Mimaki will unveil two new sustainable technologies at Itma 2023 in Italy later this week.

The Textile Pigment Transfer Printing System, comprising of a new textile pigment ink, a transfer system and the textile pigment transfer paper Texcol, is said by the printer and cutting plotter manufacturer to minimise water usage and simplify the printing workflow.

“Traditionally, the dyeing process for natural fibres generates an alarming amount of wastewater – around 2 billion tonnes every day in the pre- and post- dyeing processes worldwide – and contributes greatly to CO2 emissions,” said Arjen Evertse, Mimaki Europe’s general manager sales.

“In addition, the dyeing process is complicated in terms of equipment structure and process and, often, overseas transportation of textile products from the main textile-producing countries also emits CO2. The Textile Pigment Transfer Printing System minimises water usage and simplifies the printing workflow. Additionally, its compact size and affordability allow small lot textile production to be implemented locally, leading to significantly reduced environmental impact.”

Texcol, from Dutch paper manufacturer Coldenhove, allows printers to transfer a digital print onto a wide range of materials, including natural fibres, using a three-step process; the design is initially printed onto the paper using a customised Mimaki TS300-1600 dye sublimation printer and the company’s new pigment inks that have been specially developed for the process.

The Neo-Chromato Process decolourises dye sublimated polyester so it can be re-used

The Neo-Chromato Process decolourises dye sublimated polyester so it can be re-used

The module that adapts the TS330-1600 is being previewed on the Mimaki stand at Itma, “giving visitors to the show an exclusive preview into how this highly productive Mimaki printer can be transformed into Mimaki’s most sustainable solution for apparel, house textiles, and soft signage yet”. It will be available as an option for existing and new Mimaki customers in Q3 2023.

Also debuting at the Italian trade show is Mimaki’s Neo-Chromato Process, which the manufacturer is hailing as “a world-first in cyclical textile technology”. By decolourising polyester textiles that have been dyed using dye sublimation technologies, this process allows materials to be reprinted or dyed.

Arjen explained: “The increasing awareness of sustainability has led to a significant disposal issue within the textile industry, with polyester textiles accounting for approximately 60% of 92 million tonnes of wasted textile materials worldwide. Of this enormous amount of polyester waste, currently around only 15% is recycled. Mimaki’s Neo-Chromato Process tackles this issue head on by utilising a discolouring technology for dye sublimation inks. This process not only eliminates the need for polyester waste incineration, but also reduces the energy consumption associated with textile recycling.”

According to Mimaki, which is distributed in the UK and Ireland by Hybrid Services, there is no limit to how many times polyester can be treated with the Neo-Chromato Process.