fabric before it is dyed. The mordant as a fixing agent combines with the dyestuff and the textile fiber and creates an insoluble color.

Mordant Print
Fig: Mordant Print

3) Discharge Printing Style: It’s technically a dyeing method used to produce a pattern on fabric. The fabric is dyed & then a bleaching agent is used to remove or discharge the color from specific area to create a desired pattern on cloth. Mostly applied on dark ground of fabric where we need a lighter print. It works well on natural fiber like cotton.

Discharge Print
Fig: Discharge Print

4) Resist Printing Style: A resist paste is painted on fabric and then the fabric is dyed. The dye affects only those parts that are not covered by the resist paste. After dyeing, the resist paste is removed leaving a pattern on a dark background. Wax, chemical, paper stencil or mechanism is applied to fabric to resist color while dyeing fabric. There are two types of Resist Printing are mostly used.

Resist Print
Fig: Resist Print

a) Batik Dyeing: Designs are painted with wax on a fabric which is then immersed in a dye bath. The painted portion can not absorb the color & creates a design.

Batik Dyeing
Fig: Batik Dyeing

b) Tie Dyeing: Knots are tied in the cloth before it is immersed in a dye bath. Tie Dye typically consists of folding, twisting, pleating or crumpling the fabric. String & rubber bands are used to bind the fabric.

Tie Dye Bath
Fig: Tie Dye Bath
Tie Dyed Cloth
Fig: Tie Dyed Cloth

Below printing methods are commonly used nowadays:

1. Block Printing: Wooden block is used to print cloth by hand pressing.

Wooden Block Print
Fig: Wooden Block Print

2. Roller Printing: It is also called Cylinder Print or Machine print. Engraved copper cylinder or roller is used to print cloth by power of electricity.

Roller Printting
Fig: Roller Print

3. Duplex Printing: It means printing both side of cloth. Printing is done on both sides of the fabric either with roller printing machine in two operations or with a duplex printing machine in a single operation.

Duplex Print
Fig: Duplex Print

4. Stencil Printing: The design is firstly cut in paperboard, wood or metal through which color is applied on the fabric. This print is limited in use due to high cost.

Fig: Stencil
Stencil Print 
Fig: Stencil Print

5. Screen Printing: It is done either with flat or cylindrical screens made of silk, polyester, nylon or metal. The printing paste is poured on the screen and forced through its unblocked areas onto the cloth. It is known as Flat Screen Printing or Rotary Screen Printing according to the types of the screen used.

Screen Printing
Fig: Screen Printing

6. Heat Printing: This is also known as Heat Transfer Printing. The design on a paper is transferred to a fabric by vaporization. In heat transfer printing, a design is firstly printed on a special release paper. Then the printed image is placed on the cloth. After being cooled, the release paper is pulled out and the image will be transferred to the cloth.

Heat Printing Machine
Fig: Heat Printing Machine

We need consider three key factors during Heat Printing.

  • Time ( Within 13 seconds in common)
  • Temperature (Commonly 190ºC)
  • Pressure (at least 60 pounds / lbs)

7. Blotch Printing: It is a direct printing technique where the background color and the design are both printed on a white fabric. Any of the methods like block, roller or screen may be used.

Blotch Print
Fig: Blotch Print

8. Spray Printing: Designs may be painted either by hand or with assistance of machines. Airbrushing devices are used which blow or spray color on the cloth.

Spray Printting
Fig: Spray Print

9. Warp Printing: This printing is applied to warp yarns before weaving fabric. The print is often out of alignment and gives interesting effects as we can see below:

Warp Printting
Fig: Warp Print

10. Digital Textile Printing: This is also known as Direct-to-Garment Printing, DTG Printing or Digital Garment Printing. This is a technology to print your designs on fabric directly from your computer. This is a modified ink jet technology. It has brought revolutionary change in fashion prints.

Digital Printing
Fig: Digital Printing

11. Electrostatic Printing: Electrostatic charges are used to print the images directly on fabric. This printing process is faster than ink jet printing.

Electrostatic Printing
Electrostatic Printing

Major Ingredients used in Textile fashion prints:

  • Fabric Preparation Agents
  • Dyes
  • Binder
  • Thicker
  • Softener
  • Fixer
  • Clear
  • Urea
  • Water
  • Resins
  • Solvent
  • Table Adhesive
  • Surfactants
  • Other Auxiliaries & ingredients according to types of print.

Popular Fashion prints on fabric:

1. Pigment Print: Pigments are mainly synthetic organic fiber. Pigments are found in particle state & particle size range starts from 0.1 to 3 microns. Pigment has less affinity to fabric, so thickening agents or binder which is also known as fixing is required during printing.

Pigment Print
Fig: Pigment Print

2. Khadi Print: Khadi is a thick white colored paste to print light shades on darker fabric. This paste is needed because pigments cannot be used alone to print dark fabrics. Titanium dioxide is used as white pigment. The content of titanium dioxide may be from 20% to 25%.

Khadi Print
Fig: Khadi Print

3. Metallic Print: Printing paste containing metallic powders is used to produce such print. Copper, bronze and aluminum powders are usually used. Color of the print depends on the metal powder used in the print paste. For example:

  • Copper powder is used for copper colored print
  • Bronze powder is used for gold colored print
  • Aluminum powder is used for silver colored print
Metallic Print
Fig: Metallic Print

4. Puff Print: An additive is mixed with plastisol inks which raised up while curing makes a 3D feel. Sometimes it’s called Emboss Print or Foam Print.

Puff Print
Fig: Puff Print

5. Suede Print: Suede is a milky colored additive that is added to plastisol. We can make any colored print having suede feel with plastisol & suede.

Suede Printting
Fig: Suede Print

6. Rubber Print: Rubber is used as a textile ink for printing.

Rubber Printting
Fig: Rubber Print

7. Plastisol Print: Plastisol is used as a textile ink for printing.

Plastisol Print
Fig: Plastisol Print

8. High Density Print: A specially formulated paste (rubber or plastisol) is used through screen many times on a same design to produce a 3D vision of print. It’s a slow process but result is nice.

High Density Print
Fig: High Density Print

9. Transfer Print: It is also called Sticker Print. The plastisol print is already painted on paper & will be transferred onto cloth in the fusing process.

Transfer Print

10. Photographic Print: This is also said Photo Print. The fabric is coated with a light sensitive chemical and then any photograph may be printed on it. Dye-sublimation printers are commonly used to produce Photo Print.

Photo Printting
Fig: Photo Print

11. Foil Print: The printing process is similar to Transfer Print. Foil papers are transferred onto cloth in the fusing process.

Foil Printting
Fig: Foil Print

12. Flock Print: Glue is painted on fabric first and then flock fiber is poured. It requires a little high time for curing (minimum 2 minutes at 160ºC temperature).

Flock Printting
Fig: Flock Print

13. Pearl Print: This printing process brings a pearly shine on printed area of fabric & so this is known as Pearl Print. It is most suitable for dark colored fabrics. It is often confused with metallic and glitter prints but has a different finish.

Pearl Printting
Fig: Pearl Print

14. Fluorescent Print: Fluorescent Print is night glow as it shines up under a dark light. It produces light when we are in a dark place.

Fluorescent Printting
Fluorescent Print

15. Neon Print: It’s a super bright colored print like Fluorescent print. But it has day glow only.

Neon Print
Fig: Neon Print

16. Glitter Print: Glitter Print brings sparkle to fabric because glitter powder is used. Glitter Powder is generally PET (polyethylene terephthalate) with size of 1/8″ to 1/256″. It is found into square and hexagon shape.

Glitter Printting
Glitter Print

17. Crack Print: The crack ink is applied & dried up by effect of heat. This brings a vintage look of crack.

Crack Printting
Fig: Crack Print

18. Burnout Print: Acid type chemicals are used instead of color. This is applied only on blended fabrics like PC & CVC. Cotton or other cellulosic fiber in fabric is burned out or destroyed by strong mineral acids.

Burnout Printting
Fig: Burnout Print

After all, Textile Printing specially fashion prints is a bigger topic, not possible to describe in brief. So, I try to discuss with basic things only for apparel probationer. I added photos from internet to make this article more comprehensible. Thank you.

You may also like:

  1. Digital Textile Printing Technology: Evolution, Progression and Techniques
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  3. Different Types of T-shirts with Lots of Graphics

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