From threads and backings to screen and digital inks, print and embroidery consumables are the foundations of garment and textile decoration
We review the current options from the leading suppliers, including more eco/sustainable alternatives that are now available for those businesses looking to ‘green’ their production and finished products.
Madeira UK: Embroidery Threads
Madeira UK says its embroidery threads are optimised for industrial embroidery machines to help users produce outstanding results across a wide range of applications.
The company offers a variety of different weights, colours and finishes, from high-sheen Classic viscose and Polyneon polyester to sparkly metallic, as well as totally matt and reflective embroidery thread. For more specialist technical requirements, the High Conductive embroidery thread and a fire-resistant product range are also available.
Its Reach-compliant embroidery threads are also certified to the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex to give embroiderers and their customers the peace of mind that they’re completely safe, even for babywear, and that the colours will remain consistent.
The company also offers embroidery accessories, backings, toppings, needles, scissors and sprays, with new additions including an industrial bobbin winder and magnetic frames in three sizes, which are suitable for most machine brands.
Brother DTG: Innobella Textile inks
To ensure less waste and so less impact on the environment, Brother DTG’s Innobella Textile inks now come in new replaceable pouches.
Available in a wide range of bold colours, the eco-friendly water-based pigment inks are also Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certified, plus Gots-approved and CPSIA compliant.
“Designs printed with Innobella Textile inks are meant to be worn, not worn out,” adds Brother.
“The special formulation combats the chemicals found in typical laundry detergent, and withstands the rubbing and scraping of zippers and buttons — the result is a print that looks brighter and lasts longer. Proof can be found in the AATCC wash tests, where our inks score 4.0 or higher on every test.”
Dae Ha UK: Recycled Blended Polyester HTV
Dae Ha UK has introduced recycled blended polyesters into all of its heat transfer vinyls, gaining a certification from the Control Union.
Currently, it’s not possible to have heat transfer vinyl from fully sustainable sources, such as bamboo or biodegradable films, adds Dae Ha UK.
“These films cannot withstand the temperatures required by the hot melt adhesives to ensure longevity of the transfers demanded by the end customer, as they’re not heat stable, and therefore destroy the transfer under heat pressing.”
With sustainability in mind, the company only uses 100% recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
Its Printable and Classic Flex PET Liners can also be recycled as they don’t use adhesives during lamination. The company has also achieved the ISO 14001 certification, which is an internationally agreed standard that sets out all the requirements for an Environmental Management System.
Screen Print World: Amex Texprint Inks and Franmar Eco Products
Available from Screen Print World (SPW), the Italian-made Amex Texprint water-based ink range is “incredibly smooth to mix, and very easy to print and clean up”.
There are 15 intermixable, fully opaque colours in the press-ready ink range, which are suitable for printing both light and dark garments.
The eco-friendly Amex Texprint inks are free from PVC, APEO, formaldehyde and heavy metal, and the range also includes metallics and special effect inks.
SPW also supplies water-based discharge bases, which are compatible with its water-based pigments and says these pigments can be added to discharge or standard bases to achieve a range of colours.
The company also offers the soy-based Franmar cleaning products, which are designed to replace the use of mineral spirits, xylene, toluene, even gasoline, in screen printing cleaning operations.
“Its effective, economical and safe product lines are all developed to benefit workers, and their environment,” adds SPW.
MagnaColours: MagnaPrint AquaFlex V2
MagnaPrint AquaFlex V2 is an essential product for any water-based screen printing arsenal, says MagnaColours.
“Not only does it provide soft handle, high-stretch performance and excellent washfastness, it has a myriad of sustainability benefits that improve environmental performance throughout the manufacturing process, alongside that of the finished garment,” it notes.
“AquaFlex V2’s high opacity ensures fewer print strokes and reduced ink consumption – it’s also fast curing, requiring lower temperatures and quick flash times.”
MagnaPrint AquaFlex V2 is completely free from PVC and other harmful substances, and is certified to multiple eco-standards, including Gots, Oeko-Tex Eco Passport Class 1 and ZDHC Level 3 (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals). It’s also compliant with all major RSLs (Restricted Substances Lists), including the Nike RSL.
In addition, AquaFlex V2 can provide biodegradable properties to printed natural fibre garments, as MagnaColours says its ink formulation fully composts within 55 days according to the biodegradability standard ISO 14855.