A Brief History of Textile Printing
Looking back to where it all began and seeing where we are now, it is difficult not to be in awe of how far we have come in terms of printing technology. Here is a very brief look into the history of printing, and some informative infographics we found online.
The simple act of stamp “printing” text and images dates back to before 3000 BCE, where this process copied images. Woodblock printing was used in China as early as 220 AD. In India and Europe woodblock printing onto cloths was used by the year 1300, bringing about the very first method of textile printing.
Stencil prints were common in Japan in about 1603 and in Europe around 1450. Going back to the year 1040, moveable type (a system which used moveable pieces of type) was used in China and was constructed out of porcelain. Other materials used to create these moveable type pieces were wood and metal. It was used in Korea around 1230 and in Europe around 1439.
The first flat-bed printing press was created in Germany in the mid-15th century. Printing was now able to make mass production prints compared to earlier methods that limited the amount of printing done. Printing presses were next to come, where newspapers and magazines would be printed.
From there, lithography, colour printing, offset printing, screen-printing, flexography, and later photocopying came into being. Thermal, laser, and inkjet printers, and the digital press came after, as well as Frescography, and 3D printing, which was first developed in the early 1980’s.
And here we are today, where printing is truly taken for granted – the ease at which we print, copy, and scan on enormous levels (and even in our own homes) is a technological marvel.
For more information, here are some creative infographics on the history of printing: