Fundamental element of fabric printing is to understand the chemistry involved in the process. There is no single ink type that will help in printing on all the fibers in a simple way. Thus, for digital fabric printing, we at Kajal® Flozen Trendz LLP, understand how different fibers interact with various ink choices.
Currently, these are the available inkjet inks used for digital fabric printing:
- Reactive Dyes
- Acid dyes
- Disperse dyes
- Textile pigments
Each ink is used for fabrics of different types. Likewise, reactive dyes and textile pigments are commonly used for natural fibres like cotton. Disperse dyes are used for materials made from polyester and acid dyes work well with nylon and silk.
Each dye requires the fabric to have a special inkjet-receptive coating to control dot gain and helps in fixation. Fabrics can be purchased with coating already applied. There are other sources which can help in applying the coating to the fabric material.
In digital fabric printing, the pattern of the fabric will determine the type of printer which should be used for customized digital printing. In most of the cases, fabric is either woven or knit but, in a few cases, it may be non-woven. Mostly, woven or non-woven fabrics can be printed with a basic textile printer that has proper fabric tensioning but, it still uses traditional pinch rollers to advance the fabric design through the printer. Knitted fabrics are more difficult to handle as they are stretchy and their selvage may curl. For knitted fabrics, textile printer with a ‘sticky-belt’ or ‘print blanket’ should be used. As fabric unwinds, it is pressed flat against the belt and will stick to the belt as it advances through printer. Fabric and banner printers with a stick belt are quite expensive. Thus, it is the only practical method for digital fabric printing.
For digital fabric printing, we at Kajal® Flozen Trendz LLP ensure to identify intended printing application and study about the fabrics on which we want to print. This will help us to choose inks and printers to be used for a particular fabric material. Thus, we must choose our fabrics carefully as digital fabric printing is a complex process. For printing on a fabric, it is important to consult a professional as they can guide us through our options while pin-pointing about various pros and cons. While consultation, we need to communicate intended print application, ideal production method which we are willing to use, and budget. This will help in getting the best advice. In some cases, it may lead to a creative textile printing solution. We have some amazing dyed ladies garments that cannot be found anywhere else.