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Ready Pattern Design & Trends Blog

Types of Textile Printing | List of different types of Print Process Used

by Astrid Kingerly

June 12, 2020 00:19 label 11 minutes read label Leave a comment

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Textile printing is coloring with as many colors as needed to get a desired design or pattern. Although it may seem like 'dyeing' yet it is better than that. It is 'another version of dyeing'. In printing wooden blocks, plates etc are used for the coloring process. For this, the colorant used is thickened to achieve spreading up of dyes evenly onto the fabric.

During the 12th century Europe came up with the idea of wooden prints. Later Islamic countries imported a very fine quality of printed fabric that was way much more expensive. During the 17th century, the French brought samples of blue and white prints which gave washable fabric and it is used till date.

Types of textile printing:

  1. Block Printing involves use of a carved wooden block to imprint an image on any fabric.
  2. Roller Printing is applying a dye paste of each color to the fabric with the help of a metal roller.
  3. Screen Printing is the process by which ink is pressed through a stencil mesh to achieve a printed design.
  4. Flat-screen Printing & Rotatory Printing both involve transferring the printing paste to the fabric through an opening in the designed screen.
  5. Transfer Printing can be described as transferring a design first printed on to a flexible non-textile substance to a textile.
  6. Stencil Printing is a method of transferring a pattern by brushing, spraying paint or ink through the open areas of a stencil.
  7. Digital Printing is a method of printing a digital image to a variety of media.
  8. Batik Printing is the process of covering a part of the cloth with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth.
  9. Tie & Dye Printing involves folding/twisting/crumpling a fabric and then binding it with strings followed by the application of dyes.

Another important factor is the difference between dyeing and textile printing; as both are relatable to each other yet different.

Difference between Dyeing & Textile Printing

  • Dyeing involves coloring whole fabric while printing is done to get a specific design or pattern of the color of your choice.
  • In the dyeing process, the color of dye is applied on both the sides of the fabric which is not the case with printing.
  • In dyeing, a precise temperature is required which is not the condition with printing.
  • A huge amount of water is required for dyeing whereas for printing a fabric small amount of water is required.
  • In spite being costly printed fabric is hard on the other hand-dyed fabric are way much cheaper and softer.

For textile printing specifically digital textile printing, high-quality designs can be made at a faster rate. Also, there are fabrics with loose strands which come in contact with the printing machine and cause damage to it.

Fabrics suitable for textile printing

  1. Cotton
    It is a natural fiber and used because of the quality of comfort it provides.
  2. Wool
    It is really difficult to print on the wool with its threads all around it, so whenever wool is to be printed special types of machine is required.
  3. Silk
    Silk is also a natural fiber. It can be printed keeping in mind the time consumption or color required according to our priority.
  4. Polyester
    Printing on polyester requires an expensive printer yet it saves printer paper costs, steaming or washing cost.
  5. Mixed Fabric
    Mixed Fabric is the combination of two fabric where one type of ink is used for each kind of material separately.

Textile printing at home:  

The best way to print fabric at home is freezer paper method which is of course so trendy especially in this quarantine. To follow this method following utilities are required.

  • Freezer paper/ butter paper
  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Printer

The procedure for the same is given below:

  1. Take a freshly ironed piece of fabric, place the freezer paper with its shiny side facing the fabric and iron it. Cut out the extra portion.
  2. Put it in your printer keeping in mind that the ink prints on the fabric, not the paper.
  3. Click the option print.

Your printed fabric is ready.

These were some of the interesting data about textile printing.

Hope you found it fruitful!



About the author

Astrid Kingerly

Astrid Kingerly is a fashion designer at Ready Pattern. She curates surface design moodboards for upcoming seasons after researching on trends and forecasts. Do you have any design stories which you would like to showcase? Write to us.


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