How fabric printing affects sustainability, manufacturing timeline, minimum quantity, and budget

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

While printing can add a beautiful element to your product, you might be surprised at the complexity that printed fabric can add to garment manufacturing. If you haven't worked with prints before, here is a quick primer to help you know your options and how they will impact your product's sustainability, manufacturing timeline, minimum quantity, and budget.

There are many kinds of printing techniques, but you can generally think of them in three big categories: screen printing, block-printing, and digital printing.

screen printing
Screen printing on rotary screen print machine

Screen Printing: Screen Printing is a technique where a mesh, or screen, is used to transfer ink onto a base material, except where blocked by an impermeable stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the material and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so separate screens must be used to produce a multicolored design.