There are four main printing methods used on cloth: block, roller, screen and heat transfer. They all involve applying coloured pastes to the cloth. Colouring materials are often made of natural or synthetic dyes and can also include reducing agents that destroy the background colours or a discharge agent that leaves the designs white on a coloured background. The cloth is then fixed, usually by steaming or heating. The designs are printed either as a single colour or in a multi-colour pattern.
Cloth printing is a popular choice for making promotional t-shirts and clothing items for businesses and organisations. It is a durable and attractive method for printing custom logos, slogans, images and graphics onto t-shirts and other apparel. This type of printing can be done by hand or using an automatic machine process, depending on the complexity of the design and size of the order.
In screen printing, a stencil of your desired design is created by coating a mesh screen with a light-reactive emulsion. Then, the acetate sheet with the design is laid on top of the mesh screen and exposed to bright light. The emulsion that covers the areas of the fabric to be printed is hardened by the light, while those areas that won’t receive ink remain in liquid form. The squeegee or blade is then used to apply ink over the screen, reproducing the stencilled image on your t-shirt.
It’s important to always check a proof before an order goes into production. This can be a digital or physical proof, so you’ll want to make sure everything looks right. This will be your last chance to make any changes before the order is printed, so double-check for spelling, numbers, colors and alignment.