Every detail a business owner should be aware of about fabric printing.
It is essential to have a fundamental knowledge of fabric printing to make the most of the services we provide for your company. Nevertheless, to make the most of this opportunity, we want to give you some background information that will assist you in working with us to make the decisions that are right for you. Fabric printing has the potential to transform your company completely – and we want to teach you how to do it.
Enjoy our fabric printing guide – it contains everything we believe you should know to guarantee that you get precisely what you need.
What is fabric printing, and how does it work?
Cloth printing is, in its most basic definition, the process of imprinting color onto fabric. Because the goal of the color application process is to make the color permanent, it must be resistant to washing and abrasion as well. This printing may include applying repeated patterns to lengths of cloth, or it may involve using a single specified design, such as the one seen on the front of a tee-shirt.
It is critical to expanding your perspective when it comes to fabric printing. It’s possible that you want to get apparel items printed for your firm or that you want an interior design for your offices that includes your company’s emblem. Fabric printing encompasses all aspects of transferring the color design onto fabric – and maybe much more creative than just printing a brand on a hat.
What is the best way to print on fabric?
There are several various techniques for printing on cloth, each of which produces a distinct finish, a different degree of quality, and varied pricing depending on the method used. Because of this, the first thing a company must determine is what kind of printing would be most appropriate for the job that has to complete.
The printing technique used depends on various variables, and there is no one best option in every situation. The most appropriate fabric printing method is to determine by the kind of fabric you are working with, the amount of material you need, the quality of finish you want, and, most crucially, the degree of detail you require in the design.
Direct to apparel (DTA), conversion printing, cover printing, warm transfer, and obstruct printing are the five most popular printing techniques that may use. Listed below is a brief introduction to the many printing techniques available.
🖼 Direct Manufacturer to the Apparel (DTA)
DTA, as the name implies, is a process in which a design is taken and printed directly onto fabric using a specialized ink-jet printer and water-based inks. It will be necessary to pre-treat the cloth to guarantee that the color absorbs fast and cleanly. A second machine, which utilizes steam and heat to fix the pattern, is then used to wash and dry the design to eliminate any remaining chemicals.
This is the most effective technique for very complicated patterns – those that include a large number of colors and detailed features. For instance, if you wished to imprint a picture on the front of a t-shirt, you would utilize direct-to-apparel printing (DTA). The most significant results from DTA are obtaining when using lighter materials, such as 100 percent cotton.
Because the set-up expenses are minimal, this is the most cost-effective option if you need a limited printing quantity. Because it is cost-effective to create low-cost goods customized to the brand and lasts much longer than paper-printed products. Many people believe that this kind of printing has revolutionized marketing and promotional wear for businesses and organizations.
🖼 Sublimation Printing
This is also a method used in digital printing. Printing the pattern on a specific paper before transferring it to the fabric using heat rather than printing directly onto the cloth itself is preferable. Sublimation produces much better colors and more distinct designs than dyeing, and the technique is also more effective on synthetic materials. It is, however, more costly than DTA – and cannot use it on cotton fabrics as well. Because polyester goods are most likely to be used in this procedure, the material may be cost savings that would otherwise waste during the printing process.
🖼 Screen printing
A flatbed screen printer and a rotary screen printer are the two kinds of screen printing available. Although it is feasible to entirely or partly automate flatbed screen printing, it is also viable to continue to use a manual method, although a time-consuming one. Flatbed printing is the process of transferring an ink paste through an etched screen using a squeegee. Rotary printing, also known as cylinder printing, is a technique that uses pressure to push the paste through a screen. To minimize the amount of time required for screen printing, the nature of the design is often considerably more straightforward than with DTG and sublimation methods.
When it comes to big orders, screen printing is the best option. Compared to other printing techniques, the finish is more uniform over a more significant number of objects. It is most effective for basic designs — and, in most cases, for methods that utilize solid colors rather than ones that need a lot of shading.
If you need to print on a large amount of cloth, this is the most cost-effective technique to use. The initial set-up costs a lot of money, but this is when the bulk of the money is spent anyhow. As a result, if you print in size, the set-up cost is spread over a more significant number of products. The more colors you choose, the more costly it will be since the fabric will need to be run through the machines more than once.
🖼 Heat Transfer Printing
The heat transfer printing method begins with printing a pattern onto special paper, then transferred onto the fabric using heat. The procedure is repeated for each fabric type. Because the result is clear and vibrant, this is an excellent method of transferring trademarks and tags to the cloth. You will utilize it instead of an embroidered label for athletics and swimwear since it is more discreet. It is more effective on synthetic materials, but it is also more costly and time-consuming. This method is used for particular specialized fabric printing and to provide if your expert determines that it is suitable for your application.
🖼 Block Printing
This is a reversion to the gold age of printing. It has roots in the Far East, dating back to the 5th century BC, including wooden blocks with intricately carved patterns. Before pressing the block into the cloth, you would coat it
with ink and let it dry. After that, a chemical is used to fix the design permanently.
The artisan, the expert craftsman, would use this technique, and it is doubtful that you would use it for your company unless you were going for a handmade, organic finish, in which case it would be a good choice. If you are searching for something unique, it is worthwhile to learn about block printing since it creates a polish that cannot always obtain via more contemporary, machine-based methods.
Suggestions for Business that need textile printing
In all likelihood, digital fabric printing will be the kind of printing you use for your company’s needs. A digital file is transferred onto the fabric using a machine that looks remarkably like a big desktop ink-jet printer, and the process is known as screen printing. This is the most popular method for typical commercial print runs – it produces the desired quality levels at a fair cost, which is the most common method.
Some suggestions to assist you in making choices regarding your digital fabric printing are provided below.
🖼 Choose the appropriate dye for the proper cloth.
Acid dyes, reactive dyes, dispersion dyes, and pigments are the four kinds of dyes available. Stains are effective on all materials, but they are costly. Acid dye is very effective on silk, wool, and nylon. When it comes to polyester, you will use disperse dye. The most often used dye is a reactive dye, which may be used on various fabrics, including cotton, linen, rayon, silk, and wool.
You will probably select reactive dye digital printing since it is the most flexible technique available for creating high-quality finishes on silks and plant-based materials while being environmentally friendly. Sublimation methods, on the other hand, are more likely to be used when printing onto polyester. Only pigment printing can achieve the desired result of printing white on dark fabrics; however, pigment printing is much more costly.
Your printing firm should consult with you on the chemical treatments that you should use for your fabric printing to make it washable and rub-resistant. In addition, you should anticipate your printing to be returned to you once it has been washed and dried to eliminate the chemicals before you get the goods.
🖼 Recognize the kind of finish you want.
The more particular you are in your sight for the design, the more pleased you will be with the outcome. This necessitates the careful selection of color and fabric. If you choose colors, remember to have fun with them since there are no restrictions on the quantity or kind of pigments utilized in digital fabric printing. This is not screen printing, in which the more colors you have, the more costly it gets. This is not even digital printing. The use of DTG and sublimation processes allows for a wide variety of colors to use with no effect on the overall cost of the product.
The fabric, like everything else, is a matter of personal preference – but make sure the cloth is appropriate for the item’s intended purpose. Silk may be used for the scarves while most likely using thick linen for the curtains. It is essential to consider the feasibility and expense of your project and the level of finish you want your customers to perceive.
🖼 Preparing your digital file is an important step.
It’s important to remember that you can also print everything printed on paper cloth. The preparation of your digital file for fabric printing is, thus, quite similar to the preparatory procedure used in traditional paper-based printing.
However, as a standard order, the greater the trait of the file standard, the more professional the design. When creating a graphic, make sure it has the proper size and orientation for your work design. You will likely be asked to offer a file in the RGB color space. For the most outstanding results, pictures should have a resolution of at least 150 dots per inch (DPI). High-resolution prints provide superior results, but printing textiles take longer since higher-resolution patterns need more time. Professional printing requires a resolution of 300 DPI, which may be achieved via Tiff, PDF, EPS, and PSD formats.
The brighter images should be clustered together, whereas the darker graphics should be clustered together if you’re creating several designs into fabric. Some are light, and others are dark. As with doing laundry at home, this is the same concept; the difference is that it aids in the clarity and quality of the final print.
Always, always, always get a sample of your design before proceeding. Many choices have been taken before you have arrived here, including design, color and dye type, arrangement, and pattern repetition, among other things. It is surprising for those printing their plans for the first time how different the image seems on the computer vs. how it appears on the cloth.
All printers tend to have different alignments; thus, even if you have printed this design previously, you cannot be sure that it will come out precisely the same this time. Because of this, you should request a sample piece. To determine if the final product is what you expected, most businesses will print a 20cm sample of the repeating pattern or a single print onto a t-shirt. It is possible to incur high costs by just printing a large number of copies.
What are the advantages of fabric printing for businesses?
So, you’ve learned about all of the factors to consider while fabric printing – but why should you bother? What are the benefits of fabric printing for your company’s operations? The following are the five most compelling reasons why you should consider fabric printing for your company.
🖼 Personal relationships are the finest.
You may have concluded that custom-made and branded textiles for your company are just too costly. Nevertheless, it may come out to be the most cost-effective marketing decision you ever make. Personalized clothing for promotional and marketing reasons allows you to take your work out into the world and have it viewed by passers-by, much like a walking billboard for your company.
The use of customized textiles may also make your display stand out as being unique and memorable. It provides something distinctive – it indicates a very professional business, providing the best quality goods in whatever industry you operate. It also represents a company that is highly professional in its approach. Recall how pleased you were the last time you were presented with goods in a cloth bag at a trade fair – it just makes you feel important and appreciated.
It is possible to ensure that all fabric printing is the same across goods – whether clothes or fabric backgrounds – by utilizing a fabric printing service necessary for marketing and advertising. Only in this manner can brand consistency and awareness be established and maintained.
You are attending a trade show or exhibition, and you want your representatives to be dressed in branded workwear. You also wish the backdrop, furnishings, and accessories to be printed with the same design – on a tactile fabric that is high-quality and long-lasting, which demonstrates your sophistication. This is why you choose fabric printing as your printing medium.
🖼 It has a low impact on the environment.
Our consumers have come to expect us to conduct ourselves ethically in our business operations. It is no longer acceptable to use techniques that are not environmentally friendly and wasteful. To do so, you must evaluate if the resources you use in your company are obtained from a sustainable source. Using natural, plant-based fibers in fabrics is ecologically beneficial, mainly if made from organic cotton. They provide more ethical advertising materials than the mass manufacturing of pamphlets or other paper-based marketing materials, which are increasingly prevalent nowadays. Even the printing process on textiles is more cost-effective than printing on paper since it generates much less chemical waste.
🖼 The cost of creating value is considerable.
Cost-benefit analysis is critical in the corporate world. Examining the effect of the pounds spent when planning your printing while making your printing decisions is necessary. However, the most significant expenditures do not necessarily have the greatest influence. When printing on fabric, it is feasible to create a massive number of materials at a cheap cost – and the items produced endure much longer than those produced with paper-based materials. Accordingly, it is sensible to think about the worth of cloth in any way of your budget while making purchases.
If money is a consideration, consider that printing in pastels is often less expensive than printing in dark, heavy colors. There are always methods in which may assist you in making fabric printing a more reasonable option.
Fabric printing enables you to express yourself uniquely and innovatively. Because setting up procedures is very inexpensive, it is feasible to experiment with various designs before establishing the one that works better for you. May also customize the size of the order to meet the needs of the customer. The fact is that with paper-based printed products, batch sizes are often prohibitively large, which disadvantages small companies in particular. When it comes to cloth printing, there are often no such restrictions. As a result, you wind up spending less money on something of much better quality and worth.
You likely believe you can obtain 1000 leaflets for every 100 fabric-based promotional items at this point in the process. In reality, however, 1000 leaflets are only inexpensive if you have a thousand locations where you would want to distribute your flyer. Will your pamphlets be read 1000 times – and how many of them will be thrown away – before they are considered a success? Do you have to pay to have recycling centers or dumpsites refilled?
🖼 Tactile and brimming with life
The final reason to choose fabric printing is because of the innovative spirit in its design. People are drawn to textiles – much more than paper – and want to touch the fabric and examine the pattern more carefully. When consumers see fabric goods, they will be drawn to them rather than being dismissed in the same way that paper products are. Your fabric design has the potential to create a personal connection with your client that other kinds of printing cannot match up to.
T-shirts and textile bags are the most common types of fabric printing projects that companies do – but maybe you have the luxury of being a little more creative? There are a plethora of choices accessible. If you sell kitchens, how about a tea towel to go with it? When it comes to becoming a personal trainer, how about a swim cap?
Printing on cloth may seem to be a specialized skill that only professionals possess. Let go of your preconceived notions about bespoke fabric printing; it is straightforward to do in the comfort of your own home! You will learn how to print on the cloth without any special equipment or materials in this tutorial.
For a long time, I believed that DIY fabric printing was something I would never be able to do on my own. I thought that beautiful fabric patterns could only be created using high-end equipment, materials, and printers specifically intended to print on fabric. All of my misconceptions were dispelled the other day when I discovered how to print on cloth using the most straightforward technique available!
After a long and arduous battle, the double-sided tape was finally successful! I believe it was one of those life-altering experiences! Throughout this lesson, you’ll learn how to print on fabric using a variety of methods, as well as a slight hint on how to make the ink water-resistant so that you may wash the cloth without the pattern coming off.
It is necessary to use double-sided tape to adhere the fabric to a sheet of paper to keep the cloth straight while being fed through the printer. As soon as the material has been printed, the double-sided tape may be removed, and in my experience, there will be no adhesive marks left on the fabric.
Is there a certain kind of printer you need to print on fabric?
In terms of the printer, there are a variety of choices to choose from. You may use a laserjet, a foam jet, or an ink-jet to create your design. Among the differences between these two types of printing is that the pattern produced on an ink-jet or foam jet printer does not disappear or fades only slowly. This is in contrast to the stain on the laserjet, which is not as durable or long-lasting.
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE INK FOR PRINTING ON FABRIC?
The ink may either be made water-resistant or non-water resistant, relying on your preferences. If you do not want to wash your completed products, use non-washable ink; however, it will require water-resistant links if you intend to wash your finished items. Inks are classified into two types: color-based inks and dye-based inks. Color inks that include pigments are water-resistant, while dye inks aren’t.
In addition, you have the option of pre-treating the cloth using a Foam Jet Set before printing on it. Printing directly on fabric using an ink-jet or foam jet printer while retaining the natural texture and feel of the material is made possible by this technique, which leaves the cloth neither stiff nor covered with a plastic film. Nevertheless, relying on your place, it may be more cost-effective for you to experiment with color inks and foam jet or ink-jet printers instead of dye inks.
Also, a word about the size of the printed fabric: this technique is limited to print cloth in the amount of paper acknowledged by your printer. For example, if your printer only takes letter-size form, you will be able to print on just a letter-size fabric piece as well.
THESE ARE THE MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED:
- double-sided tape fabric
- letter-size paper
- ink-jet or foam jet printer
- from conception to completion
- using a pressing iron
- Apply two-sided tape to another side of the paper, with the adhesive side of the video facing the report.
- Peele off the glossy paper backing from the double-sided tape to expose the second adhesive layer of double-sided tape underneath the beautiful paper backing
- The fabric should be applied over the adhesive layer of the tape gently and in tiny portions to prevent the formation of bubbles and uneven patches on the fabric’s surface.
- As soon as you detect any lumps, smooth them out immediately.
- Reduce the sides of the paper so that they are the same size as the paper.
- Input the fabric coated paper into your printer and print out your design on the fabric coated paper. Make guaranteed that all of the sides are straight. It is advisable to do a little test initially to determine which side of the form has been printed. However, even if you published on the wrong side of the paper, it is still acceptable! After discovering the mistake, you may flip the paper so that the fabric is facing the printer.
- Allow a tiny amount of time for the ink to dry. Mine was left for ten minutes.
- Peel the cloth away from the wall slowly and in tiny pieces.
- Press your cloth firmly with the iron while turning off the steam setting on the iron. It is possible to use steam on the ink after you are confident that it has dried completely. However, only color inks should be used since dye inks will fade and smear.
And that’s how you print on cloth at home, the simple, cheap, and fast method, as shown in the video! Take pleasure in your new custom-made fabric!
We have given a great deal of information that you can use to guide your decisions when working with a fabric print business – anything from the various kinds of dye to the different sorts of fabrics to the other print techniques available. If we had to distill the message down to its essence, the following is what we would want you to remember:
- May achieve a low-cost, high-impact promotional and marketing tool for your business via cloth printing.
- Direct to garment printing has reduced the cost and time required for fabric printing, allowing even the tiniest businesses to provide customized, bespoke clothing.
- The more prepared your file is for printing, the better the final result. Always ask for a sample before ordering large print runs of your design.
- Take a moment to recall how tactile and long-lasting textile goods maybe – and then consider what this will say about your business and the values that it upholds.
We hope that this tutorial has assisted you in better understanding the problems and ideals associated with fabric printing. It may be the decision that transforms your company and propels it to tremendous success in the future.