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Digital Fabric Printing Options

Sep 9th, 2019

If you would like to digitally print fabric in Toronto, then you will quickly realize that you have many options at your disposal. In fact, behind every printed textile is a particular fabric printing synergy and procedure that will vacillate from fabric to fabric as well as application to application.

Digital Fabric Printing Options

For instance, the printing method that is employed for polyester sports apparel will differ greatly from a cotton canvas print. The process is not as complicated as you may initially perceive. Two very popular digital fabric printing options are commonly used; namely, direct to garment and dye sublimation printing. Here, we will discuss the two most popular digital fabric printing options so that you have a better understanding of how they work before you decide which is best for your business needs.

Dye Sublimation

If you want to print fabric digitally, then one popular option is to use dye sublimation. It works very well for those who are interested in fabric printing on polyester material. To do so, you can use either a direct to fabric printer or opt for a conventional dye-sub transfer variant. Even though transfer printing is more commonly used, direct to fabric printing is also an option for polyester, and may generate superior results for certain applications.

Furthermore, dye-sub printing employs dispersed dyes, which is a particular ink type that is used in the industry. The process involves printing the graphics of choice onto a form of transfer paper. The paper is set on either a roll-to-roll calender apparatus or a clamshell heat press with the polyester fabric that you want to decorate.

Interestingly, it is the intense heat that causes the solid and dried ink to convert into a gaseous form, which then permeates the polyester fabric to generate a permanent graphic. Moreover, the polyester contains special polymers that cause the ink to become embedded and fully adhere to the material in question. The end result is a product that boasts very vibrant colours, and that has a very high-resolution image or graphic that can be washed repeatedly without issue.

There are many different printer brands that you can choose from should you take the dye-sublimation route, including, but not limited to, Mutoh, Epson, and Mimaki. If you are not sure which brand to use, you can talk to the company or check online reviews to determine which option will work best for your unique business needs.

Direct to Garment

Roll-to-roll direct to garment printers will be needed if you want to print directly onto certain materials, including silk, nylon, and cotton. It should also be noted that there is no paper transfer process available if you want to print on any non-polyester fabric. That is, the required ink chemistry for the fabric mentioned above types will necessitate that the ink is directly printed onto the material.

The printing is produced directly onto a prepared for paper garment roll. Direct to garment printing also goes by other names in the industry, such as direct to textile and direct to fabric printing.

The direct to the textile system will necessitate unique ink chemistry for the specific types of fibre textiles that you are decorating. Fortunately, there are four popular ink chemistries used frequently for garment printing directly onto textiles; namely, reactive, acid, and disperse dyes, and garment pigments.

To further elaborate, textile and reactive pigments are primarily used for cotton and other such natural fibres, whereas acid dyes are utilized for silk and nylon material. As for dispersing dyes, they are used almost exclusively for polyester printing purposes.

In terms of markets, direct to garment printing is very popular in the soft and flag signage industry, as well as the home decor, fashion, and sports apparel markets. The direct to textile printing process implements more profound ink penetration for flag and soft signage projects. Utilizing a digital printer will allow for customized, and premium quality runs for those who work in the fashion industry. This can include team club regalia, bathing suits, and high fashion apparel.

Also, in terms of popular brands for direct to garment printing applications, the most popular brands currently on the market are Mutoh and Mikami. In sum, thanks to the latest innovations in the industry, as well as impressive ingenuity in terms of ink chemistry, both direct to garment and dye sublimation printing serve as viable options for generating premium quality prints for their desired applications.

However, if you want to reap their full range of benefits, you will first need to determine the compatible textile printing apparatus for the materials that you plan to use. You will need to achieve perfect synchronicity or harmony with your printer to achieve excellent results.

The Club Ink Difference

If you would like to print fabric in Toronto digitally or would like to learn more about your printing options, then we can help. Club Ink specializes in digital textile printing. We use the most state-of-the-art printing techniques and processes to ensure crisp and high-quality images on a wide array of fabrics.

We produce custom signs, posters, textiles, banners, displays, and decals for our diverse clientele, and strive to go above and beyond the call of duty to not only foster customer satisfaction but customer delight. To learn more about our large custom format printing solutions and products, please do not hesitate to call us at 416-694-1996 for a free, no-obligation quote and consultation today. You can also visit our website to browse through our extensive and updated digital textile printing portfolio.

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