Glossary Of Terms

The SGIA Glossary of Terms serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate, without it universal understanding would be impossible. Language and our ideas about how it is interpreted change rapidly. SGIA is aware of this and continues its effort to keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology. The definitions are for general reference only. Usage may vary between companies, individuals, or national and country customs. The information presented is as accurate as the authors and editors can ascertain and SGIA assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Fast color
    A color which is resistant to the action of external agents such as light, acids, and alkalis.
  • Fastness
    The stability of colored pigments or dyestuffs under adverse conditions of light, acids, alkalis, etc.
  • Fat
    Color and oil mixtures that flow well; good flow characteristics.
  • Fatigue
    Condition of stress in a material resulting from repeated flexing or impact.
  • Fatty
    An excess of ink deposit, which enlarges a defined area.
  • FDA
    Acceptable acronym for the US Food and Drug Administration.
  • Feather edge (feathering)
    (1) The appearance of the edge of a printed area where the color or ink seeps out or is forced beyond the predetermined print edge, giving the edge a feathery ragged appearance or unsharp print edge; (2) Image editing technique that allows the softening of the edge around a selection.
  • Federal Standard 595 (US)
    Color matching system developed by the US Government.
  • Feed slots (pin feed)
    Round or rectangular registration holes placed in pressure sensitive or web stock to maintain register by feeding the stock over a series of pins on a roller arrangement.
  • Feeder
    A mechanical mechanism that separates, lifts, and passes individual sheets of substrate to be printed from the stock pile to the printing base, by means of grippers, belts or suction devices.
  • Feel (hand)
    (1) A term used to express the impression obtained by handling printed matter to judge its finish or general quality; (2) The degree of stiffness imparted to a textile by the application of a printed decoration.
  • Feet per minute (fpm)
    The measurement of surface speed.
  • Feldspar
    Fusible rock that can be added to clay.
  • Felt
    A compacted material made from matted wool fibers, and traditionally used as a pennant material.
  • Felt side
    The top side of the paper, generally the smoothest side of paper and the preferred side for printing; also refer to wire side.
  • Femto (f)
    A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement which denotes 10 to the power of a negative 15 (10-15) or 0.000 000 000 000 001.
  • Fense easel with platform
    A display part providing a platform and a protective guard for merchandise samples.
  • FEP
    Acceptable abbreviation for fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymers.
  • Ferrotype plate
    A chrome plated or black enameled sheet of steel or mirror plated glass used to dry photographic prints to a high gloss finish.
  • Ferrule
    The metal band of a brush.
  • FESPA
    Acceptable acronym for Federation of European Screen Printing Associations.
  • Festooning
    Suspending screen printed cloth, film or paper in long loops over rods or slats, so that printed surfaces do not contact, for drying purposes.
  • Fettle
    To remove fins mold marks and rough edges from dry or nearly dry ware.
  • Fiber
    (1) A thread-like filament either natural or manufactured, many times greater in length than in diameter; (2) Wood particles used in papermaking.
  • Fiber analysis
    A microscopic process of determining the fiber content of a paper stock.