The various designs of our everyday clothing go through many different types of printing processes. There are many different types of fabric printing processes from basic hand printing (batik) to sophisticated multi-colour discharge printing processes. But as mentioned in the title in this article I am going to discuss about the common printing process in the UK of rotary screen printing.
Rotary Printing Machine
Rotary screen printing machines have evolved from basic hand printing procedures. The rotary screen printing machine is fast, but limited to the designs it can print and commercially very economical way of printing. The print finish quality of rotary screen printing is not to the same standard as modern-day discharge printing machines.
Screens have to be cut and made to the design we require, and each colour way has to be put on a individual screen.
Rotary screen print machine consists of numbers of rotary screens which fit into slots as shown in the image. If one colour way print is needed one screen is fitted to the the machine, upto 12 screens can be fitted for multiple colour way designs. In the machine illustrated only 6 screens can be fitted as this is a six colour way machine.
Plain fabric is fed into the Stenta machine, where all the creases are removed from the fabric, prior to printing this fabric is referred to prepared for printing (PFP). Once all creases are removed the fabric is now ready for printing and forwarded to the printing machine.
Once the printing is done the fabric is stentored again for the drying process. The design set permanently on the fabric after going through the drying process.
The finished product is inspected before rolling, after inspection the finish product is rolled and dispatched.
Strike off Printing
Prior to the bulk printing, a process called strike off is done to make sure the machine prints as what we require. During the strike off process a small piece of fabric is printed and checked if the printer is is printing as expected. The printer machine is adjusted and the main fabric is fed into.