As a type of cloth design, fabric printing is a technique that applies color to fabric using a pattern or a design as a guide. There are important stages that need to be followed properly by an artisan before finally getting their end product. Those stages start from pre-treating the fabric to print, preparing the colors, preparing the printing paste, applying the paste on the fabric using printing methods, drying the fabric, using hot air or steam to fix the print, and treating the fabric after the whole processes. These stages have to be followed fully and properly so the artisan can get the final results that are exactly what they want it to be. Speaking of fabric printing also requires you to know about the methods involved with the technique. The first method is hand block printing. This is perhaps the oldest methods of printing on fabric known. Designs would be drawn on wooden blocks (one block for each different color). The block would then be pressed down on the fabric. The next is the Perrotine printing. This involves a special machine that was invented by Perrot of Rouen in 1834. Perrotine printing is practically out of use these days.
The next technique to produce printed fabric is roller printing. Roller printing technique can yield anywhere between 10,000 and 12,000 yards of fabric a day in a duration of 10 hours. The next is stencil printing. Stencil printing has been practiced in Japan even from time immemorial. Using a sharp-pointed knife, pattern would be drawn on a sheet of paper or a thin sheet of metal. The pattern would then be laid on a sheet of fabric while color would be brushed through the openings on the paper.
The next technique of printing on fabric is the screen printing. Screen printing is perhaps the most popular technique today. There are two subtypes exist: flatbed screen printing and rotary screen printing. A tool will squeeze the printing paste through the openings on a screen directly onto the fabric. The last technique is digital textile printing. It is also known as digital garment printing, DTG printing, or direct-to-garment printing. The technique is applied by using a specified technology of inkjet with a modified inkjet printer. This technique is pretty versatile as it can be used to produce single pieces of fabric print or in a great quantity. It can be a great alternative to screen printing.