If you’re interested in getting started with digital fabric printing, then you should read this article. Here, we’ll take a look at the advantages of the process and what the downsides are. Ink cost, shelf life, and production speed are just a few things to consider. Ink is the most expensive part of the process, so it’s important to be realistic about how much you can expect to spend.
Downsides of digital fabric printing technology
The biggest downside of digital fabric printing is reliability. The process requires very precise printing. If a print head clogs, it will show in the design as a visible white line. If the nozzles are not jetted straight, the print may leave misplaced drops which will affect the image quality of the design. Digital textile printing is best for small-scale productions where you only need a small number of designs.
Another drawback of digital fabric printing is that the quality of its print will not be as high as with screen or separation printing. However, this advantage comes at the cost of color accuracy and speed. A digital printer is faster than a screen-printing press and can print on a smaller quantity of fabric. One meter of fabric can be printed with a digital printer. A few disadvantages of digital fabric printing technology are listed below:
As the most popular form of textile printing, digital technology has several advantages over traditional methods. Among these are faster change-over times, greater precision and clarity, and a reduced cost per square inch. There are also fewer downsides of digital fabric printing technology. The industry experts expect a huge demand for digitally printed fabrics in the near future. The downsides of digital fabric printing technology are primarily practical. However, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
Another disadvantage of digital fabric printing is its cost. The cost per meter of digital fabric printing is higher than that of screen or separation prints, but the technology is significantly cheaper. Digital textile printing does not require huge spaces for operational purposes, which is a major drawback of conventional methods. A digital printer requires far less power, which makes it cheaper. It also uses less ink, which means less waste and fewer operating costs.
A major drawback of traditional textile printing is its environmental impact. Analogue textile production processes require a great deal of water and energy. A single analogue textile printing system is estimated to use 93 billion cubic meters of water annually. This is a significant amount of water, particularly in regions with scarce resources. Furthermore, 20% of all industrial water pollution is caused by dyeing and textiles. In comparison, digital textile printing is relatively water-efficient.
The ink cost of digital fabric printing technology is relatively high. Purchasing a cheaper brand will help save money in the purchase phase, but it will have a negative impact on the quality of the finished product. There are a few things you should consider before making the purchase. Listed below are some factors to consider when comparing ink costs:
Ink composition. Compared to dyes used in rotary textile printing, digital ink contains a different concentration of dye. It requires more black dye to create the deepest black color possible. The difference between the prices of digital ink and rotary paste may be minimal. Regardless of the differences in dye prices, digital ink is cheaper than the rotary paste. The printhead is also the key to the total cost of ownership.
Ink costs. Unlike conventional printing paste, pigmented inks do not require a solvent to dissolve the colorant. Additionally, they are instantaneously dry. Conventional printing processes use heat to dry ink. Due to these challenges, more brands are adopting digital textile printing technology. In fact, DuPont’s COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to increased interest in digital textile printing.
Cost. Digital textile printing is less expensive than conventional methods. It allows for changes in the design. It is fast and efficient and provides a majority of the world’s printed textiles. And it requires less dyes and water, which makes it more environmentally friendly. So it’s worth the cost. This technology is a viable option for the future of the textile printing industry. If the demand increases, the cost of raw materials will drop and the price of the ink will be even lower.
Ink shelf life
The shelf life of inks used in digital fabric printing technology is affected by various factors. The surface tension, viscosity, volatility, and wettability of an ink determines its ink penetration to a fabric. The print quality of a fabric also depends on the ink drop spreading property. The higher the K/S value, the better the ink will stick to the fabric. The table below lists the ink shelf life data for various digital fabric printing technologies.
Inks used in digital fabric printing technology can be categorized by their chemistry. Water-based pigment inks are considered safe for use on most textile materials. Other types of inks, such as acid dye inks, are suited for fabrics that have been treated. Acid dye inks require pretreatment to achieve the desired color. During the process, a steam process is applied to set the ink.
The ink shelf life of digital fabric printing technology is dependent on its viscosity. Ink A6 has low viscosity and low surface tension, allowing the ink to diffuse more into the fabric. Ink A4 is higher viscosity and tends to spread out on the substrate. In order to maximize the shelf life of digital fabric printing technology, it is important to maintain proper pH levels and ink temperature.
The color strength of printed cotton fabric is inversely proportional to the penetration of the ink. Therefore, inks containing 1.2 propylene glycol have better fixation and K/S value. The water-soluble alcohols also contribute to improved image quality of the printed fabric. Ink shelf life for digital fabric printing technology increases the efficiency of the digital fabric printing process. Butadiene can also decrease the water content in cotton fabrics.
Ink shelf life is dependent on several factors, including the structure of the dye, pH value, type of organic solvent used, and storage environment. A few additives can also affect ink stability. These factors can be controlled through monitoring the viscosity and pH value of the ink over a 180-day period. For digital fabric printing, these factors will affect the cost of digital printing. The benefits of this digital fabric printing technology are clear: it helps to reduce ink usage and lowers the cost of production.
Speed of production
The digital textile industry is estimated to be worth $12 billion worldwide. While that figure is modest, it represents only a small percentage of the entire textile industry. With the trend towards mass customization and digitization, that percentage should grow substantially. This trend is expected to continue to grow, with textile printing companies, such as Durst Image Technology US, seeing reasons for optimism. Here are some examples of how companies can take advantage of digital technology to increase production speed.
Digital textile printing brings the entire textile design process onshore, reducing lead times and shipping costs. It also reduces the amount of excess waste produced during the design process. The Kornit Presto MAX system, slated to be released in October 2021, will allow designers to produce smaller test runs of their fabrics. Additionally, it will allow designers to create white print-outs of their designs on colored fabrics. This technology will allow designers to create a smaller number of small batches of garments faster.
When it comes to maximizing production speed with digital fabric printing technology, you need to understand the limitations of the process. The promise of faster print speed often sounds like an incredible sales pitch, but the reality is that printing speed is usually not correlated with the printing quality needed for the final product. Ideally, you’d want the speed to be high enough to meet the demands of a large customer base. This means using the latest technology for your needs.
The speed of production with digital fabric printing technology can vary considerably, but is most commonly expressed in meters per hour. In addition, the width of the fabric will determine how fast the print process will go. Depending on the application, speed is vital for producing the final product. For example, in a clothing printing business, a wide fabric can impact the production time of a garment. And with increased digital fabric printing technology, you can print on any fabric you desire, with fewer steps and faster results.