Fabric Printing Pre-Production: A Three-Step Process

Techniques/ Tips

Fabric Printing Pre-Production: A Three-Step Process

Fabric printing involves two phases that can be likened to pre-production and production. Before you can move forward with the production of your fabric, you must ensure the following steps have been completed in pre-production.

Step 1: Preparation of Cloth

Similar to how you prep a wall prior to painting by sanding the surface, peeling off old paint, and patching any holes, you have to properly prepare any fabric you intend to print on.

When you first receive the cloth, or take it out of storage, you must free it of any dust, lint or other impediments it may have picked up. Then, remove any identifiable frills or knots within the piece. Some instances might require you to stretch the cloth in order to meet certain requirements for the dye you are using on your print, or simply for stylistic preference.

Step 2: Preparation of Color

Once your cloth is ready, it’s time to make sure your chosen color is prepped as well. Critical to this process is understanding your original vision as it relates to style, tone, and darkness. You can then select one of the following three thickening agents to get the dye to its proper consistency.

  1. Starch Paste: A mixture of wheat starch, olive oil and cold water gets boiled until it becomes a paste.
  2. Gums: The more traditional thickening paste, gums are better for light colors. However, in many cases, when a gum thickening agent is used, it is combined with starch paste to achieve the desired thickness.
  3. Albumen: This agent is used more for extreme color dyes like chrome yellow, vermillion and other insoluble pigments. The use of albumen is both the most costly and the most labor-intensive of all thickening agents.

Step 3: Preparation of Print Paste

Once your thickening agent has been combined with the dyes, it’s time to prepare the final print paste. By carefully draining the colors from the paste through ultra-fine cloth filters, you remove all lumps and other impurities from your final dye. At this point, your cloth and dye are ready to go, and you can proceed with production.

Fabric Printing Made Easy

You can probably tell from pre-production alone that fabric printing is somewhat complex and involved. That’s why it’s best to leave your fabric printing to a company like Duggal Visual Solutions that has the equipment and expertise to produce printed fabrics of all types and sizes. Speak with one of our consultants today!