Printing Textile printing is the process of applying colour to fabric in definite patterns or designs. In properly printed fabrics the colour is bonded with the fiber, so as to resist washing and friction. Textile printing is related to dyeing but, whereas in dyeing proper the whole fabric is uniformly covered with one colour, in printing one or more colours are applied to it in certain parts only, and in sharply defined patterns. In printing, wooden blocks, stencils, engraved plates, rollers, or silkscreens can be used to place colours on the fabric.
Colourants used in printing contain dyes thickened to prevent the colour from spreading by capillary attraction beyond the limits of the pattern or design. Traditional textile printing techniques may be broadly categorised into four styles: Direct printing, in which colourants containing dyes, thickeners, and the mordants or substances necessary for fixing the colour on the cloth are printed in the desired pattern. The printing of a mordant in the desired pattern prior to dyeing cloth; the color adheres only where the mordant was printed.
Resist dyeing, in which a wax or other substance is printed onto fabric which is subsequently dyed. The waxed areas do not accept the dye, leaving uncoloured patterns against a coloured ground. Discharge printing, in which a bleaching agent is printed onto previously dyed fabrics to remove some or all of the colour. Resist and discharge techniques were particularly fashionable in the 19th century, as were combination techniques in which indigo resist was used to create blue backgrounds prior to block-printing of other colours.  Most modern industrialised printing uses direct printing techniques.
Textile printing history Textile decoration is an ancient art. It refers to the various processes by which fabrics are printed in colored design print fabrics. Examples of Greek fabrics from the 4th century B. C. have been found. India exported block prints to the Mediterranean region in the 5th century B. C. The different ways of decorating a fabric includes dyeing, printing, embroidery etc. The discovery of a dyed cotton fabric dating back to the Indus Valley civilization shows that the art of dyeing with the use of mordents was well known to the Indian dyers 5,000 years ago.
This form of dyeing was responsible for making India famous all over the world for its dyed and printed fabrics. The other forms of textile printing are stencil work, highly developed by Japanese artists, and block printing. In the latter method a block of wood, copper, or other material bearing a design in intaglio with the dye paste applied to the surface is pressed on the fabric and struck with a mallet. A separate block is used for each color, and pitch pins at the corners guide the placing of the blocks to assure accurate repeating of the pattern.
In cylinder or roller printing, developed in 1785, the fabric is carried on a rotating central cylinder and pressed by a series of rollers each bearing one color. The design is engraved on the copper rollers by hand or machine pressure or etched by pantograph or photoengraving methods; the color paste is applied to the rollers through feed rollers rotating in a color box, the color being scraped off the smooth portion of the rollers with knives. More recent printing processes include screen-printing.
This is a hand method especially suitable for large patterns with soft outlines, in which screens, one for each color, are placed on the fabric. Then, the color paste is pressed through a wooden squeegee. Spray printing, in which a spray gun forces the color through a screen; and electro coating, used to apply a patterned pile are the other latest printing processes. In certain cases, the cloth is painted by using a pen with dyes and mordants. This method is known as kalamkari, a pen work. Printing the outline of the design and filling in the details with a kalam, a pen, combines the techniques of printing and kalamkari.
Direct printing is practised all over India where a bleached cotton or silk fabric is printed with the help of carved wooden blocks. Another technique employed was printing with the use of mordants. Mordants are chemicals that absorb the dye. The cloth is first printed with mordants and then immersed in a dye bath. Only the sections that have absorbed the mordant absorb the dye. The cloth is then washed in flowing water and spread out to dry on the riverbank allowing the sun to develop the color. Then the untreated sections were bleached with local ingredients like goat droppings, etc.
Recently, discharge printing with the use of chemicals has been developed. Here dyes when printed react on one another, either bleaching the background material or producing a different shade. Printing on plain fabric developed in response to the popularity of “chintz” textiles imported to Europe from India, beginning in the early seventeenth century. These fine cotton fabrics were patterned with richly colored painted and dyed designs of exotic flora and fauna. Equally important, the colors resisted fading or running when washed in water.
Imported cottons rapidly gained popularity throughout Europe and were seen to pose a threat to the powerful silk-weaving industry. For this reason, textile printing on a large scale was not successful in Europe until the eighteenth century, despite the fact that a method for colorfast printing was developed in Europe by 1670. Legislation was passed in France (1686) and England (1700) prohibiting the importation and domestic production of printed textiles. In England, however, printed textiles could be made for export only, so technology continued to develop there legally.
The American colonies were a major market for these textiles. The Dutch, who had no such prohibitions, developed a textile printing industry during the late seventeenth century as well, but the French and English led the industry in the eighteenth century, despite legislation curbing production. Imported cottons rapidly gained popularity throughout Europe and were seen to pose a threat to the powerful silk-weaving industry. The first successful method of transferring designs to textiles was that of woodblock printing.
This could produce detailed designs, but required the preparation of separate blocks to print each color on the designated areas. Smaller areas of color were often “pencilled” or hand-painted onto the textiles (37. 170). A method of printing with engraved copperplates was developed in Ireland in 1752 and then brought to England. Prints from copperplates produced designs with even finer details, almost equal to the quality of a print on paper, but they were limited to one color. However, woodblocks and hand-painting could be used to add colors to copperplate prints (1983. 365).
The English held a virtual monopoly on the production of fine copperplate printed cottons until the French ban was lifted in 1759. In the following year, Swiss-born Christophe Oberkampf (1738–1815) established a factory at Jouy-en-Josas near Paris. The factory at Jouy was extremely successful, due in part to the skill of one of its chief designers, Jean-Baptiste Huet (1745–1811), and to this day, pictorial printed cottons are commonly referred to as “toile de Jouy. ” All manner of subject matter was appropriated for designs: floral or chinoiserie styles, political subjects, enre scenes, mythological tales, fables, and popular literature (27. 44. 3). Roller printing, a mechanical improvement on the copperplate technique, was developed in England in the late eighteenth century and was in use in the north of England by 1790. The copper roller gave manufacturers the ability to print larger quantities of fabrics at greater speeds, for lower prices, and the production of printed cotton increased dramatically in the nineteenth century. http://textiles. indianetzone. com/1/techniques_textile_decoration. htm Hand block printing
India has been renowned for its printed and dyed cotton cloth since the 12th century and the creative processes flourished as the fabric received royal patronage. Different styles of designs have evolved in different parts of the country and West Bengal is noted for it’s bold and vibrant motifs. The fabric to be printed is washed free of starch and soft bleached if the natural gray of the fabric is not desired. If dyeing is required as in the case of saris where borders or the body is tied and dyed it is done before printing. The fabric is again washed to remove excess dye and dried thoroughly.
The fabric is stretched over the printing table and fastened with small pins. This is an important stage as there should be a uniform tension in the fabric and no ripples. Color is mixed separately in another room. Usually pigment dyes are used for cotton. You can read more about dyes at the end of this page. Color is kept in a tray on a wheeled wooden trolley with racks which the printer drags along as he works. On the lower shelves printing blocks are kept ready. The tray of color rests on another tray which contains a thick viscous liquid made from the pigment binder and glue.
This gives the color tray a soft base which helps to spread color evenly on the wooden block. Blocks are made of seasoned teak wood by trained craftsmen. The underside of the block has the design hand carved on it by the block maker. Each block has a wooden handle and two to three cylindrical holes drilled into the block for free air passage and also to allow release of excess printing paste. The new blocks are soaked in oil for 10-15 days to soften the grains in the timber. The printing starts form left to right.
The color is evened out in the tray with a wedge of wood and the block dipped into the outline color (usually black or a dark color). When the block is applied to the fabric, it is slammed hard with the fist on the back of the handle so that a good impression may register. A point on the block serves as a guide for the repeat impression, so that the whole effect is continuous and not disjoined. The outline printer is usually an expert because he is the one who leads the process. If it is a multiple color design the second printer dips his block in color again using the point or guide for a perfect registration to fill in the color.
The third color if required follows likewise. Skill is necessary for good printing since the colors need to dovetail into the design to make it a composite whole. The fabric, after pigment printing is dried out in the sun. This is part of the fixing process. It is then rolled in wads of newspapers to prevent the dye from adhering to other layers and steamed in boilers constructed for the purpose. Silks are also steamed this way after printing. After steaming, the material is washed thoroughly in large quantities of water and dried in the sun, after which it is finished by ironing out single layers, which fix the color permanently.
Perrotine-Printing. The “perrotine ” is a block-printing machine invented by Perrot of Rouen in 1834, and practically speaking is the only successful mechanical device ever introduced for this purpose. For some reason or other it has rarely been used in England, but its value was almost immediately recognized on the Continent, and although block-printing of all sorts has been replaced to such an enormous extent by roller-printing, the ” perrotine ” is still largely employed in French, German and Italian works.
The construction of this ingenious machine is too complex to describe here without the aid of several detailed drawings, but its mode of action is roughly as follows: – Three large blocks (3 ft. long by 3 to 5 in. wide), with the pattern cut or cast on them in relief, are brought to bear successively on the three faces of a specially constructed printing table over which the cloth passes (together with its backing of printer’s blanket) after each impression.
The faces of the table are arranged at right angles to each other, and the blocks work in slides similarly placed, so that their engraved faces are perfectly parallel to the tables. Each block is moreover provided with its own particular colour trough, distributing brush, and woollen colour pad or sieve, and is supplied automatically with colour by these appliances during the whole time that the machine is in motion, The first effect of starting the machine is to cause the colour sieves, which have a reciprocating motion, to pass over, and receive a charge of colour from, the rollers, fixed to revolve, in the colour troughs.
They then return to their original position between the tables and the printing blocks, coming in contact on the way with the distributing brushes, which spread the colour evenly over their entire surfaces. At this point the blocks advance and are gently pressed twice against the colour pads (or sieves) which then retreat once more towards the colour troughs. During this last movement the cloth to be printed is drawn forward over the first table, and, immediately the colour pads are sufficiently out of the way, the block advances and, with some force, stamps the first impression on it.
The second block is now put into gear and the foregoing operations are repeated for both blocks, the cloth advancing, after each impression, a distance exactly equal to the width of the blocks. After the second block has made its impression the third comes into play in precisely the same way, so that as the cloth leaves the machines it is fully printed in three separate colours, each fitting into its proper place and completing the pattern.
If necessary the forward movement of the cloth can be arrested without in any way interfering with the motion of the blocks – an arrangement which allows any insufficiently printed impression to be repeated in exactly the same place with a precision practically impossible in hand-printing. For certain classes of work the ” perrotine ” possesses great advantages over the hand-block; for not only is the rate of production greatly increased, but the joining up of the various impressions to each other is much more exact – in fact, as a rule, no sign of a break in continuity of line can be noticed in well-executed work.
On the other hand, however, the ” perrotine ” can only be applied to the production of patterns containing not more than three colours nor exceeding five inches in vertical repeat, whereas hand block-printing can cope with patterns of almost any scale and containing any number of colours. All things considered, therefore, the two processes cannot be compared on the same basis: the ” perrotine ” is best for work of a utilitarian character and the hand-block for decorative work in which the design only repeats every 15 to 20 in. and contains colours varying in number from one to a dozen. http://www. 1911encyclopedia. org/Textile-printing
Copperplate Printing Copperplate printing also known as engraved printing uses a polished copper plate on which a design has been etched or engraved. The fine handwriting that is associated with 18th and 19th century copperplate engravings is often referred to as copperplate. Today, this script lettering style can either be created and engraved by hand directly onto the metal printing plate or typeset on computer and then transferred to the printing plate. There are many styles of script available providing a speedy and economic way of creating distinctive and beautiful looking invitations, announcements and business cards.
Dating from the 16th century, copperplate printing or engraving still creates an image of elegance and distinction and is allows designers to create very high quality printed materials. The craftsmen at Baddeley Brothers have been practising the art of copperplate printing since 1859. To create copperplate or engraved print, the image to be reproduced is first engraved onto a copper plate. Nowadays this is normally achieved through computer typesetting, but hand tooling may still be employed to capture fine detail or rout out larger areas.
The plate is then inked and stamped against a sheet of paper at pressures of up to two tons per square inch, causing the image to be transferred to the paper stock. The extreme force used in the copperplate printing process presses the paper deep into the engraved areas of the printing plate, creating an impression on the paper surface. It is this impression that imparts the finished image with its unique, three-dimensional character and trmendous tactile appeal. In addition because copperplate printing inks are opaque, they produce crisp, well defined images in colours that are exceptionally clear and true.
Their opacity also allows the engraving of light-coloured images on darker paper stocks. Cylinder printing The printing of cloth began in the early 1750s. Both wooden blocks with patterns cut in relief, and copper plates, with engraved patterns were used. In his book The History of the Cotton Manufacture (1835), Edward Baines claims that printing with engraved copper rollers was invented by Joseph Bell and was first used by Livesey, Hargeaves, Hall & Co at Livesey, near Preston. The engraved printing cylinder was placed horizontally with another cylinder above it.
The bottom of the lower cylinder took up the printing colour from a trough, the excess being scraped off by a closely fitting steel blade. The cloth passed between the cylinders and then over several steam-heated drying boxes. Complex colour patterns could be achieved by using more than one printing cylinder. Stencil printing The art of stenciling is very old. It has been applied to the decoration of textile fabrics from time immemorial by the Japanese and ,of late years, has found increasing employment in Europe for certain classes of decorative work on woven goods for furnishing purposes.
The pattern is cut out of a sheet of stout paper or thin metal with a sharp pointed knife, the uncut portions representing the part that is to be reserved or left uncoloured. The sheet is now laid on the material to be decorated and colour is brushed through its interstices. Screen printing Screen printing is by far the most used technology today. Two types exist: Rotary screen printing and flat bed screen printing. A blade squeezes the printing paste through openings in the screen onto the fabric. Rotary screen printing Rotary screen printing Rotary screen printing uses CAD and roller squeegees. One roller is used for each colour.
This is a very fast process used in the continuous printing of furnishing and clothing fabrics. . Industrial flat-bed screen printing Industrial flat-bed printing automates this process, with the fabric moved through the machine on a conveyor belt and the print repeating rapidly. Flat- bed screen printing Manual flat-bed screen printing Manual flat-bed screen printing is a slow process, done by hand. It is used by designer-makers for complicated fabric designs or for small runs. Manual flat- bed screen printing 1. Mesh is stapled to a frame to make a screen. 2. Masking tape is stuck to the underside of the screen. . A stencil is made from paper. 4. The stencil is placed under the screen but on top of the paper. 5. Ink is poured at one end of screen. 6. A squeegee is used to press down and draw ink across screen. 7. The screen is carefully lifted. 8. The print is checked before the process is repeated. Roller printing In roller printing, the print paste is supplied from reservoirs to rotating copper rollers, which are engraved with the desired design. These rollers contact a main cylinder roller that transports the fabric. By contacting the rollers and the fabric the design is transferred to the fabric.
As many as 16 rollers can be available per print machine, each roller imprints one repeat of the design. As the roller spins, a doctor blade in continuous mode scrapes the excess of paste back to the colour trough. At the end of each batch the paste reservoirs are manually emptied into appropriate printing paste batch containers and squeezed out. The belt and the printing gear (roller brushes or doctor blades, squeegees and ladles) are cleaned up with water. Digital Fabric Printing Digital Fabric Printing is by far one of the most exciting developments in the textile industry.
Not only does it open up endless opportunities for customization, small run printing, prototyping and experimentation but it also puts textile printing within the budget of your average illustrator. From small runs to big productions, all can be printed with ease while maintaining the demanding parameters of textiles. Advantages of Digital Fabric Printing: This technology uses large format digital inkjet printers. Practically it is the same technique used by desk top inkjet printers to print paper. Due to which digital Textile printing has various advantages over traditional printing.
Some of these include: * With the digital printing technology photographic & tonal graphics with multiple shades as well as colors can be printed on textiles * Unlike Traditional printing techniques (like Rotary & Screen printing) there is no limitation on number of colors as with this printing technique any number of colors can be printed in fabrics * There is no limitation on repeat size as in case of traditional printing methods * It offers faster processing speed where everything that is required in the print can be prepared on computer digitally * It allows user to print as little as possible.
Therefore there is no minimum order quantity as such * High Precision printing is possible, which is usually a drawback with other forms of printing * Overall cost of producing a sample is cheaper in comparison to other forms of printing Problems / Limitations associated with digital printing: The following points explain the details: * Metallic colors can not be printed by these machines * In case of flat color printing, there can be a gamut of colors which the achine cannot produce * Maximum Width of printing is 150 cmts / 58” Rejection level as compared to traditional printing: Rejection level of printed fabric is much higher as compared to other forms of printing. Specially where the print area is insignificant as compared to the entire fabric surface. Cost of printing for bigger production runs is much more as compared to other forms of printing. No sure shot formula to achieve desired results in case of photographic files.
Attaining good results in digital textile printing for photographic files is an art where good desired results can be achieved only after correcting the file after various rounds of strike off. It takes few attempts / trials, before the optimum results are achieved. There is always a minor difference between the colors of the screen or artwork in comparison with the printed fabric. Khadhi printing This is done on light or dark coloured grounds. It consists of titanium dioxide with other auxiliaries.
The important factor in printing of this is right combination of titanium dioxide and proper choice of binder will give better fastness and soft handle. Khadi printing in gold & silver is developed to simulate the look of rich brocade. However, in striking colors, they sometimes appear embroidered. Khadi or Chamki work, also known as Tinsel Printing has been a lond tradition in Rajasthan and this mannner of decorating textiles was extensively applied to the costumes of royalty and the articles they used.
Previously artisians used to use gold and silver dust for their work in printing. This was lately replaced by flakes of crushed mica, metallic powders, in different colors on a gold and silver base. Khadi work is primarily done on garments that are worn for ceremonial purpose. It is also created on garments like the kanchli, ghaghra, angarkha, jama and the turban cloth. A special bridal chunri called phavri or phamri is an essential part of the Rajasthani bride’s trousseau and is worn on festivals.