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Digital Textile Printing Dyes
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital based
image directly to a variety of media. A dye-sublimation printer is a
computer printer which employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer
dye onto medium materials such as a plastic card, paper, or fabric.
Digital Textile Printing is the technology that consists of printing your
designs on fabric, directly from your computer, with no other additional
step. This means that after you are finished creating your designs, and
once you have them in repeat, you can print on fabric just like you print on
It is considered to be the next generation printing and is different from
Traditional Textile Printing. The only requirement of the Digital Textile
Printing is that the fabrics which have to be used must be pre-treated to
confirm about their ink holding capacity. Apart from this, a wide range of
colors can also be obtained through the pre-treatment process.
Comparison between Digital Textile Printing & Traditional Printing
|Digital Textile Printing Method
||Traditional Printing Methods
- Has greater flexibility.
- Easy applications.
- Can be used for versatile purposes.
- Takes less time.
- Having more colors along with photo-realistic effects.
- Present a variety of exclusive textile designs.
- Less flexibility.
- Less convenient in applying.
- Can be used for limited purposes.
- Take more time.
- Comparatively less colors and absent of photo-realistic effects.
- Having less no. of varieties regarding designs.
What is Digital Printing ?
The process of reproducing digital images on
physical surfaces is called Digital Printing. The physical surfaces can be
in any form like a common paper, cloth, plastic, a photographic paper, film,
The specialty of Digital Printing is that, unlike ordinary printing, the
ink is not absorbed into the paper. Thousands of impression of the same
object can be drawn from one set of plates. Instead of absorption, the ink
forms a layer on the surface.
Dyes used for Digital Printing Inks and related fibers
|Name of Digital Printing Inks
||Types of fibers used
||Silks & Nylons
|Dye based inks
||Not used for any fabrics, used for photography only.
||All cellulose based fibers: Cotton, Linen & Rayon
The Dyes which are commonly used for digital textile inks are as follows:
Acid Dye Inks, Reactive Dye Inks and Disperse Dye Inks.
Acid Dye Inks for Digital Textile Printing
Reactive Dye Inks can be used on fabric, cotton,
silk, wool, nylon and chemical fiber. Mainly Piezoelectric printers are used
for this purpose.
Reactive Dye Ink for Digital Textile Printing
Reactive Dye Inks can be used on fabric, cotton, silk, wool, nylon and
chemical fiber. Mainly Piezoelectric printers are used for this purpose.
Disperse Dye Ink for Digital Textile Printing
Disperse Dye Inks have excellent and complete end-use properties. These
inks are able to generate shinny and reproducible colors in polyester
fibers. The various fixation methods which are used in the conventional
methods of textile printing, are also used for the fixation process of
disperse-inks in the digital textile printing method. Dispersed inks are
formulated in the same way as these are formed for the conventional methods
of printing. Post processing is required for these Disperse-inks to produce
vibrant and colorfast results during their uses in digital textile printing
method. These inks have long lasting effects.
Types of fibers & Digital Printing Inks used for
- Polyesters Canvas
- Silk Chiffon
- Polyesters Satin
- Cotton Lycra Jersey
- Natural Linen
- Polyester Canvas
- Cotton Canvas
- Cotton Sateen
- Nylon Mesh
- Silk Chiffon
- Silk Satin
- Cotton Funnel
- Crepe Georgette
Advantage of Digital Textile Printing
- The concept of digital printing on fabrics is very advantageous, it
has opened new opportunities for designers, merchandisers and
- The process is not only time effective but also cost effective.
- Permits customers to control the design and printing process from
- Eliminates color registration of plates or screens.
- Makes Just In Time (JIT) delivery and Quick Response possible.
- Greatly reduces the need for inventory.
- Reduces risk.
- Can virtually eliminate the threat of design theft before market
- Facilitates the increase in the number of fashion seasons.
- Prints directly from easily stored, transmitted, and transported
- Reduces the space necessary for archiving art, films, plates, and
- Reduces proofing time from weeks to hours, thus accelerating design
and product development.
- Permits customization and personalization. Changing each print on the
fly does not increase costs substantially.
- Allows for design correction and modification at any time without
significant schedule delays or cost increases.
- Reduces the over-run waste which analog volume-print pricing
- Eliminates the design and process distortions associated with
on-contact analog printing.
- Is cleaner, safer, and generally less wasteful, and less
environmentally hazardous than analog textile printing methods.
- Can free up production printers from the sampling process thus
increasing their productivity on products that can make the printer
Coloring process through Digital Textile Printing Technology (DTPT)
Textile printing is a method by which fabrics are
printed in various colors, arts and designs. DTPT is a process to color the
textile. In DTPT, a design on textile does not require any set repeat size.
Also, there is no color restriction regarding the number of colors. Any
graphic that is created on a paper for printing purpose, can be printed on
fabrics. The Photographic and Tonal graphic which are created with the help
of million of colors in the photoshop, can be also applied on fabrics.
Latest development which has taken place in ink products, color management
software and substrates, has enabled users to produce a wide color range and
finer printing quality. Addition of a new set of colors, consists of orange,
blue green etc. to the conventional process colors of CMYK, has become the
new standard for process color. Simultaneously, the development of color
management software helps in managing all those complex color systems. DTPT
also follows the Drop on Demand Technology. That has permitted to short run
production on a variety of substrates with minimum down time. All those
factors are responsible for the development of a new look of digitally
printed fabrics in the high-end fashion design market.
Some advisable steps during Digital Textile Printing
- Choose a Piezoelectric printer for printing, it has ink delivery
- Instead of heating to force out the ink or dye, one should use
electro-potential charge (It moves out the ink onto the surface to be
- One can use any dye out of the dyestuff for cotton.
- Pigment dyes have become very popular for digital textile printing.
These new pigment dyes don't form a stiff film on the fabric that has to
- Benefits of using pigment dyes are: the users don't have to
pre-treat, steam and after wash these, as these things are occurred with
other kind of dyes like reactive, acid and disperse dyes.
- The advancement of the pigment dyes, makes possible to introduce nice
range of colors.
- The introduction of jewel tones and dark colors, has boosted-up the
digital textile printing process.