Segmented by the utilized ink technology, digital textile printing can be divided into (i) dye sublimation printing, (ii) reactive dye printing, (iii) acid dye printing and (iv) pigment printing. While dye sublimation and reactive dye printing exhibit the highest market shares in industrial textile printing, the interest in textile pigment inks has increased strikingly in the last years. Even though the market penetration rate of textile pigment inks was by far overestimated four to five years ago, the outstanding performance characteristics of Durst Alpha Pigment Ink operated in the Durst Alpha series have resulted in new, interesting business opportunities for our customers. Big industrial textile printers as well as web-to-print companies are now adopting this ink technology, mainly because of a broad range of substrates that can be printed even without pre-treatment, the superior fastness properties of pigment inks compared to reactive or dye-sublimation inks as well as the resource minimized digital pigment printing process itself:
- In terms of substrate versatility, Durst Alpha Pigment Inks enable our customers to print unique patterns with utmost image quality, speed and color consistency on a wide range of fabrics. In practice, printing on cotton-based textiles is frequently observed, however, also textiles made from synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester), other cellulose fibers or even blends can be printed effectively without the necessity of cumbersome pre- and posttreatment steps. This allows our customers to use one machine for a broad range of products such as bed linen, pillows, canvases, sunshades, wallpapers and many more. Textile specific certificates (GOTS, Oeko-Tex, etc.) are, of course, available for Durst Alpha Pigment Inks if required for certain fields of application.
- Application benefits are also observed for Durst Alpha Pigment Inks concerning the fastness properties of the prints. The prints exhibit lightfastness as typical for pigmented systems (far superior to dye-sublimation or reactive prints) and very good rub-fastness (wet and dry rub). In combination with the remarkable soft hand-feel of the prints, a broad range of application areas is opened up. The performance characteristics can be fine-tuned with adequate pre-treatment chemistry, e.g. if even further increased fastness properties are required for a certain field of application such as upholstery.
- When it comes to environmental aspects and general process simplification, Durst Alpha Pigment Inks offer special advantages. As the printing process itself comprises only a thermal treatment step and does not require complex steaming or washing, significantly less water is consumed in the entire textile printing process. This helps to increase the sustainability of the textile print industry and is well appreciated by governments all over the world actively requesting investments in sustainable (digital) printing technologies.
Durst Alpha Pigment prints offer a package of unique versatility, fastness and sustainability. In combination with the remarkable soft hand-feel, a broad range of end user applications are possible. This is also the reason why this technology has moved into the spotlight of attention of big industrial textile printing companies as well as web-to-print businesses with their e-commerce channels.
For further information, please contact the Durst Industrial Textile Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).