The intention of this report is to offer an insight into the interesting and modern panorama textiles for dye-sublimation printing , offering the opportunity to find out more about the areas of main interest via the various links.
The idea came about as a result of the current market situation for visual communications, confirming the notion that there are still two opposing market scenarios: the ongoing expansion in the offer of new equipment for direct-to-textile dye-sublimation printing matched by the ongoing – and understandable – apprehension of using textiles for dye-sublimation printing.
This apprehension is essentially on account of the lack of know-how in textiles world . However, this self-same market is well aware of all the details of the most commonly printing media that have been used in this market for decades now.
Weaving the future
It is a well known fact that man fears the unknown, and for this reason the apprehension is justifiable. At the same time, we can’t help wondering what life would be like if there hadn’t been people with the courage and humbleness to take on the risk of exploring “new” ideas.
The past – especially in the business world!- has shown us that people who fail to stay alert to what is going on around them, risk finding their business has become old and obsolete all of a sudden,irreversibly so in many cases.
Many years after the initial popularity of using textiles as an alternative to traditional materials in visual communications, only a few have dared to explore its potential and subsequently completed their production offer with textile technology.
This situation is not only the result of the slump in the economy, it is mainly down to the fear and apprehension of “weaving their future”…
The world of textile sublimation
The world of dye-sublimation printing is divided into “two satellites”:
|INDIRECT SUBLIMATION||DIRECT SUBLIMATION|
The best fibre for direct or indirect sublimation printing is POLYESTER whose physical and chemical properties are able to withstand the high temperatures (from 180° to 210°) that the heating system generates without softening or melting, unlike other synthetic fibres.
Natural fibres do not undergo any reaction and do not absorb the gas formed by ink molecules released as it passes through the calander or other source of heat.
WEAVING IN 4 STEPS
There are four main families of technology that can be used to weave yarn into a fabric:
ORTHOGONAL better known as shuttle weaving,
TUFTING for rugs and carpet
There are no particular issues preventing the use of any weaving method for the production of items for dye-sublimation printing, the only limits are linked to the features of the printing machines.
WHERE IT ALL FINISHES
The FINISHING process is the “ennobling of fabrics”.
For anyone unfamiliar with how transfer and direct printing works, this technology uses three parameters at the same time: TEMPERATURE, SPEED and PRESSURE, and so all the components used for printing have to be able to withstand these mechanical stresses.
The main technical properties that have to be transferred during the finishing process to the fabrics for dye-sublimation printing, have to guarantee the least possible shrinkage and yellowing during high-temperature processes.
Special reference is required for items that are to be processed with specific chemicals and resins for them to become water repellent, water- or air resistant, fireproof, etc, as these must not release any residue during processing in order to prevent damage to equipment.