You are on page 1of 46



Applying colored patterns and designs to decorate a finished

fabric is called 'Printing'. The term “printing” is used to signify the
production by various means of colored patterns or designs on textile
material, other than woven embroidered or painted designs.

Methods of Printing

Three different approaches or techniques are prevalent for

printing colour on a fabric: Direct, Discharge and Resist.

1. Direct Printing

It is the most common approach to apply a colour pattern on

fabric. It can be done on white or a coloured fabric. If done on coloured
fabric, it is known as overprinting. The desired pattern is produced by
imprinting dye on the fabric in a paste form. To prepare the print paste, a
thickening agent is added to a limited amount of water and dye is dissolved
in it. Earlier corn starch was preferred as a thickening agent for cotton
printing. Nowadays gums or alginates derived from seaweed are preferred
because they are easier to wash out, do not they absorb any colour and allow
better penetration of colour. Most pigment printing is done without
thickeners as the mixing up of resins, solvents and water itself produces
2. Discharge Printing

In this approach, the fabric is dyed in piece and then it is

printed with a chemical that destroys the colour in the designed areas.
Sometimes, the base colour is removed and another colour is printed in its
place. The printed fabric is steamed and then thoroughly washed. This
approach is on decline these days.

3. Resist Printing

In this technique, a resist paste is imprinted on the fabric and

then it is dyed. The dye affects only those parts that are not covered by the
resist paste. After dyeing, the resist paste is removed leaving a pattern on a
dark background.

There are various methods of printing in which one of the

above three techniques is used – Stencil Printing, Screen Printing, Block
Printing, Roller Printing, Duplex Printing, Transfer Printing, Airbrush
(Spray) Painting and Digital printing.

a. Block Printing

The designs are carved on a wooden or metal block and the

paste dyestuff is applied to the design on the face of the block. The block is
pressed down firmly by hand on the surface of the fabric.
b. Roller Printing

In this machine counterpart of block printing, engraved

copper cylinders or rollers are used in place of hand carved blocks. With
each revolution of the roller, a repeat of the design is printed. The printed
cloth is passed into a drying and then a steam chamber where the moisture
and heat sets the dye.

c. Duplex Printing

Printing is done on both sides of the fabric either through

roller printing machine in two operations or a duplex printing machine in a
single operation.

d. Transfer Printing

The design on a paper is transferred to a fabric by

vaporization. There are two main processes for this- Dry Heat Transfer
Printing and Wet Heat Transfer Printing. In Conventional Heat Transfer
Printing, an electrically heated cylinder is used that presses a fabric against a
printed paper placed on a heat resistant blanket. In Infrared Heat Vacuum
Transfer Printing, the transfer paper and fabric are passed between infrared
heaters and a perforated cylinder which are protected from excessive heat by
a shield. The Wet Heat Transfer Printing uses heat in a wet atmosphere for
vaporizing the dye pattern from paper to fabric.
e. Airbrush (Spray) Painting

Designs may be hand painted on fabric or the dye may be

applied with a mechanized airbrush which blows or sprays colour on the

f. Digital printing

In this form of printing micro-sized droplets of dye are placed

onto the fabric through an inkjet print head. The print system software
interprets the data supplied by an Academic Textile Digital image file. The
digital image file has the data to control the droplet output so that the image
quality and color control may be achieved. This is the latest development in
textile printing and is expanding very fast.

g. Stencil Printing

Stencil printing is an easy and versatile way to make multiple

prints of an image. It also acts as a nice alternative to regular brush painting
and can give crisp, smooth lines.

h. Screen Printing

Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh

to support an ink blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of
mesh that transfer ink as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or
squeegee is moved across the screen stencil forcing or pumping ink past the
threads of the woven mesh in the open areas.


Stencil printing is one of the resist processes of textile design;

the resist in this case being the stencil which prevents the paint from
spreading beyond the margin of the cutout pattern.

The name, 'stencil screens' to have been derived from the

Latin word stencil meaning as 'sparkle'. A stencil is a flat sheet of paper or a
metal out of which a design has been cut. The stencil stuff from the defect
that completes rings or circles fall out of the pattern and some form of tie is
necessary to link such a shape to the stencil.

Very little is known about the historic back ground of

stenciling. Commercial stencils were firstly used in the United States at the
time of the civil war. A stencil cutting machine has a fig-saw. Metal stencils
are many. Commercial stencil prints have been made with the aid of an air
brush; this process has also been successfully used in commercial illustration
work for grading total work and for grading total values and colors. The silk
screen process in now extensively used for commercial duplication work.

Stencil paintings of hand were common throughout the

prehistoric period. Stencils may have been used to colour cloth for a very
long time; this technique on silks for clothes during the Edo period in Japan.
In Europe, from about 1450 they were very commonly used to colour old
master prints printed in black and white, usually woodcuts. This was
especially the case with playing-cards, which continued to be coloured by
stencil long after most other subjects for prints were left in black and white.
Stencils were used for mass publications, as the type didn't have to be hand-
written. The first known book to be printed using stencils was the Bible.

In the ancient world stencils were used in the decoration of

Egyptian tombs. The artist would stencil an outline of the figure or
hieroglyph onto the wall, after which a sculptor would incise the outline in
low relief. Once this was done a thin layer of stucco was added to receive
the paint. The Egyptians tended to use very bright primary colors mainly
red, blue and yellow.

In ancient Greece stencils were used to outline the mosaic

designs. In classical Rome the letters, painted on signboards, directing
people to the Games were also made with stencils. Many different stencils
were also employed in the painting of the Murals that both the Greeks and
Romans loved so much.

More durable stencils of varnished mulberry fibers were made

in China and Japan and were used mainly for decorating cloth.
Katagami stencils have been used by the Japanese for over
one thousand years to pattern textiles in a technique called Katazome. This
delicate dye resist technique, or reverse stenciling, traditionally involves
applying rice paste through a stencil onto silk. There is then a time
consuming period of realigning the stencil and applying more paste until the
pattern is repeated over the whole piece of material. The silk is then dyed,
repeatedly, usually with an indigo pigment and finally the paste is removed,
revealing an exquisite pattern underneath.

In the traditional Japanese stencil making process many thin

sheets of mulberry bark are cured in persimmon juice. They are then stacked
together and cut with a sharp curved blade. In this way the artist could cut
several stencils at a time and know that the pattern would be exactly the
same on all of them. With the invention of paper artisans started cutting 50-
60 tissue thin sheets of paper at one time.

One major difficulty with early stencils was the isolated parts
of a design, such as the center of the letter O which would fall out as soon as
the outer ring was cut. The solution the Japanese came up with was quite
ingenious. They would hold loose pieces in place by gluing them to the main
body of the stencil with human hair. Later on they used silk thread thus
forming a bridge, but a bridge so fine and strong that when the stenciling
was finished it was all but invisible. This was the for-runner of Silk
Classification Of stencils:-

 Stencil graffiti:-

Stencils have also become popular for graffiti, since stencil art
using spray-paint can be produced quickly and easily. These qualities are
important for graffiti artists where graffiti is illegal or quasi-legal, depending
on the city and stenciling surface. The extensive lettering possible with
stencils makes it especially attractive to political artists.

 Home stenciling

A common tradition for stencils is in home decorating and arts

& crafts. Home decor stencils are an important part of the DIY (Do It
Yourself) industry. There are prefabricated stencil templates available for
home decoration projects from hardware stores, arts & crafts stores and
through the internet. Stencils are usually applied in the home with a paint or
roller brush along wall borders and as trim. They can also be applied with a
painted sponge for a textured effect.

Stencil templates can be purchased or constructed individually.

Typically they are constructed of flexible plastics, including acetate, mylar
and vinyl. Stencils can be used as children's toys. Well-known
manufacturers and designers of home decorating stencils are companies like
Stencil Ease, Jan Dressler, Victoria Larsen and many more.
 Micro/neon stencil

Stencils are also used in micro/nanotechnology, as miniature

shadow masks through which material can be deposited, etched or ions
implanted onto a substrate. These stencils are usually made out of thin (100-
500 nm) low-stress SiN in which apertures are defined by various
lithographic techniques (e. g. electron beam, photolithography).

 Aerosol stencils

Aerosol stencils have many practical applications and the

stencil concept is used frequently in industrial, commercial, artistic,
residential and recreational settings, as well as by the military, government
and infrastructure management. A template is used to create an outline for
the image. Stencils templates can be made from any material which will
hold its form, ranging from plain paper, cardboard, plastic sheets, metals and

 Street stencils

Stencils have also become popular for graffiti, since stencil art
using spray-paint can be produced quickly and easily. These qualities are
important for graffiti artists where stenciling is illegal or quasi-legal,
depending on the city and stenciling surface. The extensive lettering possible
with stencils makes it especially attractive to political artists.

Screen printing is a fairly economical method of printing and

hence it’s growing popularity. The applications of screen printing are
increasing as fast as one can think about a new surface for printing. Any
surface that is flat can be screen printed on. The possibilities are endless.
Another factor that makes screen printing so popular is the fact that it allows
one to use a wide variety of printing materials on a wide variety of surfaces.
The combinations possible are numerous and can suit any kind of end usage
and budget.

The textile industry probably makes the largest use of the

screen printing technique. Screen printing is used to print on fabrics ranging
from cotton and organza to silk and polyester. These fabrics are then made
into finished products. The finished products include shirts; skirts, dresses,
children's clothing and any kind of clothing made from printed the fabric. In
fact many designers set up their own screen printing units since they are so

The other industry that makes extensive use of screen printing

is the marketing and advertising industry. Flyers, posters, hand outs,
advertisements and other point of sale or graphics products are all screen
printed. The advertising industry uses screen printing primarily because it
generally requires limited edition printing. The costs of printing small
quantities digitally or electronically can be very high. Hence screen printing
to the rescue.
The sports industry also uses screen printing to print souvenirs
and collectible items. T-shirts printed with the logos of popular teams,
souvenirs like caps, sweatshirts, mouse pads, key chains, baseball bats and a
host of other items are all screen printed. Thus, screen printing has
innumerous applications. Everywhere you look you will find examples of
screen printing. Some are overt and others will be disguised.

History of Screen Printing

Screen printing was a technique first used by the Chinese

almost 2000 years ago. They used human hair stretched across a wooden
frame to form the screen. To that they attached a stencil made from leaves
stuck together into different shapes. This was probably the first application
of screen printing ever.

Subsequently, the Japanese adopted the screen printing process

and used woven silk to make the mesh and lacquers to make stencils. The
use of silk is where screen printing got its alternative name – Silk screening
or silk screen printing.

In 1907, it was Samuel Simon near Manchester who patented

the first ever industrial screen printing process. Many years later close to the
First World War, John Pilewort of San Francisco developed the Selecta sine
method, which basically introduced the concept of multi-color printing using
the same screen. Different areas on the screen were blocked out for different
color inks, thus resulting in a multi-colored image. This technique became
hugely popular for printing signs and posters in large quantities.
From using hair to silk to polymer meshes, screen printing has
come a long way today. The basic technique remains the same but with
innovation and the introduction of electronics and computers; screen
printing is no longer recognizable as the technique Simon patented.

Types of screen printing:-

A. Hand Screen Printing and Semi-automatic Screen printing

The hand screen printing is a craft rather than a productive

method of printing. Printing is carried out on a flat, solid table covered with
a layer of resilient felt and a washable blanket (usually coated with neoprene
rubber).Heat for drying the printed fabric may be provided either under the
blanket or by hot air fans above the table.

Fabric movement or shrinkage must be avoided during printing

in order to maintain registration of the pattern. The fabric to be printed is
laid on the table and stuck to the blanket directly, using either a water-
soluble adhesive or a semi-permanent adhesive; alternatively it is
‘combined’ with a back-grey. In the latter instance an absorbent fabric is
stuck to the blanket and the fabric to be printed is pinned down on top of it.
Sometimes fabric and back-grey are combined before fixing to the table
using an adhesive and a specially adapted pad mangle. Combining is most
suitable for printing lightweight fabrics, where there is a danger of smudging
or loss of adhesion caused by the presence of excessive print paste. It can
also be advantageous for knitted fabrics.
Before a design can be printed, it must be reproduced on the
screens in a suitable form. One screen is required for every colour in the
design, except when the fabric is dyed to the background colour (known as
the ground) before or after printing, or when a third colour is produced by
one colour falling on another. When the background colour is printed it is
termed the ‘blotch’.

The printing process consists of forcing a viscous print paste

through the open areas of the screen with a flexible, synthetic rubber
squeegee. The rubber blade, which is contained in a wooden or metal
support, is drawn steadily across the screen at a constant angle and pressure.
If the screen is too wide to allow one operator to reach all the way across it,
two operators may work together, one on either side of the table. The
pressures exerted by the two must be as similar as possible.

Before printing begins, the screens must be carefully positioned

on the fabric. The area printed by a screen (screen repeat) must fit exactly
alongside the adjacent one, as light overlap being preferable to a gap. With
flat-screen printing this is not automatically achieved (as is the case with
rotary printing). The differently coloured areas must be in register and,
again, a small overlap is usually allowed. To achieve accurate registration it
is common practice to attach to the frame a bracket which locates against
fittings, known as ‘stops’, on a guide rail along one edge of the table. The
stops are spaced exactly one (lengthways) screen repeat apart along the
whole length of the table. Two adjustable screws set the distance of the
frame from the rail.
Figure: - Hand screen printing showing stops, rail and bracke

Figure: - Pitch marks: the first screen prints all the circles and a cross
in the first circle, the second screen prints colour in the second circle
and a cross in the first circle, the third screen prints colour in the third
circle and a cross in the first circle

As a further aid, repeat crosses known as ‘pitch marks’ may be
incorporated at one or both sides of the screen and the positions of the
following screens checked against the first pitch mark. Often registration
marks are printed along the selvedge. One such scheme is illustrated in
Figure below. When screen printing is carried out by hand, alternate repeats
are normally printed along the full length of the table and then the gaps are
filled in. This allows time for the print paste to penetrate the fabric and
partially dry before the frame falls on the next printed area. If the design
includes an outline this is printed first, to achieve maximum smartness and
as an aid to accurate fitting.

The screen is then washed and the second screen introduced to

print the second colour. The blotch screen, if there is one, is usually left until
last as the larger amount of colour is more likely to cause loss of adhesion
between fabric and table, with subsequent loss of registration. The manual
process has been semi-automated by mounting the screen in a carriage and
driving the squeegee mechanically across the screen. Long tables, typically
20–60 m long, are used, and some provision is usually made for drying the
printed fabric.

Semi-automated flat-screen printing is still very popular where

the scale of production is not large, or where capital investment is limited. In
both hand and semi-automatic flat-screen printing the colours are printed
one after another with time for drying, which means that the situation
approaches ‘wet-on-dry’ printing. Hence sharper results, can be achieved
than is possible by printing all the colours in more rapid succession (wet-on-
Perhaps surprisingly, the level of automation for one-colour-at-
a-time flat-screen printing has advanced a great deal recently. Instead of a
flat, stationary table, a moving blanket is incorporated, as in fully automatic
machines. The fabric is printed with the first screen, and passes round the
end of the table and beneath it before being printed with the second screen,
which can be positioned at a second station while the first colour is being
printed. Clearly a good adhesive is required to prevent the fabric from
becoming detached on its upside-down return journey.

Even more sophisticated developments have been introduced.

The Italian companies Viero have robotized the process completely. The
operative at the console controls the robot, which lifts the screen from its
rack, positions it accurately in the carriage, fits the squeegee, and then
proceeds to collect the bucket of print paste, which it places on a shelf above
the screen. It then tips the bucket to pour in the paste. Needless to say, the
rest of the process is also automated
Figure: - Semi-automatic flat-screen printing; in this machine the rod
squeegee is rolled across the screen by means of a moving electromagnet
under the blanket (Zimmer)

Figure: - Robot lifting a flat screen from the rack prior to fitting it on
the printing machine (Viero)

B. Fully-automatic Screen Printing

In order to increase the speed of flat-screen printing, it was
necessary to devise a method of printing all the colours simultaneously.
Unfortunately, flat screens are not suitable coloration units for a truly
continuous process, and in all the successful machines for fully automatic
flat-screen printing the colour is applied through the screens while the fabric
is stationary.

The main features of a typical automatic flat-screen machine

are illustrated and diagrammatically shown in Figures. All the screens for
the design (one screen for each colour) are positioned accurately along the
top of a long endless belt, known as a blanket. A machine intended to print
traditional furnishing designs might have space for 15 or more screens.

The width of the gap between the areas printed by any two
adjacent screens must be a whole number of lengthways design repeats. This
need not necessarily be the same as the lengthways screen repeat as there
may be several design repeats per screen repeat; for example, where there
are three design repeats per screen repeat, the gap between adjacent screens
need only be one-third of a screen repeat.
Figure: - Fully automatic flat-screen printing machine

Figure: - Fully automatic flat-screen printing machine (simplified

diagram); rollers 1 and 2move as shown, to maintain the lower side of
the blanket in constant motion, 3 is the pressure roller, 4 the temporary
adhesive application unit and 5 the blanket washer

The fabric is gummed to the blanket at the entry end and moves
along with the blanket in an intermittent fashion, one screen-repeat distance
at a time. All the colours in the design are printed simultaneously while the
fabric is stationary; then the screens are lifted and the fabric and blanket
move on. When the fabric approaches the turning point of the blanket, it is
pulled off and passes into a dryer. The soiled blanket is washed and dried
during its return passage on the underside of the machine.

C. Rotary Screen-Printing

Fully automatic flat-screen machines cannot be described as

operating continuously, because their printing action is in fact intermittent.
Continuous movement of the fabric has been achieved by moving the
screens along with the fabric while printing (the American Precision Midas
machine, for example, is of this type), but the use of rotary-screen machines
has proved to be a simpler and more economical means of achieving this

In rotary-screen printing, continuous rotation of a cylindrical

screen while in contact with the fabric ensures genuinely continuous
printing. Print paste is fed into the inside of the screen, and during printing is
forced out through the design areas with the aid of a stationary squeegee.
Figure illustrates some of the squeegee types in use.
Figure: - Rotary-Screen Squeegee System

In the case of flexible-blade squeegees, the rotation of the

screen in contact with the stationary blade builds up the pressure to force the
paste through the screen. This is of course, the converse of flat-screen
printing, where the screen remains stationary while the squeegee moves.

The present study was undertaken with the following

 To study how to develop motifs for stencils and screen.

 To study the designing tools which are offered in these printing


 To compare the technique of stencils and screen printing.

 To estimate the cost in developing designs by stencil and screen


 To develop value added articles using these two techniques.

 To asses these articles for cost and acceptability



Stenciling Equipments:-

Stenciling does not require a great deal of specialist

equipments: many of the items used are commonly found in most
households. Some additional items, however, will make job easier:

a. Brushes:-

It is worth investing in a set of good stencil brushes. The ends

of the brushes should be flat and the bristles firm, to control the application
of paint. A medium-sized brush (3cm/U/sin diameter) is a useful, all-purpose

b. Craft knife
Use for cutting out stencils from card (stock). Always cut a
stencil on a proper cutting mat using only your fingers to move the knife and
at the same time use other hand to move the stencil so that we are constantly
cutting towards ourself. Push the point of the blade through the stencil board
or acetate and then flatten it out, in that way we will use the whole blade.
Don't remove the knife until the whole shape has been cut out. When we
reach a corner or sharp point lift the heel of hand and move the stencil
around, do not remove the knife.

c. Masking tape

As the stencil may need to be repositioned it is advisable to

hold it in place with masking tape, which can be removed fairly easily.
Masking tape is a type of adhesive tape made with an easy-to-tear backing
(usually paper) and a removable pressure sensitive adhesive. It is used
mainly in painting, to mask off areas that should not be painted.
d. Paint-mixing container

This may be necessary for mixing paints and color-washes.

e. Pencils

Keep a selection of both soft and hard pencils to transfer the

stencil design on to card (stock). Use an ordinary pencil to mark the
positions of the stencils before applying.
f. Stencil card

The material used to make the stencil is a matter of personal

preference. Special stencil card (stock) is available waxed, which means that
it will last longer, but ordinary card or heavy paper can also be used. It is
worth purchasing a sheet of clear acetate if you wish to keep your stencil
design. This means that you will be able to reuse the design fur future

g. Tape measure

Many stenciling projects require accurate positioning.

Measuring and planning the design and layout of your stencils before you
begin will aid the result.

h. Natural Sponges:-

Natural sponges are used for sponging. They are valued for
their textural quality. Synthetic sponges can be used for colour-washing.
Method of Stencil Printing

Virtually any paint can be used to stencil with but the two most
popular types are Acrylic and Dry-brush Oil. Acrylic paint dries fast, is easy
to clean with water and comes in hundreds of different colors. Dry-brush oil
paint is non messy, does not smudge or bleed and will adhere to any surface.
Markal Paint Stiks fall into this category and will adhere to any wall paint,
water or oil based, plastic, melamine, wood, metal, tiles, glass, fabric or
almost any other surface inside or out.

Instructions for stencil preparation:-

a. Acrylic Paint:

Dip your brush or sponge into the paint and then wipe off most
of it on a piece of kitchen paper. If you use too much paint you will find that
it bleeds behind the stencil, giving the pattern very ragged edges. Apply the
paint using an up and down stippling motion, start on the outside of each of
the stencils cut outs and work your way in towards the middle.

If you are using masking tape to hold the stencil in place, you
must push the stencil tightly against the surface so no paint can seep down
the back. When using more than one color, wait for the first color to dry
before you apply the second color, always use a clean brush or sponge. The
lightest color should be applied first.
Using liquid paint for stenciling can be problematic, my advice
is to keep your brushes and stencil very clean and use as little paint as
possible. If you are not sure, wipe off a bit more, you can always add some if
the color is not right. Stencils look better when the color is built up in layers.


Wash your stencil frequently in hot soapy water, especially

when changing color. Don't forget to check for paint on the back of the
stencil. Brushes can also be washed in hot soapy water and dried on kitchen

b. Dry-Brush:

Peel off the skin from the paint, dip in your brush and swirl
onto a palette or the corner of the stencil, where there are no holes. Markal
Paint Stiks can be rubbed directly onto the palette or stencil corner. Using a
circular motion transfer the paint to the stencil, keep the brush in an upright
position at 90° to the stencil.

One paint stick or pot of dry-brush paint can give you many
different shades of the same color. The harder you press the darker and more
definite the color will become. For a really light fresco look apply the dry
paint with a sponge.

To remove paint and glue from your stencils and brushes soak
them in turpentine for a few minutes. Using a stencil brush sweep the paint
off your stencil and finish off with kitchen paper. You can also use kitchen
paper for the brushes; just keep rubbing until no more color comes off.

Preparation of Furnishing Articles by Stencil Printing :

Stenciling is a great way to customize curtains, table linens and

even bedding as well as clothing and accessories. It's an easy way to
duplicate a design several times without printing and requires no expensive
equipment. It's been a popular household craft for over a century. Infact it is
a creative hobby that doesn't require a lot of time or money.

Even one doesn’t have to be an experienced painter to get good

results. One can start with a basic single layer stencil and work on stencil
with multiple overlays or try a raised stencil. Practice with a variety of
different paints and brushes to see what one like best. What ever decided,
with the variety of different stencils, brushes, paints and techniques available
stencil will be a unique creation. The most important part of stenciling is to
be creative and innovative.


1. Selection of fabric is an important step in stencil printing. Make sure

it does not have a stain resistant finish. The fabric was pre-washed to
assure that it was clean of any surface treatment that will keep the paint
from adhering. This helps in eliminating use of fabric softener. The
color of the fabric affects the color of the paint so use of dark colours was

2. To cut own stencil, we need a drawing or photocopy of a design, an

OHP sheet, glass and a small sharp matte knife like an Exacto blade. If
we are adapting a design, make sure it will work as a stencil. If we have
complex interlocking lines, we will need at least two stencil overlays,
which will require careful pattern matching.

3. Tape the original to the glass with the design facing down. Turn over

the glass so that we can see the design and tape the OHP sheet to the
glass over the design.

4. Carefully cut out the stencil, following the lines of the original. We

will probably find that it is easier to cut accurately if we pull the blade
slowly towards us. Turn the glass as necessary.

5. Lay out paint colors on the palette (Flat board used for holding and

mixing colour).

6. Now we test the colors and practice our painting on a piece of fabric.

Make sure our brush/sponge is evenly covered with paint but do not load
it. A loaded brush/sponge will spread paint under the edges of the stencil.

7. Now apply the paint with a gentle pounding motion, holding the

brush/sponge straight up and down. In delicate design masking tape/

cello tape were used to hold them down as paint.
8. Paint all the colors in our design before lifting the stencil - once it has
been moved, it is almost impossible to replace it exactly in the same spot.

9. When we finished, stencil was lifted carefully. Now the paint was

kept to be dryed for 24 hours.

10. After 24 hours, we iron our fabric on the back to set the color, using

the hottest possible setting.


1. The basic straight up and down painting technique for stenciling is

simple to master, but can be exhausting with a big project.

2. Don't be tempted to heat set our fabric too soon. The paint may feel

dry but it can stain when heated if not allowed to set.

3. If we use acrylic paint instead of fabric paint then we must be very

careful, because we can't wash out our mistakes.


Printing Technique
Screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric called
mesh stretched over a frame of aluminum or wood. Originally human hair
then silk was woven into screen mesh; currently most mesh is made of man-
made materials such as steel, nylon, and polyester. Areas of the screen are
blocked off with a non-permeable material to form a stencil, which is a
negative of the image to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink
will appear.

The screen is placed atop a substrate such as paper or fabric.

Ink is placed on top of the screen, and a fill bar (also known as a flood bar)
is used to fill the mesh openings with ink. The operator begins with the fill
bar at the rear of the screen and behind a reservoir of ink. The operator lifts
the screen to prevent contact with the substrate and then using a slight
amount of downward force pulls the fill bar to the front of the screen. This
effectively fills the mesh openings with ink and moves the ink reservoir to
the front of the screen.

The operator then uses a squeegee (rubber blade) to move the

mesh down to the substrate and pushes the squeegee to the rear of the screen.
The ink that is in the mesh opening is pumped or squeezed by capillary
action to the substrate in a controlled and prescribed amount, i.e. the wet ink
deposit is equal to the thickness of the mesh and or stencil. As the squeegee
moves toward the rear of the screen the tension of the mesh pulls the mesh
up away from the substrate (called snap-off) leaving the ink upon the
substrate surface.
Screen Materials and Preparation Overview

a. Screens:

The rule of thumb with screens and meshes is that the tighter
they are, the better the quality of output. The benefits of a tight mesh include
a decreased likelihood of the mesh moving out of registration during
printing and lesser chances of one color bleeding into another.

Tight screens also offer lower resistance when pulling the

squeegee thereby reducing labor and cutting the ink cleanly.

A tight mesh also deposits the ink evenly onto the substrate. A
soft mesh may have deposits of ink towards the edges thus printing with
more ink in the center and less towards the corners. The uneven deposit of
ink results in lowered printing quality.

b. Squeegee:

It is vital that the blade of the squeegee is straight and sharp.

The squeegee should be sharpened every day if need be to allow for even
spreading of the ink.

c. Press:

To get good quality screen printing, the platen must never move
during printing. Even if you do everything else right and the platen shifts,
the quality of the print will suffer. Also the color arm must not deflect when
it in or out of the registration gate.

d. Ink:

 Water-Based inks

These penetrate the fabric more than the plastisol inks and
create a much softer feel. Ideal for printing darker inks onto lighter colored
garments. Also useful for larger area prints where texture is important. Some
inks require heat or an added catalyst to make the print permanent.

 Discharge inks

Used to print lighter colors onto dark background fabrics, they

work by removing the dye in the garment – this means they leave a much
softer texture. They are less graphic in nature than plastisol inks, and exact
colors are difficult to control, but especially good for distressed prints and
under basing on dark garments that are to be printed with additional layers of

 Glitter/Shimmer
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.

"We need to learn how to spread the vision of liberation and life everywhere in humble,
small, invisible ways. Like grass slowly growing up through the cracks in the concrete,
perhaps our counter information can eventually sneak up on the mighty machine and
topple it."
- PB Floyd, Slingshot-

Screen-printing (also referred to as silk screening, screen process

printing, and serigraphy) is a unique method of transferring or printing
graphic images, and is considered by many to be the one of the oldest
methods of printing. Efforts have been made to explain the scope of stencil
and screen printing in

Compared with screen-film mammography, the use of digital

mammography for screening examinations significantly shortened
acquisition time but significantly increased interpretation time. In
addition, more technical problems were encountered that delayed the
interpretation of digital cases. (Eric A. Berns et al., 2009). (1)

To develop a rapid manufacturing process for high-volume free from

fabrication of parts that is based on the high speed printing method
which is screen printing. This technique will also be applied for
printing in general. Three adaptive screen printing methods are
proposed as an alternative to two dimensional screen printing. A
comparative analysis is conducted and the possibility of combining
the method is proposed. Each of the three methods studied required
further work as they all had major constraints. However, their
combination may be the solution to the development of a rapid
manufacturing process. The originality is in the adaptive screen
principle the screen being used will be capable to auto-change the
pattern of the layer to be printed instead of introducing a new stencil
for every layer as in conventional screen printing. (Farid Fouchal Phill
Dickens, 2007). (2)

The paper describes a series of experiments on precision screen-

printing with a roller squeegee. The work showed that this could only
be achieved using a screen having a high mesh count, notably using a
150-34 screen, since a lower thread count offers insufficient resistance
to flow and leads to image flooding. A detailed investigation into
process parameters showed that at up to 60 per cent coverage the
performance of a roller squeegee in either sliding or rolling mode is
identical. Above this coverage and for smaller snap-off gaps, the roller
squeegee constrained to slide led to highzzer ink coverage. It is
suggested that the main reason for this is the viscosity reduction at the
screen surface on account of the ink characteristics and the high local
shear rates. This dominates the higher hydrodynamic pressure
associated with the rotary motion. However, the rolling action leads to
superior tonal gain characteristics. It was observed that, when the
squeegee was locked, the screen adhered to the substrate, reducing the
snap-off speed and increasing the contact duration. The combined
effect led to an increase in ink deposit. When the snap-off gap was
increased sufficiently to prevent the screen from adhering to the
substrate, the rotating squeegee produced considerably higher ink
deposit than the locked squeegee. Presently, this is believed to be due
to the increase in hydrodynamic pressure within the squeegee nip
junction which now becomes a dominating mechanism. (I J Fox, T C
Claypole, D T Gethin, 2003). (3)

Highly substituted guar gum can be used in the printing of cotton with
bifunctional reactive dyes as an alternative to alginate. In this work, a
bifunctional reactive dye and blends of substituted guar gum and
alginate were used. The rheological, technological and colorimetric
parameters of the mixed printing pastes were studied and compared
with those of alginate printing pastes. (Sonja ostar Turk and Reinhold
Schneider, 2000). (4)

A study was conducted on application of peepal bark dye for cotton

printing. The dye powder concentration was kept 10 gm and dye
extracted as per available procedure. To standardize the printing paste
recipe for screen printing, pH of thickener i. e. guar paste, dye paste &
guar paste ratio, fixer concentration were optimized. The printed
samples were subjected to visual assessment and washing fastness for
evaluation. The colour of printing sample was assessed best when dye
extracted at pH- 8, 100 gm dye solution was concentrated to 5 ml,
guar gum paste was prepared at 6 pH, sharp line of printed design
were obtain when dye paste and guar gum paste were mixed in the
ratio of 1:5 and washing fastness was best when 1.5 percent fixer was
used. The two modrdants identified were zinc chloride and copper
sulphate. Simultaneous mordanting technique was used. Good and fast
colours were obtained when 3 percent zinc chloride or 7 percent
copper sulphate was used as mordants. The colours obtained with
peepal bark dye were tea rose however with zinc chloride, it was
golden brown and with copper sulphate it was deep rose. (radhika
agarwal, neelam pruthi and saroj s. jeet singh, 2007) . (5)

The study showed that laccase enzyme formulation has been used in
discharge printing of cotton fabrics dyed with different reactive dyes
and the effect of enzyme conc., pH of the printing paste, treatment
time and temperature of enzymatic treatment as well as the viscosity
of the printing paste on colour discharge studied. The optimum
conditions for discharge printing are found to be 4.5 pH, 60 degree
centigrade temperature, and 1h time of treatment, and the 90.4 poise
viscosity at a shear rate of 31.61s-1. The concentration of enzyme
depends on the nature of dye used. (I Abd EI-thalouth, F kantouch, et
al., 2008). (6)

The present study was conducted that approximately 50% of all textile
printing is now accounted for by pigment printing systems. The
fastness performance and ‘handle’ now are acceptable for many
outlets. (shekhar sing, 2007). (7)

A preparation technique of TiO2 screen-printing pastes from

commercially-available powders has been disclosed in order to
fabricate the nanocrystalline layers without cracking and peeling-off
over 17 µm thickness for the photoactive electrodes of the dye-
sensitized solar cells. A conversion efficiency of 8·7% was obtained
by using a single-layer of a semi-transparent-TiO2 film. A conversion
efficiency of 9·2% was obtained by using double-layers composed of
transparent and light-scattering TiO2 films for a photon-trapping
system. (John Wiley, 2007). (8)

A preliminary investigation into aspects of the off-contact screen-

printing process is presented. A mathematical model for the printing
of a thin film of Newtonian fluid is proposed, in which the screen is
modelled as a permeable membrane and the entire region above and
below the screen is flooded. By drawing upon widely used industrial
circuit printing practices, the distinguished limit of greatest interest to
this industry is identified. Numerical and asymptotic solutions of this
distinguished limit are presented that reproduce many of the features
observed in industrial screen-printing. (Springer Netherlands, 2006).

This study was carried out in major Finnish textile companies in order
to create an environmental impact profile for wet processing in
Finland as a part of drafting the Best Available Technique (BAT)
Reference documents for the European IPPC Bureau. System
boundaries were defined for alternative process technologies to be
used in BAT definitions. The use of resources and process emissions
is, however, monitored for the whole wet processing only in the
companies under study. No remarkable differences in energy and
water consumption between continuous and batch wet processing
could be measured; the lowest dyeing liquor ratios were reported on
jet machines and the highest on winch dyeing machines. Dyestuff
consumption depends on the colour shade required; some dyes have,
however, low fixation rates, such as reactive and sulphur dyes, only
60% on average. About 20% of the process liquor containing unfixed
dyestuffs and auxiliaries end up in sewage treatment plants. These
chemicals are not recovered and reused in the companies under study.
All industrial plants in Finland discharge their wastewater to
municipal sewage treatment plants, which carry out wastewater
analysis and control. All textile plants, which use more than 50 tonnes
of organic solvents per year, are under official off-gas control in
Finland. (Eija Kalliala, and Päivi Talvenmaa 2000). (10)

This paper studies and evaluates the UV-curing of pigment prints on

textile fabric using a prototype UV scanner. A printing paste
comprising synthetic thickener, emulgator, binder, pigment dispersion
and photoinitiator was applied using a flat screen printing technique
onto the cotton fabric, then dried and exposed to heat or UV-radiation
under a mercury vapour lamp (200 W cm−2). The characteristics of
cured prints such as paste add-on, colour properties, colour fastness to
washing and dry/wet rubbing were evaluated, together with fabric
stiffness. The effects of UV-curing were evaluated by Attenuated
Total Reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-
FTIR). The properties of the UV-cured pigment prints were compared
with those of the thermal cured prints. Analyses of the obtained results
helped to define the optimum composition of the photo reactive
pigment paste, and the UV-curing conditions under which satisfactory
results were obtained, comparable with those from the thermal curing
method. (B. Nerala, et al., 2006). (11)
This paper will review digital ink-jet printing on textiles and the
advantages it offers to textile industry and consumers in comparison
with conventional printing. The paper also reports on some of the
results of a large project, which has been undertaken in the University
of Leeds to address a number of issues concerning the problems
associated with this technique. One of the important issues associated
with digital ink-jet printing on textiles is speed and reliability, as this
has commercial implications for the industry. The research carried out
in Leeds has addressed this problem and solutions are proposed which
will be covered in detail in this paper. Further research has also been
carried out to establish the issues surrounding digital ink-jet printing
and print quality when different types of designs are being printed.
The paper will address the results of this research on quality
assessment of digital ink-jet printing on textiles. (A. Dehghani, F.
Jahanshah, D. Borman, K. Dennis, J. Wang 2004). (12)

Membrane filtration of wastewater after textile printing with reactive

dyes is described. The wastewater from a Slovenian factory, whose
output is approx. 80% reactive dyes printed and dyed on cotton, was
studied. In particular, the presence of urea, sodium alginate, oxidation
agent and reactive dyes, used for the printing paste preparation, in the
wastewater was studied. Chemical analyses of actual, non-purified,
wastewater showed that many Slovenian regulations were exceeded.
The study of membrane filtration is based on a pilot wastewater
treatment plant: ultra filtration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) units.
The quality of the wastewater was improved by ultra filtration, but its
effluent still does not conform to the specification of concentration
limits for emission into water. Permeate coming from RO meets the
required specification and, therefore, could be re-used in the washing
process of printed textiles. (S. Šostar-Turka, M. Simoničb and I.
Petrinića 2005). (13)

A gravure offset printing process has been developed for Ag-filled

polymer conductor ink. Pad printing and roller type printing have
been used. Curing and electrical properties have been studied. A roller
type of gravure offset printing has been used to evaluate the printing
process and pad printing to print on the non-planar substrates. Based
on differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and resistivity
measurements during ink curing, it was found that the ink had an
optimum curing temperature of 140 °C. Square resistance of 300 and
150 μm wide lines can be as low as 20 and 28 mΩ/sq., respectively,
for 7–8.5 μm thick line. The minimum line width was 70 μm. This
minimum line width can be reduced with different ink solvents, but in
this case the line thickness suffers and the square resistance increases,
respectively. (Marko Pudas, Juha Hagberg and Seppo eppävuori
2004). (14)

1. Eric A. Berns, R. Edward Hendrick, Mariana Solari, Lora Barke,

Denise Reddy, Judith Wolfman, Lewis Segal, Patricia DeLeon,

Stefanie Benjamin and Laura Willis (2009). Digital and Screen-
Film Mammography: Comparison of Image Acquisition and
Interpretation Times. American Journal of Roentgenology: 216 –

2. Farid Fouchal, Phill Dickens (2007). Adaptive screen printing

for rapid manufacturing. Rapid Prototyping Journal vol.13, issue

5: 284-290.

3. I J Fox, T C Claypole, D T Gethin (2003). An experimental

investigation into ink transfer using a roller squeegee in high-

speed screen printing. Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering
vol. 217: 307-321.

4. Sonja ostar Turk and Reinhold Schneider (2000). Printing

properties of a high substituted guar gum and its mixture with

alginate. Dyes and Pigments Volume 47, Issue 3: 269-275.

5. Radhika agarwal, neelam pruthi and saroj s. jeet singh(2007).

Print cotton fabric with peepal bark bark dye. Man-made

textiles in India vol. L-No-10: 367-369.
6. I Abd EI-Thalouth, F kantouch, S H Nassar, H M EI-Hennawi and

M adel youssef (2008). Ecofriendly discharge printing on cotton

fabrics using laccase enzyme. Indian journal of fibre and textile
research vol. 33: 52-57.

7. Shekhar sing (2007). Printofix concept for pigment printing. Asian

dyer : 53-56.

8. John Wiley & Sons (2007). Research: Fabrication of screen-

printing pastes from TiO2 powders for dye-sensitized solar

cells. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Volume 15, Issue 7: 603 – 612.

9. Springer Netherlands (2006). A model for the screen-printing of

Newtonian fluids. Journal of Engineering Mathematics, Volume

54: 49-70.

10. Eija Kalliala, and Päivi Talvenmaa (2000). Environmental

profile of textile wet processing in Finland. Journal of
Cleaner Production Volume 8, Issue 2: 143-154.

11. B. Nerala, S. Šostar-Turka, and B. Vončinab (2006). Properties of

UV-cured pigment prints on textile fabric. Dyes and Pigments

Volume 68, Issues 2-3: 143-150.

12. A. Dehghani, F. Jahanshah, D. Borman, K. Dennis, J. Wang

(2004). Design and engineering challenges for digital ink-jet

printing on textiles. International Journal of Clothing Science and
Technology Volume 16, Issue ½: 262 – 273.

S. Šostar-Turka, M. Simoničb and I. Petrinića (2005). Wastewater

treatment after reactive printing. Dyes and Pigments
Volume 64, Issue 2: 147-152.

Marko Pudas, Juha Hagberg and Seppo Leppävuori (2004). Gravure

offset printing of polymer inks for conductors. Progress in Organic
Coatings Volume 49; Issue 4: 324-335.

Related Interests