The roll printing machine also referred to as intaglio or machine printing. The technique dates from the end of the 18th century (Scotland: James Bell) and has resulted in the disappearance of hand printing, which is time consuming printing technique. The technique of roller printing is especially used for very large batches but faces great competition from rotary screen printing.
The oldest mechanized method for continuous printing represents only about 16% of print production today, and is declining. Roller printing is capable of producing very sharp outlines to the printed pattern which is especially important for small figure. The maximum design repeat is the circumference of the engraved roller.
The figure illustrate roller printing. Roller printing also referred to as intaglio or machine printing.
The design is engraved onto copper rollers, a separate roller for each color. The rollers are mounted against the large main cylinder, around which the fabric travels together with a resilient blanket and a protective back grey. The printing paste is located in a trough. A transfer roller runs partly immersed in the paste and in contact with the engraved roller. A doctor blade, scraps away all of the paste except for that contained in the engraving. A cleaning blade on the other side scraps away any lint picked up from the fabric. The pressure of the engraved roller against the fabric causes the design to be transferred. Any excess paste which is squeezed through the fabric is taken up by the back grey. This protects the blanket and prevents the design from being smeared.