When it comes to designing fabric, there are various methods one can use and digital printing is one of them. Imagine having 2 t-shirts with the same design, color and material. On one t-shirt, the print design seems to sit on top of the fabric and has some sort of waxy quality to it. On the other t-shirt, the design seems to seamlessly mesh with the fabric and there is no difference wise on the printed area and the rest of the t-shirt. What causes this noticeable difference? Digital printing on fabric.
Digital fabric printing is the process of using inkjet printers to add beautiful designs on to fabric. While this process is usually more expensive than other designing options, it does produce high quality designs and can also be used for customized clothes. Using digital printing fabric will ensure detailed designs and varieties of color.
How do you go about the process of fabric printing? How are the designs transferred on to the digital printing fabric? Here is the process from making the design to getting the finished product.
The artistic process
The first step of creating the design that will be later transferred onto the digital printing of fabric.There 2 most common ways of doing this;
1.Using a graphic design program- for this method, the design has to be converted into a TIFF (tagged image file format).it considerably reduces the risk of losing the work and it also works best for large deigns.
2.Using original handmade art- the design has to be scanned and then converted into a digital format for easy transference.
printed hi vis To make it possible to repeat the design many times over the fabric, it is advisable to use seamless designs.
The transferring process
Before getting the fabric into a printer, one has to first treat it in various solutions to make it more susceptible to the dye and enhance its ability to absorb color. Once this process is complete, the fabric is now ready to have designs transferred on to it!
Rollers are used to feed the printing fabric through the printer which is usually calibrated to only produce the right amount of ink that each can hold. After the correct fabric height is set on the ink head, images are then transferred in form of tiny ink droplets. It is important to note that the ink used is dependent on the type of printing fabric used.
The finishing process
This is the final process that helps ensure the ink meshes with the printing fabric more perfectly with high color fastness which can make the design stays for longer. Also prevent shrinking and keep the dimension of the design not be changed. Finishing is dependent on the type of fabric used, e.g. cotton, nylon, silk etc. And can be done using pressure, steam, dry heat and sometimes a combination of two methods. It is then washed to take off the excess ink and later dried and ironed for packaging which is later distributed for selling.