Summery fabrics are for sale by the online fabric stores. We love these beautiful fabrics whith there outstanding prints! The term 'inkjet print' is becoming increasingly common. On the website of TST Stoffen / Stoffenbestellen we notice a lot of beautiful 'inkjet prints' on fabrics such as Chiffon, Punta di Roma, silk and viscose satin.
But what is an inkjet print different from a 'normal print'?
The printing of fabrics is largely done in 2 ways:
1. Rotary printing
A design for a fabric has a pattern and a number of colors. A template and a motif must be made for each motif and each color. If the base color is white and the flower has a green stem and a red flower, you have three colors. The basic color of the canvas is usually white, so it is usually not colored. Then the molds are used for the flower stems, through which the greenery has to pass. It is pressed and dried before the roll is rolled up again.
The canvas must then be dry enough to be able to reprint. Then the next mold is used, for the flower (red). Then the fabric is finished and dried, and ready.
It is a fast way of printing and therefore cheaper. This almost only happens in China, where many of the substances in Europe come from.
If you now have a fabric with 7 or 10 colors, this process has to be done accordingly (so 7-10 times). The mold into which the paint runs determines how sharp the print will be. It is also difficult (or even impossible) to create shadows or degrade effects. So you can only print simple designs. Making molds is an expensive matter, which makes printing only large quantities (1000 meters or more) affordable. Many companies even do a minimum of 5000 meters.
2. Inkjet technique or digital printing
Inkjet printing or digital printing is much simpler and sharper. The fabric is printed on fabric, like your printer prints a photo. Because this is a slow process, you can print very focused and super sharp. You can even print 3D effects. The fabric contains less paint and you have access to 16 million colors.
A few years ago, the fabric made by these machines was seen as “exclusive or haute couture”. There are now several factories that make it, and it is more common. This process is too slow and too expensive for large quantities, so in China this almost only takes place for its own region.
(a bit more) Environmentally friendly
This technique is very popular in Europe because many suppliers can purchase from 300 meters. And what is positive for the consumer; if it is produced in Europe, the government will watch. Also, transports are not needed, which is in any case more 'environmentally friendly'.
Environmental pollution occurs on a smaller scale than is occurring in China. And the factories cannot just discharge their waste water.
The inkjet or digital printing of fabrics is certainly not “Climate-friendly”, because paint is poisonous and environmentally harmful. But you are really talking about a big improvement in standards from the 'normal' way of printing fabrics. And that's a good thing!