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Several Common Textile Printing Processes, How Many Do You Know?

  • 2021-01-06 19:17:00

Along with the development of science and technology, the textile industry is also progressing. The dazzling clothing and various patterns are mostly the progress and development of printing technology, which we can see from our ACTEX's more and more OEM apparel orders of custom printed underwear, custom printed swimwear, and printed activewear. Speaking of print, how many printing process for clothing do you know?


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1. Tropical Printing (also called transfer printing)


Tropical printing, is also called transfer printing, such as digital printing. It don't need to make any printing moulds. First use the printing method to print the pigment on the paper to make transfer printing paper, and then transfer the color to the fabric surface through high temperature (heating and pressing on the back of the paper). In this way, the printing has bright colors, fine layers, vivid patterns, and strong artistry.


It can be allover printing on the fabric directly like below tropical print swimwear, or placement printing on fabric cutting pieces like below tropical print clothing. It is generally used for chemical fiber fabrics. Currently, this printing can be used on both polyester fibers and polyamide fibers, but it need to do more complicated processes to print onthe polyamide fibers, in order to guarantee the color fastness.


The transfer printing process is simple, the investment is small, and the production is flexible, convenient to make the printing samples. It is currently popular in the market. But to be honest, compared with tranditional screen printing. it has its disavantages. (We will talk about the differences between digital printing and traditional screen printing in separate blog in future.)


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2. Traditional screen printing


Traditional screen printing, need to make the printing moulds at first. There are several kinds of screen printing. Roller screen printing and rotary screen printing are 2 popular printing process for printed underwear, printed swimwear and custom printed gym wear. Water printing is a common printing process for T-shirt, especially for the cotton T-shirts.


Traditional screen printing is a continuous process, high production efficiency, its working principle is similar to dyeing, but has certain limitations in color selection and cannot be aplied to dark background fabrics.


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3. Rubber Print


The rubber printing process uses a special chemical gel and dyes to be highly seamlessly mixed. The dye is firmly attached to the fabric through the medium of the gel. The rubber printing process overcomes the limitations of water-based printing.


Its characteristic is to adapt to printing of various color depths and materials. It can be printed on blended fabrics of cotton, linen, viscose, polyester, nylon, polypropylene, chlorine and various fibers, as well as on leather, artificial leather and other materials. For printing, it can be used for fluorescent printing, inkjet printing, burnout printing, electrostatic flocking printing and other printing processes.


The biggest advantage of the rubber printing process is that it is widely used, beautiful in color, like high quality activewear with rubber print label or decoration, kids bathing suits with rubber printing at front. However, its printing process is more complicated than the water paste printing process, and the cost is relatively high.


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4. Water print


Water printing process is one of the most basic printing processes in the screen printing industry. It can be printed on almost all light background fabrics such as cotton, polyester, linen, etc., and is widely used.  Its working principle is similar to dyeing, but the difference is that it "dyes" a certain area of the fabric into the color needed for the flower position. Therefore, this process cannot be applied to dark background fabrics.


The biggest advantage of the water slurry printing process is that it is widely used, the flower position fastness is very good, and it can print better results at a relatively low price.  The limitation of the water printing process is that it cannot be applied to all dark fabrics.


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5. Foil Print


Gold bronzing and silver bronzing is a traditional method of binding and beautifying, and it is often used in many paper packaging, while silk-screen bronzing and silver bronzing is a new type of technology. The principle is to add special chemical agents to the printing paste to make the flower position appear particularly beautiful  The color is gold and silver, and the color sample is durable and does not fade.


It can be printed on many kinds of fabrics. The cost is lower than the traditional craft. It is a very ideal printing decoration craft. Custom made Swimwear and activewear use foil print more and more these years.


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6. Foam Printing


Foam printing is also called three-dimensional printing. The foam printing process is developed on the basis of the glue printing process. Its principle is to add a certain proportion of chemical substances with high expansion coefficient to the glue printing dye. After drying, it is foamed at a high temperature of 200 to 300 degrees to achieve a three-dimensional effect similar to "relief". The foam printing process can be used to achieve high, medium and low foaming effects depending on the requirements of the substrate.


The biggest advantage of the foam printing printing process is that it has a strong three-dimensional effect, and the printing surface is prominent and expanded. It is widely used in materials such as cotton cloth and nylon cloth. It's a popular print process to decorate the high quality swimwear and good quality activewear.


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7. Water change printing process


The water-change printing process is the latest printing process. A variety of physical and photochemical principles are used to produce products with this process. When the fabric enters the water, the raw materials and the water on the fabric undergo instant complex changes, presenting a rich pattern set in advance. When the water on the surface of the fabric evaporates, the original pattern appears again.


This process can be widely used in the printing design of beach shorts for men, sexy swimming suits, raincoats, umbrellas, large signs, advertisements and many other media, to produce, like a series of "magic color changing swimsuit" and a series of amazing color-changing products, which has an extremely broad market.


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8. Flocking printing process


The electrostatic flocking printing process is one of the three-dimensional printing processes. The process is to transfer a high-strength compound resin adhesive to the surface of the substrate with a pattern silk screen, and then let the fiber fluff be charged through a high-voltage electrostatic field of hundreds of thousands of volts, so that the fluff will be fast vertically and uniformly on the surface of the fabric.


It is widely used in sofa fabrics, packaging boxes, shoe fabrics, decorations, toys, industrial electrical device protection, etc. The fluff is covered on the surface of the object without being restricted by the shape and size of the plant. The product printed by the flocking process has a strong sense of cube, bright colors, soft hand feeling, no fluffing and friction resistance.


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9. Fluorescent printing process


The fluorescent printing process is a new type of special printing process. The principle is to use a special process to integrate the photoluminescence self-luminous material into the fabric, and realize the automatic light-emitting function by absorbing various visible light. Its characteristic is that it can be used for unlimited times.


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10. Reflective Print


Special reflective material powder are added to the ink resin and printed directly on fabrics of various colors through the screen. In places with insufficient sunlight or at night, it can act as a warning by self-luminescence and reflection from external light sources, suitable for printing fabrics of various fibers, like last year's sports running shorts.


It can reflect the distant direct light back to the luminous place, and has good retroreflective optical performance, no matter in day or night. Especially at night, it can display the same high visibility as during the day. Safety clothing and short-sleeved clothing made of this kind of high-visibility reflective printing can be easily found by night drivers regardless of whether the wearer is in a remote place or under the interference of light or scattered light. The emergence of reflective materials successfully solved the night driving problem of "seeing" and "being seen".


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11. Embossing Print


Emboss print is to use the temperature of the roller to iron the corresponding pattern on the fabric or elastic band for leggings with waistband, without dye; the ironed part will be shiny, and the pattern will be produced in contrast with the unheated part, so the embossing has no color, it's a textile finishing process, this is different from the printing process!


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