Digital Fabric Printing
For Digital Fabric printing we use Reactive dyes. Printing with reactive dyes is more complicated in terms of textile finishing process; see our article below (Reactive vs Pigment dyes). Digital Printing process on fabric with Reactive dyes consists of 5 stages:
PRINTING-->FIXATION (STEAM FIXATION)-->WASHING-->DRYING-->IRONING
First, we will print your design on special coated textile of your choice. We can offer you printing on different types of textiles, please see section Prices.
When printing is completed, reactive dyes are fixed on fabrics with steam, then washed, dried, ironed and fabrics are ready to be shipped to you.[/toggle]
Using Reactive and Pigment dyes when printing on fabric.
There are 4 types of inks used in digital fabric printing - Acid, Disperse, Reactive and Pigment inks.
A lot of Printing companies choose to print with Pigment inks as it is faster and cheaper. We want to show what the difference is and the advantages of Reactive and Pigment inks.
Digital fabric printing with Reactive ink
Reactive dyes have been used for dying cotton and other materials for a very long time. Reactive dyes qualities are bright colours, good colour fastness properties and easiness of application. Majority of apparel and garment manufacturers are using fabrics dyed with reactive dyes. Reactive dyes are more environment friendly as all bounding chemicals are applied direct on fabrics during fabrics pre-treatment process. Despite all good qualities, reactive dyes are more difficult to process. After printing, fabrics should go through hot steam fixation and extensive washing processes. This means more time, more equipment involved in the process, higher production costs and hence, higher price for fabrics. Extensive after-print washing process for reactive dyes means that dyes are bound in the fabric fibre and not lying on the surface.
Digital fabric printing with Pigment ink
Pigment dyes also have been used for digital fabric printing for a number of years. One of the advantages of Pigment dyes is that steam fixation and extensive washing processes can be avoided. Although, using pigment dyes, fabrics have to be also pre-treated, Pigment dyes contain chemical bounding components. Therefore, comparing to Reactive dyes they are not so environment friendly.
In terms of colour brightness, fabric stiffness and colour fastness properties, pigment dyes are inferior comparing to reactive dyes. Printed fabric with the pigment ink can be used for interior accessories, furniture elements, crafter needs, tradeshow graphics, flags, banners and others. It is not recommended to use wet washing for fabrics dyed with the pigment inks. The pigment dyes are lying on the surface of the fabric and not so much tied in the fibre of the fabric.
Below you can see an example of first wet wash for pigment ink printed fabric. We have used gentle 30C wash.