Own Fabric & Customer Fabric
We can print on custom fabric, but there are some requirements you should take into account:
- The fabric can’t be wider than 160 cm. That is the maximum width that we can get through our printers.
- The fabric must be PFP (prepared for printing). This means that the fabric after knitting or weaving is washed, but not treated with chemicals that makes the fabric softer or water repellent. Those treatments makes it hard for the ink to get into the fiber. Printing result are often very poor if the fabric is not PFP.
- The fabric can’t be a mix of fibers, for example 60% cotton with 40% polyester. For cotton we use different inks than when we print polyester. In this example, we can only dye the 60% cotton. The polyester fiber will not take on the ink. The results will be poor. It depends on where the fiber is used in the fabric. If the front is cotton and the back polyester than it is possible, but if it is a mixed thread that is used by weaving, than it is not possible.
- Reactive ink: silk, cotton, rayon, linnen. ( mixtures of these fibre are OK)
- Acid ink: polyamides
- Disperse ink: polyester.
- If Elasthan is used in fabrics, it is mostly present on the backside. So mixtures with Elasthan are often okay.
- Wool is a different fiber. It is water repellent in itself. That makes it very hard to get the ink into the fiber. The fabric must have been chlorized. Even then, it is difficult to get the same result for every batch that we get. Wool also gets a bit more yellow through the process for digital printing.
- We need white fabric. Our inks are transparant. If you use a yellow base and we’ll print blue on it, it will become green.
- We’ll start with a sample of 50 cm. With this test we can see if the fabric is suitable for digital printing. On this piece we’ll print the test image from Print Unlimited. That is the best way to judge the fabric. We’ll process this fabric through our laboratorium machines and gives us an idea if the colours will stay on the fabric. And we have an first idea of the behavior of the fabric.
- Then we need 200 meter to pretreat the fabric. This is done by our production machines. That’s why the minimum is 200 meter.
- We then need to see how the fabric is behaving. Does it goes well through our production machines? We have to do testprints for this, so if a client gives us 200 meter, we can never deliver 200 printed meters back. The fabric shrinks, we need fabric to test and we use fabric to to set-up the machine. Every time the roll of fabric is put onto the machines 2 meters will be lost. Adding to that, Our average rejection is 3%. This all means that you have to send more meters than that you need printed. For production we often need 1.2 times the meters. With the first meters, the usage can be up to 1.4. After three batches of the same fabric have been produces, we can then say that we know how the fabric will go through our production process.