The PRINTING United Alliance Glossary serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate. Without it, universal understanding would be impossible.

To keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology, PRINTING United Alliance has developed this glossary of terms. 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.
  • Curl
    (1) The tendency of a sheet material by itself or in laminate to bend or partly wrap around the axis of one of its directions. (Uneven moisture absorption throughout the thickness is the usual cause, and conversely, removal of moisture by heat application can cause curling); (2) Deformation of a paper sheet tending to form into a roll or cylinder, the roll effect appearing across the grain direction.
  • Curtain coater
    A coating machine which spreads an even thickness of low viscosity liquid (clear or adhesive) across a flat sheet or surface.
  • Curved screen
    Special screen mounted on flexible frame that can be mounted in a curved configuration, used to print rounded surfaces or objects.
  • Custom printing
    In textile printing, the type of work where the garment is furnished by the screen printer and not the customer.
  • Cusum chart
    A diagram that depicts cumulative deviation from a target.
  • Cut
    (1) To dilute or thin an ink, lacquer, or varnish with one or more solvents or clear base; (2) The shearing of stock with a knife blade; (3) Photoengraving.
  • Cut pieces
    Pieces of fabric shaped by cutting to be sewn into a garment to form back, front, yoke, sleeves, cuffs, etc.
  • Cutaway
    A backing or facing that must be cut away from the fabric to remove it from the embroidery.
  • Cut-off ink level
    The top surface of a printed ink film as it sits on the upper surface of the stencil mesh after the squeegee passes in the print stroke, but before the screen mesh is lifted from contact with the substrate.
  • Cutout
    A halftone image where the background area has been removed to produce a silhouette.
  • Cutter and creaser
    A fully automatic press that slices and scores light weight paperboard.
  • Cutter dust
    Small particles of paper fiber chipped off during cutting and trimming operations.
  • Cutting tolerance
    The allowable variation in exactness of cut dimensions. (These vary by the overall size and type of the final product. Die cutting tolerances are typically plus or minus 0.4 mm -1/64 inch).
  • CWA
    Acceptable acronym for Clean Water Act (US) (Formerly referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act).
  • CWT (centum weight) (hundred weight)
    The specific cost of one hundred pounds of a particular stock.
  • Cyan (C) (process blue)
    Blue green color, complementary to red and one of the three primary subtractive pigment colors, the other two being yellow and magenta. (Cyan reflects blue and green light, while absorbing red).
  • Cyan printer
    In process color reproduction, the prepress materials used to produce the cyan image. (The letter C is used to designate this color).
  • Cyanoacrylate
    A single part frame adhesive that uses an activator spray or tape to accelerate cure similar to super glue.
  • Cycle
    The complete repeating sequence of an operation in process or part of process such as the mechanical action of a screen printing press required to complete one print sequence.
  • Cycle time
    The time it takes for a imaging press to complete one print cycle.
  • Cyclec
    Hydrocarbon chemical structure composed mainly of naohthenes and terpenes.
  • Cyclohexanone
    A cyclic ketone derived from cyclohexanol used as a solvent for lacquers especially nitrocellulose or polyvinyl chloride.
  • Cylinder press
    (1) A screen printing press constructed where the substrate is printed on the crown of a rotating drum; (2) A press used for die cutting.