Fabric Prints

Recent fashion reports emphasize the fact that prints are coming back into vogue after a partial neglect during the more minimalist look of the 1980s and 1990s. New computer-driven print technologies are also energizing the production of interesting prints. The trend towards more use of prints in fashion is likely to stay as a result.

Generally, to form a uniform color, dyeing techniques are used - the fabric is soaked in the colored dye and the fibres of the fabric absorb the color. Printing allows one to imprint different parts of the fabric with different colors. There are several techniques for printing - to be effective, the printed image must bind with the fabric fibres so that the color will stay (and not "bleed" away) with repeated washings.

Printing is traditionally done using wooden blocks, stencils, engraved (metallic) plates, rollers or silkscreen. Four methods of printing can be applied : direct, two-stage, resist and discharge printing. Direct printing means applying the color (often thickened with special dyes and incorporating mordants for ensuring color fixing) directly to the surface of the fabric. Two stage printing involves the preparation of the fabric with a color fixing mordant and then applying color - the color stays only where the mordant was applied. Resist printing uses a similar process, whereby a wax is applied to the surface of the fabric where color is not desired, and this inhibits the taking up of color in these areas. Discharge printing involves applying a bleaching agent to a previously dyed fabric to remove the dye in certain areas. For most printing purposes, each color must be separated from the others and the fabric passed through the "printing process" several times - this limits, in general, the number of colors that can be applied (due to both excessive cost and loss of precision). Digital printing is a form of direct printing that avoids these problems, allowing a precise image to be printed in one sitting.

Fabric prints, like fabrics themselves, fall into different types. Here is a partial list of types of prints (obtain more detailed information about each print and examples of uses by selecting the name of the print type) :

Abstract print (Courtesy of emmaonesock.com)
African Print (Courtesy of stock.xchng)
Leopard print on silk (Courtesy of emmaonesock.com)
Batik print (Courtesy of emmaonesock.com)
Bohemian fabric
Camouflage Print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)
Check design (Courtesy of stock.xchng)
Chevron print (Courtesy of fashionistafabrics.com)
Designer silk challis print (Courtesy of gorgeousfabrics.com)
Diagonal Print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)diagonalWari tunic with diamond pattern (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)diamondsDigital fabric printer (Courtesy of everystockphoto)digitalNative American Squirrel (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)ethnicFloral print (Courtesy of fashionistafabrics.com)floralGeometric pattern (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)geometric
Graphic Baseball print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)
Original Aloha shirt motifshawaiianHearts fabric printheartsHerringbone patternherringboneHoundstooth design (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)houndstoothPrint for adolescents (Compliments of thefabricfairy.com)juvenileBlue landscape print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)
Print for toddlers (Compliments of thefabricfairy.com)nursery
Tibetan dragon motif (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)mythologicalNatural print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)
Oriental print (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)orientalPaisley Print on Cotton (Courtesy of www.fabric.com)paisleyPatriotic English print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)patrioticPlaid (Courtesy of everyStockPhoto.com)plaidPolka dot fabrics (Courtesy of stock.xchng)
polka dots
Seaside print (Courtesy of gorgeousfabrics.com)
Provence fabric print (Courtesy of French Connections)
Retro print (Courtesy of www.fabric.com)

Irridescent solid print (Courtesy of gorgeousfabrics.com)

Striped fabric (Courtesy of stock.xchng)

Swirl print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)swirl
Tartan_McNeillOfBarra (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)tartan
Vintage fabric (Courtesy of everystockphoto.com)vintageZigzag print (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)zigzags

40 types

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