Becoming an indispensable partner to our customers means providing services that shorten the supply chain, increase efficiencies, and result in higher quality materials. In order to do this, we offer various value added services such as lamination, quilting, bias binding, textile consultation, stocking programs, and fabric testing.
Our newest addition is digital printing. We have dabbled in the past with digital printing – but at this point, we are confident we have the right partners and resources in place to give our customers a quality product.
There are two printing methods that are considered “digital printing” – Dye Sublimation and Direct Digital. We find that the industry is sometimes confused about the differences between the two. So, let’s break it down.
Also known as “Heat Transfer Printing”. This process uses Ink Jet printing technology and is commonly used for synthetics - including Polyester and Nylon. Nylon needs to be high tenacity/Type 6,6 since it must be able to withstand 400 degrees for the best print quality. Dye sublimation is done by digitally printing to paper and then transferring it to the fabric. It’s much cheaper than digital direct and still provides excellent print performance (including crocking, laundering, and abrasion). However, this method is not suitable for most UV/Outdoor products.
Digital Direct to Fabric
This method is meant for natural and synthetic fibers. Typically, pretreatment is necessary with direct to fabric digital printing - however, a customer can choose not to have the pretreatment. Pretreatment IS required if the fabric needs to meet the requirements for IR camouflage. Digital direct to fabric printing is usually two times the cost of dye sublimation.
The upside of digital printing is there is a low MOQ for the printing of either type (MOQ is going to be dependent on the base fabric). Digital printing also has a few downsides vs. Wet Printing. There can’t be a color on the backside of the fabric - also there can be issues with logistics and/or the cost to send out the fabric post printing for finishing.
Any questions about our digital printing capabilities? Please contact us or give us a call at 440-899-8050 our team of textile experts would be happy to assist you!