Devoré, or burn-out printing, is an excellent technique for the retail market. Paul Woodward, technical support representative at screen ink manufacturer MagnaColours, explains how to achieve this unique effect

Burn-out printing, often referred to as devoré, is a fabric technique where textiles and garments of mixed-fibre compositions undergo a chemical process to dissolve any cellulosic fibres, such as cotton, leaving behind only the synthetic fibres, such as polyester. The process has historically been used on velvet fabrics, and because of the semi-transparent effect that it provides, it was also developed as a cheap way to make lace-style garment and textiles.

For this step-by-step guide, MagnaColours used its ready-to-print formulation MagnaPrint Burn Out RTU, which doesn’t require an activating agent, unlike some burn-out systems. The process is very similar to conventional screen printing, however instead of using an ink, an acidic chemical is printed onto the garment or textile.

Burn-out printing can provide different effects depending on the fabric composition, so it’s important to understand what kind of finished product you want to achieve and to experiment for the perfect result.

Textiles with a higher cotton or cellulosic composition provide a more transparent and sheer effect, while higher polyester content will leave more structure to the fabric. Heather-style garments with multiple fibre colours in the yarns work great for this technique as they provide an excellent contrast between the burnt out and non-printed areas.

Burn-out products are suited to an extremely diverse range of markets and end uses. Depending on the position of the print, the size of the design, and the level of transparency, burn-out can be a great addition to T-shirts and other garments. It’s also perfect for rotary screen printing and all-over prints, allowing you to create lace and devoré effects on wide format fabrics for interior and home textiles.

Check out Paul’s step-by-step guide to burn-out printing in our August issue here