Planning to print your work on fabric? Maybe you’re after a set of headers that will help sell your designs
in client meetings. Or you’re going to make gorgeous little girls clothes using prints of your own design.
Before you take the leap and send your files off to a professional, ask them ask them these five important questions below. Our in-house print production specialist, Sylvia, explains.
“Although it would be wonderful, our designs never ever look the same on screen as they do printed out on fabric. Each print company has a different type of printer, uses different inks and even fabrics! The trick is to tailor your design to suit the specific printer that you’re working with.” And the only way to do that is to probe your printer with great questions.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
Is there anything I can do on my end to improve the colour of my design?
“What you see onscreen will be a bit different on fabric because fabric printers do not have the range of colour that a computer screen does. The backlighting of your screen also tends to make colours super vibrant, and this can be a little tricky to translate using printing inks,” Sylvia says.
What colour profile do you prefer?
“They may recommend a specific colour profile on your design, or want it changed to from CMYK to RGB or vice versa.”
Do you have a colour palette profile you can share or physical colour swatches?
“These can give you an idea as to what the printer can achieve on fabric.” And there’ll be fewer surprises.
Can I have a printed sample on my fabric of choice before final printing?
“They may even be able to offer you a few options so that you can choose the best one.”
What kind of ink do you use?
“Pigment inks, which are suitable for all fabrics, will always be less intense and less bright than reactive inks and acid inks. Reactive inks (if you’re not familiar) is used on cellulosic fibres such cotton, linen and bamboo while acid inks are more suited to silk, wool and nylon.”
“Disperse dye, which is used for polyester, usually has good colour, but you might not be able to get a good match for bright turquoises due to the ink formulations available.”