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What is Digital Textile Printing

What is Digital Textile Printing

Digital textile printing is similar to using a printer to print on a piece of paper, but the intended medium is textiles for use in shirts, blankets and door covers. Printing with a digital textile machine offers advantages over traditional methods in that new colors and designs can be added to the fabric. Some fabrics are porous and absorb ink, and others are not, so a non-bleeding unit must be added to the digital textile printing unit so that these other fabrics do not bleed after printing. The disadvantages of this type of printing are from spot coloring inaccuracy, slower printing times and difficulty in digital setup.

This type of printing is nearly the same as using a regular printer. Most textile printers look like a wide-format poster printer and have a roll of fabric attached to the back. When the operator loads an image into the computer and prints it, the textile printer draws in fabric from the roll and then uses an ink-loaded carrier that moves back and forth to get the ink onto the fabric.

The inks that are used are different from those used by traditional screen-printing machines, so this type of textile printing is able to reproduce many different colors which makes it a great medium to use with fabric door covers for decorating. Most graphics are made on computers, so this printing technology is able to work hand-in-hand with graphic designers and design programs. These programs can also create interesting effects that can be exactly duplicated with a digital textile printer.

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