Glossary Of Terms

The PRINTING United Alliance 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. PRINTING United Alliance 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 PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Residual shrinkage
    The percentage of shrinkage remaining in a garment after being pre-shrunk.
  • Residual tack
    The tackiness remaining in a film which, although set, does not reach the tack-free stage.
  • Resiliency
    Ability to regain quickly an original shape after being strained or distorted.
  • Resin
    (1) Any of a number of clear to translucent yellow or brown solid or semi-solid substances of plant origin as copal rosin and amber used in lacquer varnish ink, adhesive, and synthetic plastic; (2) in printing ink, the material that binds the pigment to the substrate.
  • Resist
    A plate coating that hardens over the non-image areas after exposure to light; mixed with bichromated gum or other coating solution protects non-image areas during etching.
  • Resist printing (textile)
    The printing of a resist agent on the cloth to prevent a printed ink from affecting a preselected protected area.
  • Resistance
    The opposition a material offers to direct current flow, measured in ohms.
  • Resistance (insulator)
    The ratio of an applied voltage to the total current carried by a specific insulating material.
  • Resistance temperature characteristics
    Relationship between thermistor resistance and the temperature it is sensing.
  • Resistor
    A device, material, or component that offers opposition to the flow of an electric current.
  • Resite
    A thermosetting resin at the C-stage, or final stage of processing, where it becomes insoluble, or cured.
  • Resitol
    An uncured thermosetting resin at the B-stage, or intermediate stage of processing.
  • Resol
    A thermosetting resin in its solvent-soluble stage.
  • Resolution
    (1) A measure of image sharpness or the performance of an optical system, expressed in lines per millimeter or lines per inch; (2) the smallest distance that can be measured by an instrument.
  • Resolution target
    Any test image that measures the resolving power (ability to produce fine detail) of a printing system.
  • Resolving power
    The relative ability of a lens or emulsion to accurately reproduce fine detail.
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, US (RCRA)
    A federal hazardous waste, solid waste, and waste reduction program involving remedial investigations, feasibility studies, and implementation of corrective measures.
  • Retarder
    An additive for ink that slows down drying time; a solvent with slower evaporation characteristics.
  • Retensionable frame
    A screen printing frame or chase with a built-in means of tensioning applied mesh.
  • Reticulation
    (1) A separation or cracking of a photographic emulsion caused by processing at too high temperature or thermal shock in transferring from a very warm bath to one that is too cold; (2) a defect where the ink film recedes in large areas due to incompatibility of the surface energy of ink and substrate.
  • Retouching
    The act of altering continuous tone prints, halftone negatives, or positives to eliminate defects, emphasize detail, or perform minor color corrections.
  • Retrofit
    The addition or removal of equipment, or a required adjustment, connection, or disconnection of an existing piece of equipment to comply with a change.
  • Retro-reflective
    The property of a material that causes it to reflect light back toward the source under non-daylight conditions.
  • Reverse
    An image that is the opposite of the original.
  • Reverse printing
    (1) Process of printing on the second surface of a material, referred to as back printing; (2) forming an image by laying ink down around the subject and letting the white space show through to form the image.