Digital printing of textile: a look forward

A Fabric Hub session at FESPA Digital 2014.
Today, textile inkjet systems for the sample and proofing market are already well established and have led to significant benefits to the textile printer. During the last years also industrial printers became available with production speeds close to traditional screen printing. The commercial success of digital printing is related to key drivers such as flexibility, versatility, creativity, economic and ecological advantages. In particular the reduction of lead times, reducing stock levels, more creativity, responding to fashion changes quickly make the European printer more competitive especially in the apparel fashion and deco home printing markets. Moreover, digital print systems cannot work in isolation, but within an administrative and digital workflow infrastructure, which must work efficiently to enable cost-effective and competitive production. The lecture gives an overview of the state-of-art and future perspectives of digital printing of textile substrates for different end-uses (read, clothing, deco home and technical textiles). Beside the impact of the print head, requiring specific ink with adopted chemical and physical properties, the print quality is indirect relation to the quality of the textile substrates. The lecture will highlight the different aspects of digital printing process in particular the inkjet inks and PTP-textile substrates (prepared to print pretreatment of textile) essential to optimize the colour buildup, resolution and durability issues.

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