As the digital fabric printing industry matures, the machines are faster, the inks are more vibrant, and the most important color in the spectrum is green.
The marketing phrase “new and improved” has been slapped on every kind of product at one time or another, with—on occasion—dubious results. Sometimes “improvements” are merely superficial, and sometimes consumers don’t want their favorite product messed with (remember New Coke?). But in the case of fabric printers and inks, significant innovation continues to help the industry evolve. The latest printer and ink technologies, combined with more environmentally sound processes, are helping print shops meet a growing demand for digitally printed fabric products.
“The holy grail at the moment is direct-to-fabric [printing], ” says Paul Glynn, operations manager for Portland Color in Portland, Maine. The large-format printer has invested in nine printing machines and in November was among the first five customers in the country to take delivery on an HP Designjet L65500, Hewlett-Packard’s new latex ink printer capable of printing 104 inches wide and up to 1, 200 dpi resolution.
Three years ago, Portland converted from oil-based ink to dye sublimation solvent ink, but the company was still in the paper market (i.e., fine art prints on photographic paper). “We started our fabric adventure with DuPont™ Artistri®, ” Glynn recounts, noting that Portland’s core market has transitioned to banners for trade shows and point-of-purchase displays. “When Roland came out with the dye sublimation 1045, we bought one of those and produced 100-inch wide, aqueous-based images.”
For the earth-friendly Designjet (low VOCs and nonhazardous ink), HP designed 14 large-format media, including five recyclable substrates. They include Tyvek® banner, heavy textile banner (smooth, woven polyester) and wrinkle-free flag (recyclable, polyester fabric with a removable liner).
“I think 10-foot-wide, direct-to-fabric printing is pretty new, ” Glynn says. “We haven’t found the color gamut [to match dye sublimation], but I think it’s gaining ground rapidly.”
Industry pushes for increased printing speeds at lower costs
Patrick Foley, global product manager for DuPont Artistri, Wilmington, Del., is intimately involved in advancing the capabilities of ink.
Kids Awards Screen Printing on Metal
The New Yudu machine made by Provo Crafts is a home silk screening machine and it prints on metal, as well as fabric, glass, wood and paper. You may not want to put that much into something to print on metal the TV version is about 327.00 or 357.00 I cannot remember right off, but maybe you can find someone in your area who has one that would be willing to do them for you. But if you had one think of all the other things you can do with it for kids.
My acct is too new to post a link so you can email me for the link to the website for Yudu or you can go to your home search engine and just time in Yudu you will find it