What Is Direct Digital Fabric Printing
Direct digital fabric printing is a process where rolls of fabric are printed using large format ink-jet printing machines. In a similar process to a desktop computer printer, printer heads containing many fine nozzles squirt tiny droplets of inks onto pre-treated fabric. Direct digital printing has been developed particularly for the natural and nylon market. Fabrics are pre-treated with chemicals to help in the bonding of the print by the fibres. The digitally printed fabric then post treated to fix the dye into the fabric in the process of high heat pressing.
Direct digital fabric printing method is quick and relatively easy process with files loaded into specific print software then sent to printer. However the image definition is not always as sharp or clear as other fabric printing methods can offer such as dye sublimation printing. Types of inks, texture of the natural fabric, fabric pre-treating agent, temperature, humidity all can play roll in final printed image quality. The quality of the print on the fabric itself also has the potential to diminish over washing and wear.
As with digital sublimation printing on polyester fabrics, direct digital fabric printing allows for multiple colour ways and designs to be printed along or within one roll of fabric. The number of colours within a design does not impact the cost of printing, it allows for the quick turn-around and for small run sampling as well as for printing large runs, placement and engineered designs.