In offset printing, the blanket cylinder is an intermediate cylinder which sits between the plate cylinder and the impression cylinder. The ink is transferred from the plate cylinder to the blanket cylinder, and then applied to the paper. This type of "offset" is used not only in offset lithography, but is also emerging in electro photographic devices.
The blanket clamped around a cylinder; the core element of offset printing. It transfers the printed image from the printing form to the paper. The process of depositing the ink onto the blanket also gave rise to the term "offset printing". Blankets enable consistent printing over large areas and are ideal for rough or grained papers. The blanket on the cylinder is usually 1.65 or 1.95 millimeters thick and consists of two, three or four fabric interleaves in addition to the actual covering layer. A distinction is usually made between the conventional blankets, which can be deformed but not compressed, and the compressible, air-cushioned blankets. Standard DIN 16621 describes the requirements for "blankets for indirect lithographic printing (offset printing)".