Inkjet/Digital Printing

Small droplets of ink/dye are placed onto the fabric through and inkjet printer. Similar to normal inkjet paper printers, and a rapidly growing method of printing patterns on fabrics. The print software interprets data from a CAD or image file of a pattern, and controls the output of ink placed on the fabric to match the exact image.

Printing Techniques

Textile printing is just one of several different ways to decorate fabrics, and is a process that has advanced greatly over many centuries.

What is Textile Printing?

Printing is known as a process of applying colored patterns and designs to decorate fabrics through dyes, paints, inks, etc. In properly printed fabrics, the color is bonded with the fiber to withstand washing and use. Printing is related to dyeing, however in printing one or more colors are applied in certain parts only and in defined patterns.

DTG printers like Epson’s F2100 are great if you’re considering options to start in the textile printing industry.

History of Textile Printing

The exact time and origin of the beginnings of textile printing is unknown. However, there have been Greek, Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, and European samples found from the 4th and 5th centuries that have been noted as some of the earliest examples. Early forms of textile printing used primarily stencil work as well as block printing methods. In Europe, textile printing was a widely used method on fabrics used for decorative purposes such as wall hangings.  As technology began to advance more, the invention of the roller printing process came along. This was a commonly used process in France, as they started to become leaders in textile printing around the mid 1700s, mainly for producing toile fabrics.

Printing Techniques in Today’s Fashion

  • Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2010 RTW collection is a great example of amazing textile prints in today’s fashion industry. This genius line executed incredible digitally printed fabrics, with perfectly symmetrical and reptilian-like prints.
  • Prada’s Spring 2010 RTW collection incorporated digital prints with dreamy floral and beach images printed on clean-cut satin and nylon pieces.

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Written by Hope Maxwell

Hope Maxwell is a graduate from the College of Textiles at NC State University (Raleigh, NC, USA) and she currently works as assistant technical designer.

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