A Quick Guide to Textile Printing

Textile printing is a great way to create unique fabric for your garments and textile projects.

Digital textile printing can be done with a huge range of fabrics, each offering different properties, and is often able to be ordered and made quickly using a range of methods.

What is Direct Digital Textile Printing?

Textile printing is a specialized process whereby a roll of fabric is printed upon with a large format ink-jet printing machine.

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It works similarly to a standard desktop printer. Multiple printing heads that contain numerous fine nozzles will squirt out droplets of inks to a pretreated fabric.

The fabrics are typically pretreated with a range of chemicals in order to aid a stronger bond of the print to the chosen fabric.

The textiles being used will also go through a posttreatment process to affix the dye to the fabric with a combination of high heat and pressure.

Textile printing is relatively quick and easy. The design files are loaded into the software and sent across to a printer.

The definition of the image is not always going to be crystal clear when you compare it to other types of fabric printing methods, such as sublimation. Also, depending on the colors, materials, and design, you will need to consider the best option for your textile printing method of choice.

Sublimation printing, or dye sublimation printing as it is otherwise known, offers one of the most defined prints on textiles. But this process is usually limited to polyester and polyester-blended fabrics only.

There are other things (such as the texture of the fabric, the inks, the pretreatment agent, the temperature, and the humidity) that can play a role in the end result you can expect from a textile printing service.

Direct digital textile printing gives you the freedom to use a range of designs and/or colorways for your printing on a single roll of fabric.

Also, the number of colors you use on a textile print will not impact the overall cost of the job.

How To Pick the Best Fabric for Textile Prints

If you’re considering textile prints, you will quickly realize there is a huge range of fabrics to choose from.

The key to picking the best type of fabric for textile printing is to consider the usage, properties, and type.

Textile Print Fabric Options by Usage

What will the textile printed fabric be used for?

  • Bridal Fabric
  • T-shirt Fabric
  • Upholstery Fabric
  • Quilting Fabric
  • Lingerie Fabric
  • Furniture Fabric
  • Crafting Fabric
  • Tricot Fabric
  • Sports Fabric
  • Curtain Fabric
  • Outdoor Purposes
  • Cushion Fabric
  • Coat Fabric
  • Dressmaking Fabric
  • Ticking Fabric
  • Suit Fabric

With so many different types of fabric available for textile prints, it’s important to establish from the start what the exact purpose of the fabric is going to be.

Textile Print Fabric Options by Type

Knowing the type of fabric you want to use for your textile printing is essential. Some of the below fabrics may have minimum run amounts to consider as well. Here is a list of some of the different fabric options you might want to choose.

  • Linen Fabric
  • Silk Fabric
  • Jersey Fabric
  • Cotton Fabric
  • Crêpe Fabric
  • Twill Fabric
  • Canvas Fabric
  • Satin Fabric
  • Woven Fabric
  • Knit Fabric
  • Velvet Fabric
  • Lycra Fabric
  • Lace Fabric
  • Polycotton Fabric
  • Weather Resistant Fabric
  • Aertex Fabric

From super-soft jersey fabrics for clothing and cushions to organic, or even a fabric blend, it’s good to know the most suitable options as they can impact the durability and/or wearability of the products you make after the textile printing has been completed.

If aesthetics are more important than longevity, you might prefer satin or silk, and for outdoor use, you might need to find a repellent or water-resistant type of fabric.

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Textile Print Fabric
Options by Properties

Understanding the intended use, the environment the fabric will be in, and the types of fabric you are considering is key. However, if you simply want to search for the best fabric for textile prints, looking at the basic properties could be the ideal place to start.

The final things to consider if you are looking at textile prints could be the weight of the fabric, the breathability, the drape, softness, construction, weather-resistance, and of course, the durability.

Here are some of the most searched for fabrics, by their properties.

  • Vegan Fabric
  • Organic Fabric
  • Waterproof Fabric
  • Natural Fabric
  • Stretch Fabric
  • Soft Fabric
  • Wicking Fabric
  • Technical Fabric
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In Summary?

Textile printing is a great way to get unique designs onto a huge range of fabric choices, for a whole multitude of end purposes.

You can add as much detail and color to your design without it having any impact on the price, and the process is relatively quick and cost-effective.

In order to get the best results for your textile print, you need to make sure you pick the best type of fabric for your intended purpose.

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No matter what you’re looking for, or what stage you’re at, we’re here to help. Call (918) 508-3634 for immediate solutions!