Artist’s Guide to Digital Printing – File Types

You might know that there is a wide range of image file types for digital printing. The most popular type is the JPG. Most digital cameras will offer to allow you to use this one to save your photos, plus maybe one or two additional “high quality” ones. JPG also tends to be the type mobile devices and tablets like to shoot and save photos in. Another popular one used to be Bitmap which likely gained its popularity with Windows users since that was the main one Microsoft Paint prompted you to save images. The web also early on introduced other types such as PNG as well as GIF. These handful of ways to save an image only scratch the surface of what out out there. As a result people always want to know when it comes to printing, what  is best or at least what type of file we prefer at Digital Fabric Printer.

When preparing artwork for Digital Printing:      

  • You will need to allow 2 metres wastage per roll of printing. As we require the 2 metres to roll on and off to the heat press. If you are supply your own fabric, please supply 4 metres extra for testing and reprinting.
  • If you are suppling your own fabric please allow 1.5cm spacing on either side of the width of the fabric that is not to be printed on. So if you have a role of 150cm, we can print up to 147cm wide on that fabric.
  • Please note that fabric can shrink slightly when heat pressed. Please keep this in mind when setting up your files and to allow excess in your artwork for this.
  • We accept artworks jpegs or pdf only. We don’t accept Quark or Corel draw files.
  • We use a process known as CMYK. Prior to providing your artwork, please save your files as CMYK to be compatible with our printer.
  • Please save your file at 150 dpi and to the width x length of the print required. So please supply your artwork to the correct print size. For example if you want the print to be 50 x 50cm, the file should be saved to the size. Unless prior arranged we will print your artwork to the size it is provided.
  • Please keep in mind that fabric shrinkage of 1-5% may occur during printing. Printed fabric will never be at the precise size due to shrinkage and nature of the fabric. Please allow for this when setting up your artwork.
  • File must not be larger then 1GB
  • When providing a repeat pattern please make sure that the artwork lines up at both the top and bottom, so the pattern is continuous. We have a design team that can help you with this if you need to engage our services. There should be no white border around the artwork.
  • If you require white spacing around your print, please include this in your artwork. Otherwise your printing will be printed consecutively.
  • When supplying artwork as pattern pieces, please ensure patterns are to scale and fit. Allow 15-20mm space along the selvedge to avoid artwork being cropped.
  • Artwork colours can differ significantly from what is viewed on a computer screen to what translates onto fabric. This is because computers work in RGB and our printer works in CMYK.
  • If you see black on the computer screen it does not mean that this colour will be printed as black as you see it. The black colour in your artwork may not be necessary appropriate for commercial printing. If you are after pure black colour ensure that all four CMYK options are set to 100%, C=100%, M=100%, Y=100%, K=100%, in both Photoshop and Illustration when developing your artwork. For very fine details such as small text or lines, only K can be set to 100%.
  • White as colour cannot be printed, any areas in the image that are white will be the colour of the fabric.

Do you have any concerns involving digital printing not written above, please enquire within.