Over the last few years, many direct to garment printer manufacturers have been trying to perfect printing onto polyester. Some have managed to print reasonably successfully, but when cured and wash-tested they have failed miserably. The print would just wash off. Here, Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, explains how this breakthrough in technology works.
Until now, you could print onto polyester with screen printing, print and cut, vinyl and other transfer methods. All methods have their limitations.
Screen print is only viable on larger numbers and not suitable for personalisation. The set-up time and cost is prohibitive for one off or small runs, costs like preparing the screens, colour separation etc. Transfers on the other hand are ok for smaller runs but the downfall is the cost per print and washability; the benefit is the low equipment cost. Heat seal transfers, vinyl and print and cut are a viable solution in terms of quality and washability; the big disadvantage though is the labour costs.
The biggest issue we all face though is dye migration. Sound familiar? We all know something about it, but the dictionary definition is: ‘it is an unwanted reaction between plastisol ink and the dye used in the garment fabric, specifically in 100% polyester and other blends’.
The reaction generally happens above the threshold of 130-140⁰C and the most surprising thing about it is it can occur up to six weeks after the garment has been decorated. Screen printers solve it with a double pass of the base ink, transfers process’ are applied with lower temperatures to avoid it happening, some transfers can also be produced with an additional barrier. Whichever way it makes the decoration process more expensive, take longer and doesn’t always solve the problem in the long term.
At last, one major industrial manufacturer of DTG printers has perfected the process of printing onto both dyed and white polyester garments. The manufacturer has produced a printer which gives superb quality of print, beautiful feel, excellent washability, low cost per print and at a high production rate.
The printer has a dual bed functionality, using the wet on wet principle and has built in pre-treatment. Its cost is quite sizable, but if you have the volume of prints its ROI is remarkable. It also cuts down on your labour requirements and takes up less room than most screen print equipment.
The system is based on Kornit’s new Neo Poly technology and paired with the new Pigment Olympia ink. The big advantages of this ground breaking printing system are:
- On demand customisation of polyester products with no minimum quantity per order.
- No dye migration and preserves the original fabric properties.
- Superior white base opacity which results in vivid, lasting graphics.
- Digital advantages enable photo realistic prints.
- Prints on a variety of polyester fabrics, including woven, knits, with poly blends (poly-lycra, poly-cotton) and different fabric textures.
All these massive advantages will allow you to join the booming polyester printing arena. Boost your profitability and win on all fronts. Improve your production efficiency and cut down on your labour costs.
Say goodbye to dye migration, limited design options, minimum quantity per order and long costly set-up procedures. No more compromises, achieve high-quality results on both white and dyed polyester fabrics and meet the highest retail standards.
This new DTG printer and Neo Poly Ink technology together overcome polyester printer challenges while adding the many advantages of digital textile printing.