Printing Repeats

Pattern Design | Printing on FabricBasic Printing Technique 1 | Basic Printing Technique 2 & 3 | Printing Repeats

 

Pocket Class Day Two: Printing Repeats

Printing a repeat pattern requires putting registration marks on the outside edge of frame to help aligning one print to the next but it can be challenging for beginners and usually practiced by professional textile designers and printers in printing house. In this class, you will use basic indication marks of A, B, C and D on each side of the screen frame.

We call each print a “repeat tile”. Start from the center of the fabric and work your way from there. Printing repeat is like solving a puzzle. In professional printing studio, we calculate meticulously to facilitate the printing process. For printing at home, the printing process should be fun so we suggest a simple method of using your eyes to determine the repeat and trust your guts to make the actual print.

Once you have printed the first repeat tile, dry it before starting on the next one. Patience is important for beginners and rushing yourself to get your first run of repeats usually is a bad habit we do not encourage because your prints usually turn out messy. That being said, preparing your screen and pattern correctly also play a role.

As you’ve prepared the screen by hand and at home, do not get discouraged if your first run of print is not exactly aligned because you’ve transferred your design/pattern to your screen by hand! So give yourself a pat on the back for being as “perfect” as possible.

Hand printing processes on any kind of substrate (paper or fabric) always require you to handle with care and appreciate all the steps and hard work.

Tip:

  • If your print repeat is just slightly off, you can join the repeats by hand painting them
  • Lift your screen up slowly and slightly after you’ve aligned and using the light that passed through the open areas of the mesh, you can also gauge if the design/pattern is aligned to the previous print.
  • Printing repeat for a random repeated pattern is usually easier because you’ll less likely see any obvious gap or shift.