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Styles of Textile Printing

Styles of Textile Printing:

Styles of printing means the manner in which a printed effect is produced. There are some styles of printing that are used.

  • Direct style of printing
  • Discharge style of printing
  • − White discharge
  • − Color discharge
  • Resist style of printing
  • − White resist
  • − Color resist
  • Flock style of printing
  • Crepon/crepe style of printing
  • Metallic style of printing
  • Emboss Style of Printing
  • Rubber Printing
  • Burn-out Printing

1. Direct Style of Printing

  • This print is also called application print and
  • It is the most popular type of printing style.
  • In this style the print paste is applied directly at the required places of the fabric, leaving the other portion white, by any printing method like block printing, screen printing etc. So this style is called the direct style of printing.
  • Direct printing is the most important type of printing. It may even take place on a uniformly dyed fabric to produce a particular color effect. Such overprinting produces are called “fall on effects’’ or overprinting.

Printing can be done by using block printing, roller printing, screen printing, stencil printing etc methods.

2. Discharge Style of Printing

  • Discharge means removal and discharging system mean the process which can produce a white or colored effect on a previously dyed ground.
  • In this type of prints, Fabrics are generally dyed in a solid color, prior to printing.
  • This discharging of color from the previously dyed ground is carried out by a discharging agent which is actually an oxidizing and reducing agent capable of destroying color by oxidation and reduction.

There are two types of discharge style of printing:

  • White Discharge
  • Color Discharge

The discharging agents are-

  1. Oxidizing agent: Potassium chlorate (KClO3), Na-chlorate (NaClO3)
  2. Reducing agent: Rongalite (sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate-> HO-CH2-SO2Na), Stannous chloride(SnCl2).

White Discharge 

In this discharge style printing, the fabric is first dyed to a solid shade and then printed with a paste containing chemicals capable of destroying the color during the following steaming process. This allows the printing of white designs on a ground color.

For example, White polka dot on a blue background can be made by “White discharge print”. In this process first fabric is dyed with a blue color, then appropriate dots are printed with the print paste containing discharging chemical which removes the blue color form the background of fabric during steaming. Finally, washing leaves a white polka dot design on the blue colored fabric.

For good discharge printing,  dye selection is critical.

Color Discharge

  • Dyestuff which is strongly resistant to the discharging agents are included in the printing paste along with the discharging agent. The discharging agent of print paste discharges the color in the printed area. At the same time, the dyestuff of print paste deposits and fixes itself on the ground. As a result, color discharge effect is obtained. In this way, one or more colors may be applied.
  • For example, the color-destroying chemical does not affect on vat dyes so that “Color discharge Print” can also be produced. For color discharge, these two substances (the color removing chemical and vat dye) may be mixed together in the same print paste and applied in a similar fashion.
  • When printing with this mixture, the color removing chemical removes the previously dyed background color while the vat dye color is simultaneously printed on the fabric. A yellow polka dot on a blue background can be made by first dyeing the fabric “Blue” then printing with a yellow vat dye mixed with the color-removing chemical.

Discharge Prints are not widely used due to the following reasons:

  • Production is more costly than direct print because fabric is to be dyed prior to
  • Very careful and precise process control is


3. Resist Style of Printing

  • Resists means to hinder. In resist printing the fabric is first printed with an agent that resists either dye penetration or dye fixation. During subsequent dyeing, only the areas free of the resist agent are colored.
  • It is one of the oldest printing style in which two resulting pattern can be obtained. The advantage of this technique is that non- dischargeable dyes can be used for the ground color.
  • Physical resisting agents prevent dye absorption by the fibres and include materials such as waxes, fats, pigments and resins. They provide a physical barrier to dye penetration.
  • It is performed as craft or hand printing rather than on production basis. Generally used for batik prints, tie-dye prints and ikat prints.

There are two types of resist printing

  • White Resist
  • Color Resist

White Resist

  • In this type of prints, the fabric is printed in two In first step, pattern or design is printed on white fabric with a chemical (wax-like resinous substance) that will prevent or resist the penetration of dyes. In the second step, the fabric is dyed with a suitable dye. This is the batik style, in which the wax prevents dye penetration into the fibres in the protected areas.
  • A chemical resisting agent prevents dye Examples include acids, alkalis, oxidizing or reducing agents. These chemicals react with the dye, the fibre, or with the dyeing auxiliaries and prevent dye fixation.

Color Resist

Coloured resists are possible using appropriate dyes or pigments in the resist agent. For example, for a resist print with reactive dyes on cotton, the print paste includes an acid to prevent dye fixation and pigment along with a binder that will form a resistant film on steaming. The ground color comes from reaction of the reactive dye with the cotton, while the printed areas have the color of the pigment held on the surface by the binder film.

Coloured resists are also possible using a combination of reactive halogen and vinyl sulphone dyes. The resist printing paste contains, for example, a chlorotriazine reactive dye, sodium bicarbonate and sodium bisulphite. This is printed onto the fabric, which is then completely over-printed with an alkaline paste of the vinyl sulphone reactive dye. The fabric is dried and steamed. The chlorotriazine dye reacts with the cotton aided by the sodium carbonate that is formed in the resist printed areas but the sodium bisulphite also presents inhibits the reaction of the vinyl sulphone dye. The latter only colors the ground where bisulphite is absent.

4. Flock Style of Printing

Flock is branch of short fiber. Flock printing or flocking is a printing process in which short fibers (1/10” – 1/4”) of rayon, cotton, wool or other natural or synthetic fibres are applied to an adhesive-coated surface (accordance with a particular design) and then exposing the fibre flock adhere to the fabric at very high temperature. This adds a velvet or pile like texture to the surface. Since the fibers can be dyed, flocking can also add color to a printed area.

There are two types of Flock printing:

  • Mechanical Flocking

In this method of printing, the fabric is passed in open width through flocking chamber in which fiber flock is shifted on to the fabric surface while mechanical beaters cause fabrics to vibrate and flock sticks on fabric.

  • Electrostatic Flocking

In the electrostatic method of flocking the fabric is printed with an adhesive and passes on a moving belt through an electric charge. The flock made from cotton, rayon and synthetic is filtered from the flock hopper on to the fabric and is attracted to the adhesive in perpendicular form. After a backing process the sharp less fibers are removed.

5. Crepon or Crimp Style of Printing

  • This style is characterized by the appearance of alternate plain and crinkle stripes in the fabric itself. This effect can be brought about by localized fabric shrinkage with appropriate swelling agent.
  • For example, if cotton fabric is printed in a striped pattern with strong caustic soda and a thickening agent, it shrinks in the printed areas and thus causes the unprinted areas to crimp. The greater the shrinkage or contraction of the printed areas, the more pronounced the effect becomes.
  • The fabric has to be 100% cotton and lightweight.


6. Metallic/Glitter Styles of Printing

Metallic Printing

When combined with water-based chemical resin binder specially formulated for these products metallic powders will produce highly effective surface prints on the surface of the fabric by heat pressing and are once again most suited to cottons and other cellulose-based fibres.

Similar to glitter, but smaller particles suspended in the ink. Smooth in texture when compared to glitter printed fabric.

Glitter Printing

  • Metallic flakes are suspended in the ink base to create this sparkle effect.
  • Usually available in gold or silver but can be mixed to make most colors.

7. Emboss Style of Printing

  • Textile embossing is generally done on smooth surfaces. This is done by pressing the fabric under high pressure, and at high temperature, in a special backing creating a three-dimensional effect giving a unique look to the garment.
  • Embossing in textiles is mainly used in non- wovens such as napkins, diapers, tissue papers etc.
  • Embossing uses a metal-engraved die/roller along with pressure, temperature and time to press into the fabric a design mark that will not fade or wash away.

8. Puff Print

  • Puff print is another common print in the fashion industry. Sometimes it is called emboss print also.
  • Areas of cloth (mostly natural fibres) are printed with water
  • based plasticized ink is often known as Puff Binder or Expantex.
  • In this method when the paste is printed and dries it looks like normal printed textile but once it is cured the prints get raised from the surface of the fabric as an additive to plastisol ink expands when exposed to high temperature creating a 3D feel.

9. Rubber Printing

  • This is one of the recent developments in printing that gives thick prints on the surface of garments. Achieved by either giving more number of coats or by using a thickened print paste containing rubbery material.
  • Screen applied many times on the same design.
  • If the printed layer is thick around 3-4 mm then the it is called high-density printing. Now a days high density is a popular special effect printing effect that rises straight up off the cloth and has a hard rubbery feel with sharp edges. A High-density print has a slight glossy finish.

10. Burn-out Printing

  • Burn-out print, also named ausbrenner or dévorée, is a print technique that removes part of the fabric or
  • It is carried out on blended fabric specially for those blends which have a high percentage of cotton, linen, viscose.
  • A print paste containing highly strong mineral acid or their acid salt is screen printed onto the fabric that burns out the cellulosic fibres leaving the protein (wool or silk) or synthetic fibres (polyester or nylon).
  • This process is very corrosive and requires special screens and special care in supervision

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