'Balance & Harmony' - Printed real cloth cover

  • Printing

Printing onto Cloth

When it comes to increasing the perceived value of your book, having a real cloth binding is second to none - but long gone are the days when adding a bit of foil blocking to the spine cuts the mustard!  Add some print and now we're talking! 

There's a myriad of quality printable fabrics and textures to choose from, from fine linens to satins, silks and suede effects.  A word of warning though, the fabrics should always be supplied from a specialist bookbinding material supplier and be paper backed.  

Litho, Silkscreen, Heat Transfer or Inkjet?  

There are several things to consider when going down the cloth route that will ultimately effect how your case cover gets printed. Are you wanting a full colour half tone effect or a limited palette of solid colours?  Is your image very detailed or bold and geometric? How coarse is the cloth that you want to use?  

All of these factors will determine how the material can be printed, for example a coarse cloth (such as used in Reverie) cannot be litho printed and because a half tone effect is required, ink jet is more going to give a better, subtler tonal range than silk screen. For a full colour detailed half tone, litho will give the best results although Heat Transfer is also a good option, although there are size restrictions and specialist equipment required.   

Just let us know what you're after and we can do the head scratching! 


Top tips for printing onto cloth

  • Cloth is very absorbent so the image is going to look very different than if it were printed on paper.  It will also be printed using a coarser screen (i.e. less dots per square inch) than conventional ink on paper. A cloth proof is the only way to get a good idea of how it's going to look. 

  • Cloth takes longer to dry after printing than paper - this could impact on your schedule so best to build in extra time for a project like this.

Cloth book printing - supersoft peachskin (left) gives great tonal results when compared to conventional cotton (right)