There are different options out there to consider while doing custom fabric printing.
Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash
To identify the best option for you, you may know about the popular printing methods like silk screening, digital painting, dye sublimated printing, etc. All these can work well on the flag cloth, and in this article, we will discuss these options for flag printing in detail.
In this method, the print is done using automated large-format printing machines. These machines let the manufacturers make each unit quickly and accurately. However, it may need a lengthy set up initially for printing, so there should be the requirement for a minimum of 10 or more flags to go for this approach. The silk-screening method is ideal for simple vector graphics based on various geometrical shapes and needs only a few colors.
After printing, flags will be heat treated. This will make the image look better and make the flag sturdier against weather conditions and be more endurable. The ink of screen printing will permeate through the flag fabric and will ensure 100% coverage on the backside too. Finally, a strip will be applied to the unit’s top or side as needed, and then grommets will be inserted to finish the work.
Digital printing of custom flags
This is an advanced approach to fabric printing for custom flags, where the custom artwork is designed digitally on a computer and transferred to an inkjet printer. The major advantage of a digitally printed flag is that there is no mandatory minimum requirement. Even if you want to make just one custom flag, you can instantly do it using digital print. Using digital printing, you can also print a photograph or any graphic work on to the fabric.
However, compared to silkscreen printing, digital printing will not offer ink penetration to the reverse side. This can be fixed by doing double-sided printing or by sewing together two digitally printed flags back-to-back. Once the printing is done, the flags are washed repeatedly in the cold and hot water and dried. Finally, the flags will be trimmed and hemmed, and reinforced with strips onto the clot’s top and sides as needed.
Dye-sublimation printing can offer you the best of both worlds as the richness in color like silkscreen and the photograph and image insertion like digital printing can be achieved this way. In dye sublimation, the artwork is first printed and transferred to paper with your graphic’s reverse image. This image is further transferred with a heat pressing method to the polyester fabric around a temperature of 375° F. Then, the fabric is heated under high pressure and temperature, with which the dye turns into gases and solidify onto the fabric’s fibers.
In dye sublimation, there is also no need for a minimum order of custom flags. Also, the printing penetrates through the fabric; the reverse side also can have the display, however, about 15% lighter than the front side. After processing, flags are trimmed, hemmed, and reinforced with strips to be ready for shipping.
You may consider your design specifications, budget, and requirement for the number of custom flags to decide while the printing method may be most appropriate for your purpose.