Digital printing: the process of printing photorealistic and colourfast artwork onto fabric using reactive ink which is directly injected deep into the pile of the fabric. The individual elements of a design are broken down into “spots”. The smallest “spot” is 3mm² allowing colours to be overlaid or blended meaning the most intricate designs can be printed with truly amazing photorealistic results.
Dobby border: typically placed close to the hem or as part of the hem, a dobby border allows a flat weave with very simple weaving patterns like a herringbone for instance.
Double Jacquard (border): most often seen as a border of between 6 and 10 cm wide towards the ends of a towel. This flat weave enables complicated patterns, logos or names to be woven.
Edge to edge printing: the print covers the whole of the fabric into the hem and all the way round.
Effect weave: on a Jacquard loom, the process of introducing an additional weft yarn into selected areas during weaving to show an additional colour. This type of weave looks very similar to an embossed weave.
Embroidery: your artwork is converted into a technical file which is programmed into a specialist sewing machine. This is a cost-effective way to add branding to stock clothing, towels or robes. A high build embroidery is where the stitch count is increased to achieve an embossed effect.
Ground: this is the base of the towel into which the loops and therefore the design is woven. The ground consists of warp and weft threads.
Jacquard weave: the process of weaving two or more coloured yarns on a Jacquard loom to create a bespoke design. This process has some restrictions which can be overcome using different weave effects on the loom.
Heat press: the process of applying a heat applied material like vinyl to fabric with a heat press. Heat-applied materials have a heat sensitive adhesive on one side so when the heat is applied, the material sticks to the fabric.
Placement print: the print is within a defined area of the fabric leaving a white border all the way round. For example, a tea towel finished at 78 x 51 cm has a print area of 70 x 44 cm.
Relief weave: on a Jacquard loom, the process of creating areas without loops on a particular side of the towel thus showing a flat area. This process creates excellent debossed designs.
Rotary printing: different to digital printing, the design is printed using huge printing screens that cannot blend colours. Fabric is fed on a roller through the printer. As it passes through, ink is pushed through the print screens into the fabric. This process is limited by the number of colours that can be used and consequently the complexity of design. Perfect for high volumes with simple designs.
Screen printing: a traditional method of printing whereby a “stencil” for every individual colour within a design is made onto a screen. The screens are made from fine mesh and each colour is applied to the fabric, one after the other, using a squeegee.
Sublimation printing: suitable on polyester fabric only as a combination of heat, time and pressure causes the inks to be converted from a solid to a gaseous state enabling them to penetrate the fabric so that a permanent, full colour image is formed. The result is colourful and long lasting.
Terry: a fabric which consists of two warps and a weft which create the typical terry loops.
Trims: neck tape, branded care label, brand label, swing tag, hem tags and branded zip pulls or aglets are some of the ways to add an additional layer of branding to your product.
Velour: the plush fabric produced when the top of the terry loops are sheared off at the bend of the loop leaving individual yarn threads and creating the soft “velvety” looking fabric.
Warp: the threads that are strung vertically on the loom.
Weft: the threads that run horizontally on the loom which are woven into the warp, crossing above and below the warp threads to create a design.
Soil Association: www.soilassociation.org
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS): https://www.global-standard.org