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.


  • Float
    In twill weave mesh, the area where one thread crosses over two perpendicular threads.
  • Float glass
    Glass that is made by floating a ribbon of molten glass on a bath of molten tin to obtain surface flatness and gloss, formerly referred to as plate glass.
  • Floating
    Tendency of pigment particles in a wet film to separate and concentrate in particular areas.
  • Floating bar printing frame
    A rigidly assembled screen printing frame which has extra, adjustable bars inside of two of the rigid sides, attached with bolts and wing nuts. The fabric is attached to the movable bars by which tension can be added, or register of the stencil adjusted.
  • Flocculant
    An electrolyte added to a suspension to cause the particle to aggregate and settle out as a result of reduction in repulsion between the particles.
  • Flocculation
    An aggregation of pigment particles in ink to form clusters or chains, usually accompanied by loss of color strength and change in hue in the printed ink layer; also called livering.
  • Flock (cut flock)
    Very short and accurately cut fibers of rayon, nylon, polyester, acrylic, or similar material of vary in length and denier, intended for application to an adhesive coated substrate to produce a velvety appearance and texture.
  • Flock adhesive
    Pigmented screen printing compound designed for the expressed purpose of adhering flock to the substrate.
  • Flock balling
    The conglomeration of flock into small clumps. Usually occurs when slender or milled flocks are dispensed from a rotating metal drum.
  • Flock die-cut transfer
    A heat seal transfer with suede or velvet-like finish, which adheres well to cotton and cotton blends.
  • Flock transfer
    Produced when a screen printed adhesive has been applied to flocked paper to produce a design for application by heat transfer.
  • Flocking
    A process of applying very short fibers onto an adhesive coated surface to produce a velvety textured surface, can be applied by manual sifting, specially designed spray gun or electrostatic means.
  • Flood bar (return-blade)
    A device on a screen printing press comprised of a thin metal (or plastic) blade, which has the function of spreading a thin film of ink uniformly over the printing screen, in the opposite direction of and preceding the printing stroke.
  • Flood coat
    Even coating of ink, which covers the image area of the screen, but is not forced through the image area.
  • Flood stroke
    A squeegee motion that deposits a layer of ink on top of the screen mesh under light pressure preventing the image from drying out between print strokes.
  • Flooding
    (1) The tendency of pigment particles to rise to the surface during drying/curing producing a uniform color which is different from the surrounding color; (2) The application of ink to the top of a printing screen without printing, refer to flood coat.
  • Flop-over
    A term designating the turning laterally of a film negative or positive so that the image direction is changed from one side to the opposite.
  • Florida 45
    Weathering test procedure where exposed panel is placed facing south at a 45 degree angle to the sun.
  • Flow
    (1) Descriptive of ink printing media viscosity; (2) A moving together of the tiny segments of ink deposited on the substrate to fill the spaces left by the mesh of the screen printing fabric; (3) The ability to spread over a surface; also refer to flow out.
  • Flow agent
    An additive used to disturb the surface tension and increase the ink flow, when bubbles or orange-peel occur.
  • Flow chart
    A graphic representation of the individual steps of a process that symbolically identifies items such as specific operations, forms, equipment, work and flow direction.
  • Flow coating (waterfall)
    A method of applying slip to glass or ceramic ware by continuous flow, used on flat ware such as tile.
  • Flow dipper
    A soldering device for printed circuits by means of which connections between components are made by dipping the board into the melted solder.
  • Flow out (ink flow)
    The capacity of a screen printing ink to spread out on deposit for the purpose of covering the intersections left in the printed film by the threads or strands of the printing screen at the instant of printing, preventing mesh marks.
  • Flow promoter
    A substance which when added to an ink or coating system, usually in small amounts, will improve the leveling and finish continuity of the coating.