Cotton can be described as a soft fiber which is mostly used to spin a thread which is widely used in textiles. Cotton is a widely used fabric for textile printing and almost every style of clothing can be made from cotton.
Origin and History
Cotton in India became popular during the Indus Valley Civilization. was found in ancient India some time around 2000 B.C. It was the technology called mordant dyeing that prevailed at that particular time in India. The overall involvement of textile printing is all thanks to the trade that took place between various countries as that is how the techniques were transferred from one place to another. Europe was intrigued by the Indian printed fabrics like cotton sarees which were brought to them by East India Company in 17th century. It was in the year 1670 that France too witnessed the beauty and charm of Indian printed textiles and the Indian calicos as they were called at that time began printing in England by 1670.
Sources of Inspiration
Apart from India many European countries too are actively involved in textile printing methods. The French are in fact considered the most artistic when it comes to calico printing. Their designs and styles are actually copied by most of the printers based in Europe. The entire world is involved when it comes to textile printing and each country has contributed in its evolvement in some way or another. At present textile printing is carried out in variety of methods and it is all thanks to the expertise and vision of the printers from most parts of the world.
There are various methods that are utilized today to print colored designs and prints fabrics, some of which include:
- Hand block printing, which is the first method, is one of the oldest methods of textile printing. Some will address this one as artistic but some people also consider this method to be the slowest which it is. The design that is printed on the cloth is first made on blocks of wood.
- Roller printing was first used in Scotland in the year 1783 and in this method the fabric is passed through machine and inked laden rollers print the design on them.
- Screen printing is one of the most commonly used methods at present. Ink is made into a paste and then printed on the fabric with the help of little gaps in the screen.
- Bleaching is also one of the methods in which fabric is first dyed and then bleached in order to print the design.
- Stenciling is the way in which stencils are used to print designs onto fabrics.
- Wax printing is a method which involves using wax to print designs on the dyed cotton fabrics.
Present Day Scenario
Technology has contributed immensely in the progress of textile printing over the years and today digital methods are used to create prints on fabrics which consume less time and give amazing results. High-pressure jets and computer operated lasers are used by textile printers these days to make designs on various fabrics.
Textile printing has certainly come a long way and today one can find many new techniques of printing. The organic ways of growing the fabrics such as cotton are being used by the farmers and the printing methods are also turning Eco-friendly.
Cotton fabrics are soft and need adequate care and attention. It is recommended to wash them in cold water and avoid the use of bleach.
Interesting Facts and Comparisons
- Cotton fabrics are one of the most desired fabrics for printing as they have excellent color retention.
- The cotton fabric is durable in nature and quite strong.
- Cotton fabric is considered ideal for summers as it is comfortable and absorbs perspiration.