March '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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affordable consistency uni-kote Screen coater The other technology, thermal inkjet printing, was actually invented by two competing teams of engineers on opposite sides of the globe. Ichiro Endo, a Canon engineer, noticed ink squirting from a syringe when a hot soldering iron touched it. And meanwhile, at Hewlett-Packard���s laboratories in Silicon Valley, researcher John Vaught realized that the solution to his printing problem was to shoot the ink itself on to the paper using heat (an epiphany he had while watching a coffee percolator). The research team adapted thin-film resistors to the process to boil a bubble of ink onto the paper. Both the Canon and Hewlett-Packard inventions were filed within months of each other. So, for all practical purposes, no single person can claim the credit for invention of thermal inkjet. Today, piezoelectric printers are the printers of choice for sublimation printing, while thermal inkjet probably enjoys the largest market share. Ink matters The desktop printers used in our industry depend on inks that are either a mixture of water, glycol and dyes or pigments. These inks are inexpensive and easily manufactured, but are difficult to control on the surface of the media. Aqueous inks are typically used in thermal inkjet printers and have the widest color gamut and the brightest colors. Although inexpensive, these inks are not waterproof and are typically laminated for durability. Additionally, they are not very lightfast to normal ambient light. Pigment-based aqueous inks are more costly to produce, but offer much better long-term durability and ultraviolet light resistance. Pigment-based inks are favored for heat transfer production. Factory inks are better than third-party inks and should be favored in our business to ensure customer satisfaction. No matter how good the chemistry of the paper, the use of third-party inks can have variable results. Look at it this way; paper chemists involved in the development of a coated inkjet heat transfer paper did not scour the orient for numerous alternatives for their research. They based the development on a known commodity: factory inks. Still, there is a proliferation of third-party inkjet inks and refilling stations. I suspect the motivating factor in using these third party inks is first, price, then price and, lastly, price! There has been considerable debate and resultant research on this topic. Most notably, the filed experience and information developed by noted expert on print permanence, Henry Wilhelm of Wilhelm Imaging Research, who documented considerable difference in light-fastness between factory and third party inks. Personally, my hands-on experience uncovered a definite difference in the wash-fastness of third-party ink, as well. Paper factors While inkjet heat transfer papers will image in any inkjet printer, the paper itself is still complex. Every paper must have an inkjet receiver layer to receive and quickly lock up each ink droplet the print head dispenses. Typically, the layer is a porous ink-absorbing substance like silica or high porosity polyamide powder. Without oversimplifying the other chemistry in the inkjet receiver layer, it is safe to assume that some papers are Starting at 19,000* 6-9 colorS $ Special introductory Price $ 14,995! available in 4-station/4-color, 4-station/6-color, and 6-station/6-color models ��� computerized control center makes programming simple ��� adjustable frame holders and self-aligning clamps ��� Front and rear coaters can operate in tandem or independently M&r SaleS and Service, inc. 1N372 Main St., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 800-736-6431 �� 630-858-6101 Use Info # 67 2013 March Printwear PW_MAR13.indd 27 | 27 2/15/13 12:34 PM

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