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Digital Textile Printing: What Is It and Why Your Company Needs It

Jul 28th, 2020

Brand promotion plans often include some type of textile elements, such as t-shirts, banners, and more. Your logo printed on these materials can be a huge advantage when it comes to boosting your customer base and expanding your reach. However, traditional screen printing methods can be time-consuming and too expensive for small businesses. But, with digital textile printing, these drawbacks can be removed, which means more organizations will be able to take advantage of fabric items to promote their brand.

 What is digital textile Printing and why does your company need it?

Digital printing is growing. The digital textile printing industry is expected to grow by a CAGR of 10.4 percent during the next few years. It’s easy to see how fashion trends and an increase in consumer purchasing power will contribute to the growth of digital textile printing. It’s also one of the best ways that companies can stand out in the marketplace.

What is Digital Textile Printing?

Digital textile printing is the process of printing graphics or designs directly onto a piece of fabric, like clothing or other textiles with digital processes. The technology is similar to an office or home printer, except the printing is not done on paper, but other materials.

It’s the same as other textile printing processes where the material is chosen, pre-treated, and then put through the printer at a quick speed. Following the printing process, the material is then steamed, washed, and dried.

The difference between digital textile printing and traditional methods is how the colour and image are put on the textile. With digital processes, the machine uses a printable image or design and prints it on the material by using drops of ink.

There are a few things that should know about digital textile printing, including:

Ink types – there are a few different ink types available for printing, depending on the material you want your image printed on. These include reactive dyes, acid dyes, disperse dyes, and textile pigments. Ask your professional printer what type is right for your job.

Process – depending on the type of material you are printing on, there are different preparation and processes. The materials need to be pre-treated in different ways to best prepare the fabric for the printing process. For the best results, you should ask your printer what process works for your material.

There are two main ways of digital textile printing:

  1. Multi-pass scanning printer: This type of digital printing converts the digital image into a drop colour plan, which is how the machine knows where and how many drops of ink to release. The material and ink cartridge are slowly moved and adjusted into different positions while in the printer. Designs in this way are created on the material through the use of several bars. These bars overlap a little, which can hide any imperfections printed out. Multi-pass scanning printing has been around for several decades, and the technique has been improved over that time.
  2. Single-pass printer: In this technique, there is no movable printer cartridge. Rather, the print heads are placed on a fixed print bar that is over the entire material. The textile moves underneath the print bar, and the ink creates strokes of colour, which is how the design is created on the fabric. While this is much faster than the multi-pass technique, the drawback is there is no way to hide any imperfections that are printed out. This is also the most expensive method of digital printing, as it requires many more printer heads.

How Your Company Can Benefit from Digital Textile Printing

There are several advantages to digital textile printing, including:

  • Speed – with digital textile printing, products and orders can be ready more quickly because the process is done digitally with specialized machines, which can complete textile printing faster than by hand.
  • Efficiency – digital textile printing machines mean there is greater efficiency in the printing process. The digital format of the graphic means that making changes or alterations can be done quickly and accurately.
  • Flexibility – using digital printing methods allow for more flexibility in the process, which means colours and fine elements of a graphic are more possible than with traditional textile printing.
  • Design – advanced technologies mean the type of graphics that can be printed are more complex. This allows for unique creations and original designs.
  • Low cost – the process is less demanding and easier to do, which means it does not cost as much. This includes getting samples or smaller orders filled.
  • Low risk – digital textile printing means less risk to organizations who can simply place orders based on what they have sold. This is different from traditional textile printing, which left companies needing to sell the number of items they had printed.
  • Environmentally-sound process – with digital textile printing, there is less water and energy needed, which keeps the cost low but is also demanding of environmental resources.
  • Reduced waste – by using ink drops to print the graphic on the material, there is less waste, such as dye or chemicals, that screen printing leaves behind.
  • Easy reorders – organizations can easily reorder their textile printing and adjust their order size as there are fewer limitations in the printing process.

Making Digital Textile Printing Work for You

Digital textile printing can help you boost your marketing methods by making fabric printing faster and more affordable. Moreover, the digital process used means it is easier to get a detailed fine graphic printed or make changes to your image. Whether you’re trying to promote your brand through t-shirts for your customers or banners for a trade show, the flexibility of professional digital textile printing can make it happen.

For more information about digital textile printing, call Club Ink at 416-694-1996 or contact us here.

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