printed fabrics

What No Merchandisers Tell You about Printed Fabric

what no merchandisers telll you about printed fabric

During the 4th century BC, somewhere in China, a textile enthusiast got a fantastic idea to make a woven printed fabric.

Probably the desire arose to impress the emperor during this period. But this was a simple act that became the cornerstone for all modern printing techniques.

Today printed fabrics are everywhere and the methods of printing are several. In this article, we are going to discuss everything about printed fabrics.

Table of content:

  1. History of printed fabrics
  2. What is hand printed fabric?
  3. What is wooden block printed fabric?
  4. What is screen printed fabric?
  5. What is digital printed fabric?
  6. What is direct printed fabric?
  7. What is resist dyed fabric?
  8. What is discharge print fabric?


History of Printed fabrics

Printed fabrics come with patterns and designs on the fabric with a wide range of colors.

Any type of fabric can be printed and are available worldwide.

The amazing thing about printed fabrics is that the designs do not come off with washing.

Throughout time, weavers and manufacturers have adopted a wide range of printing methods like hand printing, wooden block printing, screen printing, digital printing, direct printing, resist dyeing, discharge printing, etc.


What is hand printed fabric?

hand printed fabric

Hand printed fabrics were the early method of printing fabrics.

The inspiration for creating the prints was taken from cultural influences like gods, mythical creatures, stories etc. to create attractive designs and patterns.

A wooden piece, animal feathers, and hairs are used for creating hand-printed fabrics.

These designs make a simple boring piece of item into an interesting piece of art.

In India, hand printed fabrics are still available for international consumers made by traditional artisans.

They live in clusters around Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, etc.


What is wooden block printed fabric?

block printed fabric

Wooden block printed fabric is a type of fabric that has prints made using wooden blocks.

These days, blocks are also made using steel and other metals.

This process takes a lot of time and requires talented artisans.

Any type of fabric can be wooden block printed.

Cotton, linen, hemp, silk, etc are used mostly for wooden block printing.

An artisan first creates patterns over a wooden block using carpentry.

It has various sizes and shapes based on design.

Each color will have a different block.

Once the block is ready, it is dipped in colors and pressed against the cloth on a table or a flat surface.


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What is screen printed fabric?

screen printing machine

Screen printed fabrics are created using a woven mesh screen to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image.

An open area of mesh is created by the screen stencil and the colored ink is pressed through the mesh.

An object called a ‘squeegee’ is used for creating the impression on the fabric.

It is moved across the screen stencil. The image above clearly explains this concept.


What is digital printed fabric?

digital printed fabric

Digital printing technology is a recent invention that was derived from ink-jet printers.

During the 1900s, many companies invented advanced ink-jet printers to suit various business needs.

It started with papers.

But as business requirements grew, the innovations also grew into fit wide format digital printers that could print on any surface.

From paper to canvas to vinyl to fabric.

Today, digital printers are capable of printing intricate and large prints on fabrics.

It is easy and comparatively cheap to make digital print fabrics.

It can be done on any type of fabric like cotton, linen, hemp, etc.


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What is direct printed fabric?

Direct printing is a method in which the color is directly transferred onto fabric to produce a pattern.

Block printing method, roller printing method, and screen printing method come under the direct fabric printing method.


What is resist dyed fabric?

resist printed fabric

Resist dyeing is a type of printing method in which a special substance is applied on areas of the fabric in a way that keeps the dye from penetrating those areas.

Wax, rubber bands are mostly used substances in resist dyeing processes.

Once the substance is applied, the fabric is dyed completely.

Once the dyeing is over and washed, the substance is removed to reveal the pattern.

This is resist dyed print method for textiles.


What is discharge print fabric?

reactive dyed fabric

Discharge printing is a type of printing process similar to screen printing.

But instead of applying ink directly to the fabric, a discharge ink is applied to the fabric.

This removes the dye from the applied area to reveal a different color on the material.

This type of printing gives smooth texture to the fabric since the patterns are on the fabric itself.



So, I have explained and covered all the major printing methods in the textile industry with their origin and history.

I hope this article was helpful to dust off the information you already had or to understand something new.

What type of printed fabrics do you source?

Contact us if you have any requirements in all over printed fabrics.

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