Sign & Digital Graphics

July '16

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36 • July 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS polyester or polyester-coated substrates, and the process requires reverse printing onto transfer paper as well as a heat press to get the image onto the fabric. With direct fabric print- ing no transfer process is required and you can print onto more types of fabrics, but but different fabrics require different ink types including reactive dye, acid dye, disperse dye, etc. In addition, some direct processes also require post-print treatment such as a heat press to set the inks. Transfer Process More Precise Nakayama says that transfer versus direct-print sublimation printing varies from market to market. "One advantage of printing on transfer paper is that you generally achieve better overall qual- ity. For example, the transfer process is more precise when printing smaller text, as well as images. Printing on transfer paper allows for the dots of ink to be more precise. A drawback of transfer printing is the added cost for the paper needed throughout the process." He says that an advantage of direct- to-fabric printing is that customers can run high-production output. "This is ideal for applications such as soft signage, because it requires less time to manu- facture. Also, with this type of printing, customers usually produce larger output, which is seen from a distance and does not require ne-resolution printing. Nakayama reports that the new Mimaki TS500P-3200 fabric printer is a super-wide 129.9-inch, dedicated transfer model developed for produc- tion transfer runs to create extra-wide textile applications such as soft signage, home furnishing and hospitality fabrics. (Image courtesy of Mimaki USA) One of the fasting growing markets in this sector is in the home décor area. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA) The Texart RT-640, developed specifically for dye sublimation, is said to deliver superb quality, vivid color and highly stable performance. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA)

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