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Block Printing onto Fabric with New Textile Rollers!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

We're very pleased to have a brand new roller available for block printing onto fabric! We love using screen printing inks to block print onto fabric as it creates fast-drying washable prints. Screen printing inks are too slippery for standard rollers so up until now we've liked using Sponge Rollers to print our fabrics. Sponge Rollers are great at rolling out screen printing inks but leave a bubbly texture on the print and can sometimes be uneven. Our new Textile Rollers are slightly spongy and less absorbent - this means we can roll out slippery inks and print evenly onto fabric! Here's our first print with these great new rollers:

 

The new Textile Rollers roll out the ink evenly. When rolling out inks, try to create a thin layer of ink that looks like orange peel and isn't squelchy. We're using Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink in Green straight out the pot.

Because the roller is not too soft, it is easier to roll onto a carved block without picking up lots of carving lines and edges. 

We've printing with a piece of Mounted Lino onto our Heavy-weight Cotton. Press your block face down onto pinned out fabric. Printing onto a slightly padded surface helps to get an even print. 

This little block can be rotated to create a repeat pattern of circles.

To see the difference between the new Textile Roller and the Sponge Roller, we had a go using the same ink, block and fabric. The Sponge Roller works really well at rolling out the ink but is more absorbent - you need to press lightly to avoid all the ink going into the sponge. 

The resulting print is bold and the fabric is soft but the print has more of a bubbly texture and is uneven. The softness of the sponge also adds ink to the carving lines that we may not want to show.

The following circle has been printed with the Sponge Roller on the left half and with the new Textile Roller on the right half. You can see that the new roller has picked up less of the carving lines and gives a cleaner print, especially in the open spaces in the corners. The print is more even and has less of a texture - the only texture seen comes from the weave of the Heavy-weight cotton. 

We're always on the lookout for new ways to print and this new Textile Roller really improves the results when block printing onto fabric! To print your own fabric you will need: