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Fabrics what are they?

Any substance made from fibers through weaving or knitting. The term “textile” refers to a wide range of fiber-based products, such as fibers, yarns, filaments, threads, and other fabric kinds. The term “textiles” used to only refer to woven cloths. READ MORE on SIMPLE AND LIGHT FABRICS FOR EASY SEWING

What is a Fabrics printing?

Using pigments, dyes, or other materials in the form of patterns, printing is a procedure used to decorate textile fibers. Although they appear to have evolved from hand painting fabrics, such techniques are also very old.

Types of Fabrics Printing

  • Heat transfer or thermal transfer printing
  • Direct to garment digital printing (DTG)
  • Printing with inkjet printers
  • Engraved Roller printing
  • Screen printing
  • Sublimation transfer printing.
  • Photo Printing
  • Stencil printing
  • Block printing
  • Spray printing

Heat transfer or thermal transfer printing

Heat transfer printing, which uses precisely chosen dyes to imprint the design on paper, was created in response to the rising popularity of polyester materials. The pattern is then transferred from the paper to the fabric by running the two materials through a special hot calender together. New opportunities are made possible by this technique, such as the ability to create halftone effects. The nature and, in particular, the viscosity of the print paste are crucial in all textile printing, and the thickeners used must be compatible with all the other elements. The thickeners used in conventional procedures include starch, gum tragacanth, alginates, methyl cellulose ethers, and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose. There are numerous types of dye that can be used, including pigment colors, direct cotton, vat, mordant, and reactive dyes. The majority of dyes are fixed by steaming or aging, either in a batch or continuous process, and flash aging causes a more rapid fixation by, for example, allowing a shorter steaming period by using smaller equipment. After steaming, the fabric needs to be properly washed to get rid of any loose color or thickening and guarantee rubbing fastness.

Wool fabrics are typically chlorinated before printing, although most textile materials can be printed without additional pretreatment. Warps printed with stripes are utilized to create dark effects, and tops (long, parallel wool fibers) are employed to create mixed effects. A method created to guarantee good penetration is used to print tufted carpets.

Direct to garment digital printing (DTG)

This is the method used to print straight from the computer onto fabric using a specific inkjet printer and ink. Using a heat press or tunnel drier, the dye and the artwork are heated to solidify them.

Direct to garment digital printing has the benefit of allowing for low-cost production of any quantity of prints, including tiny batches, and realistic-looking images on the fabric.

The impression could diminish after few washing, which is a drawback. Additionally, it works best when darker ink colors are applied on lighter-colored fabric. Additionally, some fabrics are not appropriate for this printing. Cost increases exponentially as quantity increases, which is another drawback.

Printing with inkjet printers

This is a DIY variation of direct to garment printing. On pieces of fabric, an ordinary inkjet printer is used to print.

Any inkjet print can be used to print fabric, however the results will vary. The final result can vary depending on the printer utilized and the inks used. The outcomes of fabric printing vary even amongst different models of the same business.

Some printers, such as some Epson models, include settings specifically for printing on cloth. These printers also use pigment inks that are water-resistant but not waterproof. If not immediately after the first wash, the ink will start to fade after several.) Inkjet printers employ pigmented ink and dye-based inks. While pigmented dyes are vibrant and do not fade as quickly, they are also washable. However, they are superior than dye-based inks, which fade quickly, as they are made for fade resistance and lengthy print lives. So keep an eye out for inkjet printers that use pigment.

Engraved Roller printing

Engraved roller printing is a method of printing fabric in which dye is put to the fabric before it is run through a printing machine equipped with rollers that have been engraved with a design. The rolls of fabric you buy to make clothing are typically manufactured in this manner.

The benefit of this printing is that it produces consistent, high-quality prints across the entire batch. Each color is applied using a different roller. After being printed, the fabric goes through processes of steaming and drying to set the colour.

With only one machine, you can perfectly and precisely print any complex pattern you have in mind on up to 120.000 yards of fabric in a single day.

Screen printing

Screen printing can be done manually or automatically by a machine. 

The fabric is first placed on a printing table, secured in place with glue or pinned to a back gray, and then the design is applied using a silk or nylon gauze screen that has been stretched across a wooden or metal frame and has a copy of the design in one color. 

Typically, this is done through photography, but another option is to hand-paint with blocking paint that is appropriately resistant.

To ensure precise pattern fitting, a screen is placed over the fabric on the table to prevent registration stops. 

In order to force color through the open areas of the screen, print paste is put onto the screen edge closest to the operator and distributed with a squeegee. 

The screen is moved around until the cloth has received one color. 

The procedure is repeated using several screens to apply other colors.

Sublimation transfer printing

This technique uses a sublimation dye that is heated to transfer to the fabric. 

an improvement over the heat transfer printing technique stated before.

For this printing method, you’ll need a sublimation printer (or an inkjet printer that uses sublimation ink), sublimation ink, and a heat press machine.

Due to the high cost of the ink, this approach is unquestionably more expensive than the thermal transfer method. 

But the finished prints are gorgeous and bright.

The inability to print into cotton textiles (the best fabrics are made of 100 percent polyester) is a significant drawback of this process, and if you want to use it to print onto cotton fabrics, you will need to cover them with the right polyester material.

Although sublimation printing is said to be extremely robust and last for a very long time, exposure to bright sunlight may cause it to fade. 

But that is a very distant goal. READ MORE on Is Screen Printing Better than Sublimation?

Photo Printing

Any photograph can be printed on fabric with this sort of printing once it has been treated with a chemical (liquid photo emulsion) that is light-sensitive.

One such method that is employed regularly is blueprinting. 

Sir John Herschel developed this technique, which allows you to imprint the majority of things on prepared fabric. 

On a blue background, prints are made in white or light colors.

Stencil printing

Stencils that have been cut into the shapes of the designs are used for this printing. 

The stencils can be found in plastic, paper, metal, or wood. 

The gaps cut inside the stencil are painted with the dye or pigment.

This is a really simple method of printing on fabric that even a child can use. 

The drawback is that it requires a lot of labor and takes a while to print. 

It primarily serves one-time needs.

Block printing

This technique involves using a block of wood, copper, or other material that has a design on it to make prints. The design is carved into metal or wooden blocks, and then the carved design is dyed. 

After that, it is pushed into the fabric’s face.

Spray printing

As the name implies, the dye is applied to the fabric by carefully spraying it with specialist sprayers. The color is forced onto the fabric through screens using a spray pistol.


It is very important to know and understand that If you want intricate multi-color photo-realistic graphics with the full color spectrum accessible but in a small number of lots on light-colored polyester textiles, sublimation is an excellent solution.

So also, If you want a lot of cloth or garments printed with the same design and don’t mind having only a few color options, screen printing is the method to choose (one-color or limited color design or lettering)

ShopBy Nigeria got you covered if you need the best of fabrics for any kind of style printing depending on the type of event you want to attend.

Hope this topic “Types of Fabrics Printing” was helpful, for more info or consultancy Contact Us at ShopBy Nigeria

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