The way textile printing is done has come a long way since emergence and we’ve seen some radical transformation especially during the past decade. With “all things digital” being the motto, no doubt the digital textile printing industry is growing at an exponential rate, right next to conventional screen printing technology. When working with a digital printing company in Dubai that also covers textile industry, a few questions that might arise are:
- What is digital printing?
- How the digital textile printing process commences?
- The differences between scanning and single-pass inkjet printers
- How does digital printing benefit textile companies and impacts print quality and production speed?
All the Developments Influencing the Digital Textile Printing Market
It’s an undeniable fact that the textile market is growing spontaneously and heavily influenced by major trends such as population growth, increase in purchase capability and fashion trends that change at the speed of light. With this, take example of some famous fashion brands and how often they change their collection.
As a matter of fact, it has been estimated that global production of printed textiles by 2024 might reach 37 billion square metres with digital textile printing technology controlling more or less 7-to-15 percent of the industry.
In terms of faster sampling, efficiency, speeding up of print process, design and flexibility; all these factors would face huge pressure including on-time marketing campaigns. Achieving these goals would require textile markets to adapt to the latest printing technology and there’s only one that can fulfil all these requirements in an accurate and efficient manner; none other than digital textile printing.
About Digital Textile Printing
In simple terms, the use of digital technology or digital printers in the textile printing industry is coined as ‘digital textile printing’. When compared with traditional textile printing mechanism, a lot is similar to digital procedures such as selection and pre-treatment of the fabric. The fabric runs through the printer at a very high speed, receiving steam, wash and dry treatment.
The biggest difference between traditional and digital textile printing is the pressing of colours, geometry and graphics on the fabric. The traditional method uses rotary screens having patterns whereas digital printers use printable image, design or graphics. Appropriate colour is then selected through LAB or RGB system after which the desired colour prints are merged or applied on the fabric as tiny ink droplets.
Difference between Multi-Pass Scan & Single-Pass Digital Printers
- Multi-Pass Scanning Printer
This particular type of printer has been in the market for almost 30 years and have experienced major technological upgrades ever since. The printer can perfectly receive the desired image while converting pixel-LAB data or information into drop-colour position. Putting it simple, the digital file communicates with the printer on the number of colour ink droplets to be jetted or applied on the fabric.
The printing heads or pins are carriage-mounted which moves right and left all over the fabric’s width. After completion of each carriage cycle, the fabric moves to a certain distance and once it stops, carriage makes the next stroke. The image is then developed on fabric by horizontal bars that partially overlap thus covering printing errors that may occur in one or more strokes. The printing speed of these printers can reach anywhere from 20 linear metre per hour to 400 depending on printing needs and orders.
- The Single-Pass Printer
This printer is without a moving carriage, having print-heads mounted across the full width of the fabric. Each of the print-bar is fixed for one specific colour under which the fabric moves with a constant speed allowing the image to develop in a single stroke. The printing technology allows printing speed to be as high as 2,400 linear metres per hour which is quite fast however; the single print pass is incapable to rectify any printing error which let the inkjet technology to remain a step ahead.
In addition, 7-to-10 times more print heads are needed in the single-pass which can be very costly as print-heads can be anywhere near thousands of dollars.
Benefits of Digital Textile Printing
- Lower fixed cost is among the top benefits of digital textile printing. This is because of limited or lack of colour separation and screen etching.
- Lower sample cost is yet another benefit as individual patterns aren’t needed for any test screening or production.
- Faster sampling, short-term delivery is an added advantage as digital designs are easy to develop and modify without delay. In conventional screen printing, a new rotary screen is required for every adjustment which slows the lead time.
- Higher resolution, accurate geometry, flexibility and choice of colour combinations are far better with digital printing tech as the procedure is free of rotary screen limitation.
- Sustainability and eco-friendly aspects with the digital textile printing further make it a preferred choice since the rotary screens don’t require any washing treatment to apply new colours; hence saving a lot of water.
- Digital printing companies in Dubai and around the world that are dealing with the textile industries waste less ink, thus resulting in fines and near accurate design prints on the fabric.
- There’s literally no excess dye or chemical disposal openly in the environment thereby the process is considered safe and hygienic.
The world today appreciates faster and accurate results which is the reason digital textile printing is a preferred choice for present generations. Using digital tech on textile production, development and printing sets quality standards to its highest while maximising the uptime and providing flexibility in bringing faster ideas and innovation to the market.
Digital textile printing is one of the fastest growing sectors in the textile industry with leading digital printing companies in Dubai and worldwide shifting from conventional to digital tech. Fashion design industry has also flourished with the highest contribution of digital printing tech.
In short, digital printing in the textile is sure to take your business sky-high and bring loads of profit in a short time which eventually makes it worthy of the initial investment incurred in the setup and procurement of the finest printers.