Fabric Printing is the process of textile coloration. For a process that is ancient printing on fabric has gone through a very rapid period of development. And, thereafter change in the last ten years.
Fabric Printing and textile chemistry
Screen-printing fabric using flat screens has the well-established technique for applying color and design to fabric. This process was suitable for medium to large runs. For very high volume, rotary screen-printing was the normal process. The set up costs to engrave and produce the screens were very high. But because of the size of runs they were the most economic.
Small runs were not economic using either of these techniques for fabric printing. This made the small runs very expensive because of the high set up costs and in the flag and banner market. Small runs printed usually either, appliqué or embroidery.
Then along came the new technique of fabric printing. Digital fabric printing introduces a completely new concept whereby small runs could be done at a far lower cost. Printing digitally onto fabrics made from polyester has now reached new heights thanks to continuous development.
Result on Fabric Printing
Stunning results are now being achieved on fabrics and this can be seen in a wide range of applications from flags, banners, artist’s canvas, exhibition graphics, mobile displays, stretch display systems, theatrical back drops, point of sale displays, home furnishings, window blinds, roller blinds etc. Printing on fabric for this ever-increasing range of applications demands careful and continuous research and development. This ensures the fabrics perform well when used on a wide range of digital printing machines. And with the wide combination of inks from dye-sub water-based inks to UV, solvent and latex inks.
This will then give high definition, brilliant strong colors and when required for flags excellent print through, for all types of printing on fabric.
Although dye-sub printing polyester fabric probably produces the best results advances in UV inks means that results have improved dramatically in recent years. The inks have become more flexible making suitable for textile printing. In addition to this Latex ink technology also means that these inks are suitable for textiles. This is further evidence of the importance of fabrics for digital printing where textile is replacing traditional media such as PVC. Machine and ink manufacturers have responded well to this challenge by adapting machines and the inks.
Conclusion of Fabric Printing
A recent development has introduced of two environmentally friendly compostable and biodegradable fabrics called Gossip (cotton) and Chorus (jute). Printing on fabrics that are compo-stable and biodegradable is becoming more and more important as landfill taxes continue to rise and not forgetting that polyesters fabrics can of course recycled. This is especially important for those companies who are aware of the growing demand for more green products.
Brook International a family owned business based in Yorkshire, UK. Printing on fabric is one of the key services by Brook International, a who company strive to be the first choice supplier of high quality fabrics to flag makers and digital printers throughout Europe and beyond.