Digital Textile Printing - News & Developments

Excerpt: Here are the news and developments from the world of Digital Textile Printing

AnaJet, a Ricoh Company, partners with Kothari Info-Tech to release premium RIP software for Ricoh's direct to garment printer

ANAJET, a Ricoh company and global leader in the direct to garment (DTG) industry, has partnered with fellow DTG industry leader Kothari Info-Tech to release Kothari Print Pro, a cutting-edge raster image processor (RIP) software configured exclusively for Ricoh DTG machines. This new software is available exclusively through AnaJet's online store for customers in the United States.

“We are incredibly pleased to integrate Kothari Print Pro into another printer platform,” said Sanjay Maheshwari, Director at Kothari Info-Tech (P) Limited. “With Kothari Print Pro's high-performance capabilities, we knew the RIP would be an excellent way to add functionality and additional value to the new RICOH Ri 1000 as well as to AnaJet's RICOH Ri 3000 and Ri 6000 machines.”

All Ricoh DTG printers come with a free license for AnaRIP software, which provides excellent RIP functionality suitable for many applications. The new Kothari Print Pro RIP software, however, now provides a premium option with more advanced capabilities to accommodate power users' needs.

“With their robust, industry-leading features, the Ricoh family of DTG printers deserve cutting-edge software,” explained AnaJet Inc. Marketing Director Paul Crocker. “Kothari produced a truly amazing RIP software that helps our customers save time and money while creating even higher quality prints than what was possible in the past.”

Kothari Print Pro optimizes ink usage for black garment printing by employing a patented process that takes the garment's color into account when processing a printable image. When a set of standard sample images were tested using “White Highlight” mode with default settings, Kothari Print Pro reduced the average ink costs of a black t-shirt print by over 44 percent when compared to AnaRIP Software. To improve overall performance, the RIP software delivers more print profiles that are better optimized for a wider range of garment colors and types. The software provides fine detail and subtle color gradations, resulting in prints that display richer, brighter, and more accurate color.

Unlike other RIP software, Kothari Print Pro also provides convenient options for directly editing the RIP image. Load and position multiple image files or tweak colors on the fly. Kothari Print Pro makes it easy to create beautiful, exceptionally high-quality prints.

Kothari Print Pro is available for $1,250.00 for the new RICOH Ri 1000 and $1,800.00 for the industrial-level RICOH Ri 6000.

Since the company's inception in 2001, Kothari Info-Tech (P) Ltd (KITL) has taken pride in providing innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the digital inkjet printing industry. AnaJet has been a true pioneer in the direct-to-garment printing industry starting with the mass production of its first printer line in 2006. AnaJet became a Ricoh company in late 2016, and the two immediately united to begin research and development on the flagship RICOH Ri 3000/Ri 6000 printers. Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter

Further information from: www.RicohDTG.com.

Ricoh to display new Ri 1000 at FESPA

RICOH has launched its new Ri 1000 direct-to-garment (DTG) printer to help support companies already established in the market and also businesses moving into this sector for the first time.

Boasting a resolution of 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi and support for CMYK plus white ink, the new machine replaces the existing Ri 3000 model. It joins both the Ri 100 and Ri 6000 in Ricoh's DTG portfolio of solutions. The Ri 1000 can switch between multiple styles of platens up to 406.4mm x 508mm, while Ricoh said its magnetic mechanism enables the platens to snap on and off without the need for additional tools.

In addition, users will benefit from a new pre-treatment liquid, which Ricoh said it suitable for 100% light polyester and polycotton blends. The manufacturer has said this will help open up more opportunities for garments and textile products in key growth sectors such as sportswear.

Speaking about the machine, Simon Isaacs, national sales director at Ricoh UK, said the Ri 1000 offers an effective solution to all types of company active in the DTG sector. “The Ri 1000 is targeted at new and existing garment printing businesses, such as garment decorators, digital printers, screen printers, commercial printers and even fashion companies, schools/universities or corporations are expected to find the Ri 1000 a great addition to their business capabilities,” he said.

“Perfect end uses include t-shirts, cloth bags, hoodies, sweaters and socks for promotional and personalised use.” In terms of the impact the Ri 1000 will have on the wider DTG market, Isaacs said he expects the machine to prove popular with businesses right across the sector. “The DTG printing market is growing and we are confident that the Ri 1000 will be warmly received by a diverse range of progressive businesses,” said Icaacs. “Since we strategically integrated our inkjet technology into our own printing solutions, we have looked intently at the market in terms of how we can lever the creative minds of Ricoh to make innovative technology available to our clients. In turn, that technology allows our clients to enter new markets, improve their margins and grow their business.

“The growing demand for garment decoration drives us to further optimise our offering and empower our clients to bring new value to their markets.” Industry members keen to learn more about the new Ri 1000 printer can see the machine in action on the Ricoh stand at the 2019 FESPA Global Print Expo, which runs from May 14th to 17th in Munich, Germany.

Kornit Digital reinvents industrial polyester printing with breakthrough innovation and technology

KORNIT Digital Ltd., a global market leader in digital textile printing innovation, today unveiled the game-changing Kornit NeoPoly Technology, which is the industry's first digital, industrial process for high-quality printing on polyester.

Polyester is the second largest category in the overall T-shirt market, it is key in the sport segment, and is growing in the athleisure and functional apparel segments. Currently polyester is printed predominantly by analog solutions, which creates major technological, cost and sustainability challenges.

The new ground-breaking Kornit NeoPoly Technology addresses these challenges with a new process and ink set implemented in the renowned Kornit NeoPigmentTM process. Kornit's new process handles polyester applications without compromising on design, run size, substrate or labor.

The breakthrough technological innovation is achieved by an innovative ink set and a physical and chemical process specifically developed for low temperature curing, and polyester enhancing functionalities developed to maintain fabric characteristics and provide superior fastness. This unique process prevents dye migration on polyester. The inks are Oeko-Tex and Eco-Passport certified and do not contain PVCs or other toxic ingredients.

The first system equipped with the Kornit NeoPoly Technology is the new Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro, a member of Kornit's world-class reliable, highly productive industrial platform. The single-step Poly Pro is the perfect system for the industry, enabling easy and cost effective short-runs and on-demand printing on polyester garments.

One of Kornit's first customers to embrace the NeoPoly Technology is DTG2Go, a Delta Apparel, Inc. (NYSE American: DLA) company and leader in the direct-to-garment printing and fulfillment marketplace. “With our business serving the discerning activewear and performance apparel markets, we see increasing demand for personalized, decorated polyester garments,” comments Deborah H. Merrill, Delta Apparel, Inc.'s CFO and President, Delta Group. “We are excited about the new opportunities the Avalanche Poly Pro creates for our business. Through DTG2Go, we can now deliver individualized and small-run prints on a variety of polyester fabric types at the quality levels our customers demand.”

The new Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro will be unveiled at Kornit's Discover events on April 3-4, in the New York Metropolitan area, on April 11-12, in Duesseldorf, Germany and April 15-17, in Hong Kong. The system will also be publicly shown and demonstrated in Fespa Munich, CITPE China and ITMA Barcelona.

Omer Kulka, Kornit's VP of Marketing and Product Strategy, commented, “Kornit is on a mission to reinvent the garment and textile printing industry with game changing technologies for growing market segments. We continually work to break technology boundaries, so that our customers can innovate and open new markets and new business opportunities, while being more operationally efficient. The new NeoPoly Technology is further proof of this innovation and reinvention mission.”

Further information from: Kornit Digital Ltd. 12 Ha'Amal St., Afek Park Rosh Ha'Ayin 48092, Israel Tel: +972 3 908 5800; www.kornit.com

XAAR 1201 printhead delivers speed & precision for new pixeljet printer

THE versatility and performance of the Xaar 1201 printhead is ensuring that the latest Pixeljet printer from Monotech Systems is delivering the speed and precision for graphics and wide-format media printing.

Launched at India's leading trade exhibition on indoor and outdoor advertising and signage solutions, Media Expo 2019 in Mumbai, the Pixeljet miniRTR 6 printer, equipped with Xaar 1201 printheads, can handle a broad scope of flexible media for indoor and outdoor applications.

This new printer is available in six colour and four colour plus white varnish versions, with the latter having the capability to print white in different modes. This improves the opacity of the printed material as well as increasing colour contrast and readability. The Pixeljet miniRTR has been designed for customers who are wanting to move from eco-solvent printing to UV printing and provides stability, high precision and speed within an entry-level solution, supported by the Xaar 1201 printhead.

The Xaar 1201's Thin Film Piezo Silicon MEMS technology is capable of jetting a range of relevant fluids (EcoSolvent, UV-curable and Aqueous) for wide-format graphics (WFG), direct-to-garment (DTG) and textile applications. With its 1280 nozzles and capability to produce print with an apparent resolution of over 1440 dpi, the Xaar 1201 delivers simple integration for manufacturers looking for a flexible, small four colour, yet affordable printhead for a low cost WFG or textiles printer.

“We chose the Xaar 1201 because a single printhead can support four colours at high speed and has the lowest drop size compared to its competitors,” comments Managing Director of Monotech Systems, Mr T P Jain. “The simple and stable cleaning function makes it easier to maintain than other available printheads and unlike the competition, the Xaar 1201 is only available through direct channels which gives our team the confidence to promote our Xaar 1201-based printers.”

“Overall we are very impressed with the Xaar 1201 printhead as it delivers reliable, cost effective and exceptional quality print to our Pixeljet miniRTR 6 printer customers.”

Monotech Systems is one of India's leading manufacturers and solution providers for the printing and packaging industry. Established in 1999, the company is known for delivering innovations to the Indian market and has pioneered the introduction of modern equipment and systems to the industry.

“With its high print quality, robust and industrial design together with the ability to jet a range of relevant fluids, the Xaar 1201 is the ideal printhead for manufacturers looking for a cost-effective solution within the WFG and textiles sectors,” concludes Gary Jenno, Senior Product Manager at Xaar.

“We are delighted to see the Xaar 1201 technology deliver for Monotech Systems with the successful launch of their new Pixeljet miniRTR 6 printer.”

Meanhwhile the versatility of the Xaar 1201 printhead was evident with orders for over 120 Xaar 1201-based printers being taken at two of the leading signage and graphics exhibitions held in China this month – DPES Huaqiao 2019 Print Expo and the 27th Shanghai Ad & Sign Expo (APPPEXPO). On display in over 25 different printer models, the Xaar 1201 printhead's suitability for use with different ink types and ability to support a wide range of applications, was clearly shown by eight Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), including Xuli and Refretonic, who both had dedicated Xaar zones on their stands. Alongside the printers and printheads, Xaar 1201 electronics, eight-printhead plates and numerous accessories were also on display, highlighting the complete support network being created jointly by Xaar, Haocheng and its OEM partners.

Inspiring interiors new opportunities furnishings

by Debbie McKeegan FESPA's Textile Ambassador

EXCITING times ahead for Digital Printers in the Contract and Home Décor marketplace, as sales are forecast to advance significantly over the next five years.

As the Millennial generation's demand for customisation grows we are witnessing a flurry of new marketplaces and opportunities for the Interior industry. A proliferation of new products and business concepts have emerged to inspire and satisfy our demand for customisation and personalisation within the Contract and Home Décor markets.

Caption: ATADesigns and Switchscene Printing collaborate and offer a brand new range of wall-covering and mural designs for the Care Home sector.

Fuelled by the ease of access to Digital print there has been a veritable explosion of Designer-Makers, Textile Craftsmen and new Textile Converters, all of whom are contributing to a massive expansion of design and product diversity in the Home Furnishing Marketplace.

The key to this has been the development of a virtually risk-free Industry 4.0 business model, enabled by Digital Printing, where small orders can be produced, as economically, and as quickly and efficiently by the small companies, as by the large Industrial concerns.

Removing technical boundaries for many emerging designers, Digital Printing has given a new degree of freedom to the Textile product designer, with, for example repeat size and number of colours becoming insignificant in the production process when ordered online utilising web to print software.

The result of this has been evident in all aspects of the Home Furnishing Market. Bespoke wall-coverings are enormously popular both with the general public but also with the Interior design community. Feature Walls are now a neccesary part of many commercial Interior schemes, giving clarity and provenance to the ideas of designer, and an exciting Interior for the client.

Caption: Lucy Javanshir has a unique design brand, and a passion for Geometrics. Featured here with and her stunning digitally products.

Digital Printing offers unlimited creativity, design scale and exceptional, consistent print quality, all of which enables the designer to indulge their imagination and to create unique customised Interiors, for commercial or residential spaces.

Customised printed textiles, drapes and accessories, such as ready-made curtains, cushions and throws, can be ordered online, and delivered in days, allowing the Designer the freedom to experiment, as never before, with design, colour and style. A fast-growing marketplace, for localised production and centralised micro-factories offering easy access to affordable products, which can then retailed via outlets, such as Etsy to John Lewis and from Liberty to Designer's Guild.

But, perhaps the most significant Décor growth is in the Contract Décor sector of Furnishings, where the short run capacity of Digital print, combined with its impeccable technical credentials are revolutionising the Furniture and Lighting sectors.

Themed Fabrics and Furnishings for Hotels are increasingly popular, as the Hospitality Industry moves deeper and deeper into branded lifestyle marketing.

Today it is vital for the Hotel, not just to provide accomodation, but also, a visual and cultural experience, and the industry has looked to the Interior Designer to provide the ambiance and surroundings to reinforce this offer.

Caption: : Upholsterer Jay Blades has been working with Race Furniture on a new heritage collection. Seen here is Timourous Beasties Marble Gum fabric in velvet.

In turn, the Interior Designer has looked to harness Digital printing to provide the Fire Certified Fabrics and Wallcoverings, showing unique design concepts and looks, in small but significant quantities. As a result, the demand for Dye-sub printing of Flame Resistant polyester fabrics has never been higher, and the prospects look good for the future. Digitally printed FR fabric provides technically certified product that not only satisfies the performance regulations of the hospitality sector but also facilitates design diversity and allows the creativity, of the designer to shine through. Opportunities abound and there are exciting times ahead for the Furnishings market and creative communities. Freedom in Design & Colour combined with Digital Textile Printing allows the Interior designer to create their unique signature and style to produce truly unique and Inspiring Interiors. FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 is Europe's largest speciality print exhibition for screen and digital wide format print, textile printing and signage solutions. Located in the East Entrance of the Messe Munich, Printeriors 2019 will take the form of an interactive visitor experience, demonstrating a host of interior décor applications, such as wallpaper, lightboxes, soft furnishings including curtains and cushions, table tops and sideboards, window graphics and chairs. Promo code FESG902 can be used to register for free at

https://registration.n200.com/survey/0nz4o7u37dmw6.

The growth of the Digital Textile Print Bureau

Debbie McKeegan discusses how digital textile printing, web to print software and vibrant ecommerce platforms have contributed in the growth of the Digital Textile Print Bureau across most textile applications.

No single shift in the Textile Business Model can have had more impact than the logarithmic growth of the Digital Textile Print Bureau. This market is driven by Millennial demand, where Customisation and Personalisation are paramount, along with the speed and instant customer satisfaction generated by Digital Textile Printing.

Caption: The Silk Bureau Limited is family owned business with more than 30 years’ experience. Founders Doug & Elaine Davies met at Art College and are both talented artists in their own right. Offering custom printed digital fabrics for individual designers, textile design studios and international retailers serving the Fashion and Home Décor industries. Credit: Leila Vibert-Stokes the ‘Greenfields Design a Scarf’ Competition winner & The Silk Bureau Ltd.

Fuelled by three enablers, Digital Textile Printing, Web to Print Software and Vibrant Ecommerce Platforms, the growth of the Digital Bureau crosses most Textile Applications, where it has generated huge potential from start-ups all the way through to mass manufacture. Success stories abound, and so it is difficult to single out any particular sector for mention, and yet, common to all of them, is the availability of sophisticated print machinery, and the upsurge in demand for customisation and personalisation.

None more so than in the DTG (Direct to Garment) sector, where machine prices and speeds cater for all needs. At one end of the market, a newcomer to the industry can set up a decent print shop and ecommerce business for well under £20k.

Entry level machines are popular, with Roland being the latest newcomer to the DTG machine market with the launch of their BT-12, aimed at small start-up businesses with limited budgets.

Caption: Prinfab was started in January 2016 by two brothers. Serving the creative community, they offer a range of fabrics for the Fashion and Décor industry, and have built a state-of-the-art production facility using the latest digital fabric printing technology. Credit: PRINFAB LTD.

At the other end of the market, Hi-Speed DTG machines such as the Atlas, recently launched by Kornit, offers a potential daily production in excess of a 1,000 units of personalised T-Shirts.

The machines on offer come with embedded design and workflow software, making it easy to meet an Ecommerce demand for customisation and personalisation. Installation of the machinery is not complicated, service support is widespread and, as the supplier base for blanks expands, so these businesses are moving from strength to strength.

The DTG Bureau can give 24 hr supply from one to one thousand t-shirts, all unique and individual, catering to and satisfying the huge demand for customisation.

Although the DTG market was a trailblazer, the real explosion in growth is in the production of bespoke fabrics in the Roll to Roll market.

Here, the bureau is not confined to producing prints on blanks, but creates unique fabrics on the roll that can then be used in a myriad of applications from Fashion to Homewares and from Craft to Interior Design.

Caption: Print Unlimited offer a vast range of digitally printed fabrics for fashion, sports and beachwear, the entertainment industry, and Home Décor. Based in Holland they manufacture high quality digital textile prints in the quantity that you need and on the fabric of your choice. Credit: Designer Lucie Loete and PrintUnlimited.

Roll to Roll Bureaus are springing up in every country as the technology becomes more available and easy to use. At its simplest level, the Roll to Roll Bureau is often a 'one man band' employing only two or three people, and yet, with Digital Textile Printing technology, capable of beating much larger enterprises to the punch when it comes to Service, Delivery and Price.

In this entry-level Bureau, all the skills are present through multi-task training from Design to Pre-Press and on to Printing, Inspection and Dispatch. Typically they cater for a broad base of demand.

Up and coming Fashion Designers who need urgent prints of a few metres to complete their collection, Craft Businesses who need swift supply to minimise their stocks and maximise their sales, and Interior Designers who need a few exclusive metres of fabric for that never to be forgotten look.

All of these and more come to the Entry Level Bureau, where there is a wide spread of available technologies and fabric availability. Many of these Bureau's offer over 50 Standard fabrics and a full range of printing ink-set options from Latex to Dyesub and from Reactive to Pigment.

Again, in the Roll to Roll sector machinery choices are many: Entry level machinery is available from Mimaki, Roland, Epson, Mutoh, HP, Pigment Inc, Fabrijet and D-gen, to name just a small selection, and all supply efficient, fast and high quality production machines, which cater to the speed and variability of demand which is a feature of this sector.

In many cases Bureau's work with simple workflow software based around Adobe Photoshop for Design, and RIPs (Raster Image Processing Software) supplied by the manufacturer. Yet, however simple the system it gives the entry level printer the ability to manoeuvre images and print quickly and accurately to satisfy the requirements of their clients who need Customisation and Personalisation in a hurry.

But it would be a mistake to think of the Digital Textile Bureau as only a small scale enterprise, for this business model has created leviathans as well, and none exemplifies this more than the American giants Spoonflower and Merch by Amazon.

Spoonflower reputedly processes over 4,000 orders a day of two yards or less, taking designs from their clients and delivering finished product to them within a day or two. Spoonflower's Roll to Roll business uses a variety of machinery printing with a number of ink-sets, however the offer is always the same, just the quantities are higher.

Similarly at Merch by Amazon, which is basically a DTG Bureau offering, a wide range of products, individual design, and the rapid delivery that Amazon is so renowned for.

So, whether a large Industrial Enterprise, or a more modest Local Print Shop, the message is the same, Customisation, Personalisation and Delivery, are the mantras for the Digital Textile Printing Bureau in the proliferation of Individual Textile Design.

Visit FESPA's Print Make Wear at the Global Print Expo 2019 to see the latest technology in textile production for fashion, showing both direct to garment and roll-to-roll workflows. The feature will host a live production line but also a catwalk and tours.

Register now and use code FESM906 for free entry.