Digital printing on fabric is defined as any dye-based inkjet method of reproducing colorant on fabric through the use of ink cartridges. In most cases, the actual printing process is much simpler than with standard printing procedures, since it does not require the use of a press. Instead, an individual is free to set up his or her own printing environment, which may consist of a desktop printer or other printing devices. This type of printing has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its flexibility and ability to meet diverse printing requirements. In fact, with the advent of digital printing on fabric, printers can now offer highly varied print-heads, resulting in various possibilities for customization.
Dye sublimation printer Digital printing on fabric uses a dye-sublimation setup. Essentially, the printer sprays a special colored ink onto the fabric. The ink then hardens, literally “blowing up” the colorant, creating a colorful image on the garment. Most importantly, digital printing on fabric is often referred to as screen printing, especially when referring to printing large, custom designs onto tight-fitting garments. This method allows designers to utilize large areas of fabric in a very efficient manner. There are typically less waste, less clean up, and higher quality print outs.
Screen printing traditionally used dye-sublimation inks on cotton fabrics and used press-and-loop methods to apply the dye. The dye was transferred to the fabric using a ribbon or brush, while the inks were spread across the surface of the garment. This technique had an issue with bleed-through, where some portions of the dye would still be visible after it dried.
The advent of digital printing on fabric has vastly improved these issues. Today, most fabrics can be printed with nearly identical results as they could be from a traditional printer. In fact, there are now digital printing machines that can print a one-square-inch complete image onto a nine-square-foot fabric using almost zero waste. With just one press, you can print a one-of-a-kind, custom garment.
In addition to high quality print outs, digital printing on fabric also provides the option of using embroidery machines or machine embroidery services to create unique, one-of-a-kind designs. These can be printed with inkjet printers. The inkjet printer will apply the design directly to the fabric with very little bleeding. The embroidery machine will apply the design through a pad that feeds the design through the fabric. Designers have many options for how they want their garments to look.
Many businesses choose to use digital print companies to create and screen print t-shirts, tank tops, napkins, logos, and other promotional items. These businesses can get an exact amount of fabric in whatever color they need to make their promotional items appear appealing. With screen printing, they can change the designs as often as they like, adding new graphics to their items at any time. This is important for businesses that want to refresh their designs time again.
Inkjet and digital printing on fabric work best with heat transfer systems. This is where the ink is applied to the fabric with heat transfer technology. The fabric absorbs the ink very quickly, so there is no drying time. Since the ink is absorbed so quickly, it provides vibrant colors and a sharp image. Screen printing takes a bit longer to dry, so designers may not want to do their printing on fabric on a day that has any weather.
With the advent of modern technology, many new designs are being created and incorporated into the fashion industry every year. Because digital printing on fabric is cost-effective, more designers are using it to create new looks for their outfits. With a print shop, they can have their work printed on nearly any material they want, which allows them to create unique styles for each wardrobe. This is why it’s faster to obtain custom printed garments when you choose screen printing over digital printing. You can design your wardrobe today!