Know the Real Art Behind Flock Printing Technique

Flock printing is one of the oldest printing techniques which can be traced back to 1000BC in China. But after that, the first-ever industrialist use of flock printing on textile was found in the USA that was patented dated 1933. Today flock is everywhere and is not limited only to textile or garments, it can be noticed on day to day to life. From the paper you write, the car you drive, or the carpet you use, the flock has marked its imprint everywhere and due to its versatility and mesmerizing beauty. The flocking technique is not new and a few similar printing techniques were used in.

Flock is made from natural or synthetic materials like cotton, rayon, nylon or polyester. It adds a velour, fluffy, velvety like texture and is a great way to enhance the feel, color and overall appearance of a garment. Flock—or the fluffy material adhered to materials during the flocking process—is a collection of fibers often made up of cotton, polyester, rayon and nylon. While cut flock is all the same length, milled flock is a mixture of natural fibers of differing lengths that have not been altered. Cut flock is used for projects requesting specific lengths of flocked designs, ranging between 0.3 mm up to 5 mm.

The process of flock printing typically moves through the following stages: creating a stencil, applying an adhesive to the material, adding the flock, curing/drying, cleaning off the remaining flock. Flock that does not adhere to the stencil can be removed by hand with a blow dryer or vacuum.

  • Manual Flocking

By far the most fascinating process, manual flocking—or direct flocking—can be completed by experienced screen printers with the proper tools. In this system, a machine outlines the design onto the item with adhesive ink. Next, the item heads to a flocking machine, where an electrostatic charge lends a hand. Negatively charged fibers of flock are sent to the grounded receiving material, such as a t-shirt or a plastic car interior. The opposite charge causes the flock to stand up straight on its one when it lands on the adhesive, creating that clean, fabric-like appearance. You can think of this a bit like when static electricity makes your hair stand on end for the moment. With the fibers all standing in the same alignment, the flock does not clump together or lay on its side.

The glue is then cured at a higher temperature than usual ink, depending on the material used. The strong the glue used in this process, the more it can stand up to dry cleaning and washing.

  • Stencil Flocking

Using a transfer flock is ideal for those looking to save time and money or working with difficult fabrics like terry cloth or on oddly shaped items. The flock adheres to a heat backer that can be cut digitally to the specific stencil created in the file. The flock and backing are then heated against the substrate material to complete the connection. Some designers are using the technique to replace embroidery and traditional flocking for difficult projects due to its versatility and suede-like appearance. A flock stencil can also incorporate factors like flexibility, ideal for designs added to sports or school uniforms that will get a lot of wear.

  • Transfer Flocking

This process begins a bit like traditional screen printing by adding adhesive ink to the material in the shape of the design before it is cured and dried. Flock transfer paper in the appropriate color then lies on top of the ink and is heat pressed so that the flock transfers to the original inked design. When the designers peel away the transfer, only the flock overtop the glue remains.

  • Compressed Air Flocking

One of the quickest and easiest ways to apply flock is with the use of a special compressed-air flocker. A flocking gun or machine applies an even flow of flock to a surface with pre-laid adhesive. Similar to manual flocking, unnecessary flock can be blown or vacuumed away to obtain the desired look.

Presently accessible in an assortment of uses like one shading run, two-shading run, a multicolor group going up to 16 tones, this headway has given a totally new edge to the plan capacities and applications. Global makers are likewise progressively outfitting half-tone run plans, joined with printed colors. With the continuous changes in the fashion industry so many things have been replaced or forgotten but few artistic techniques that are used to elevate the beauty of your outfit are still there in the market such as flock printing. Still, folks love to wear handcrafted flock printed dresses, and like so many other things the magic of hand-crafted techniques can be easily visible on any garment.

There is a different kind of glow and elegance when any outfit is lifted with hand-crafted techniques. As it is a well-known thing that when you put extra effort and hard work into anything the beauty of the result goal is something that cannot be measured and is exceptionally out of the world. This multipurpose printing technique can be seen today on traditional outfits, casuals, wallpapers, upholsteries and so many other things with even multicolored patterns. With global obsessions in prints of international designers, many printing techniques have been revived and is also available in 3D printing techniques for more variants. Prints are admired all around the world as they add that extra glamour quotient to any style with some festive charm to your persona.