New water-based environmentally friendly pigment inks from a team formerly at Kornit Digital are to be put through their first pilot with one of the world’s largest digital printer manufacturers.

Nur Ink Innovations is testing the inks for direct digital printing on garments (DTG) and, if the initial technical pilot is successful, the unnamed Japanese manufacturer will install the ink at several end-customer sites for a paid commercial pilot.

Nur Ink Innovations was set up by Moshe Nur, who was a co-founder of digital print specialist Kornit Digital, and Dr Muhammad Iraqi, formerly a senior chemist for innovations at Kornit Digital in Israel.

Moshe, who is chairman and CEO of Nur Ink Innovations, said: “We are pleased to announce the start of a technical pilot with one of the world’s largest and leading players in digital printer manufacturing.

“This pilot continues the company’s strategy to become a leading global supplier in a green world of environmentally-friendly water-based pigment inks, designed for use in printers and digital printing systems.

“We believe that the application of our inks in the relevant industry, direct digital printing on garments (DTG), will increase the global market by approximately 15%, opening for the company a gateway to a huge market worth $5 billion annually in addition to other applications targeted by the company in huge, multibillion-dollar markets.”

The technical pilot, due to start in about two months, is expected to last for between four and six months. The ink, which is designed for printing directly onto T-shirts and other garments, will be installed in an industrial printer made by the digital printing manufacturing corporation.

It is part of Nur Ink Innovations’ strategy for collaborating with leading players in the global printing industry such as Epson, Roland, Ricoh, Brother, EFI, Mimaki, Agfa and Kodak.

Nur Ink Innovations’ business model is based on OEM (original equipment manufacturing) white label, with its products being offered to companies manufacturing digital printers which will sell the Nur’s products as their own.

If successful, the ink is expected to have various applications that are currently unavailable for the vast majority of the digital printing market, such as printing on dark garments made of 100% polyester.

Therefore, Nur Ink Innovations predicts that it will increase the general markets of direct-to-garment and direct-to-textile printing and expand the use of water-based pigment inks.

Based in Israel, Nur Ink Innovations was founded in 2018 to engage in research and development of various types of unique and innovative water-based and environmentally friendly pigment inks. In May this year, it raised 45.9 million New Israeli Shekels (over £10 million) from investors as part of joining the Tel-Aviv stock exchange.

They are intended for use in several applications, technologies and markets and may be applied in inkjet digital printing technology directly on to various types of textiles, including pre-dyed dark synthetic fabrics.

Other uses for its inks could include wide-format digital inkjet printing of wallpapers, billboards, posters, advertising banners and other materials.

The company is also developing the SoftJet product – a jettable pre-treatment substance for preparation and softening of fabrics before digital printing. This could contribute to savings of about 35% in power consumption and about 40 litres of water consumed in the softening stage per square metre of printed fabric.

All types of inks developed by Nur Ink Innovations are environmentally friendly and do not contain toxic substances.

Moshe was also a co-founder of Nur Macroprinters which developed the world’s first super-wide-format digital printer and the world’s first inkjet pigment ink for digital printing of outdoor advertising applications. Nur Macroprinters was floated on Nasdaq in 1994 and acquired by HP in 2005.

Muhammad leads an experienced team of scientists and has significant experience in the development of digital inkjet inks including the development of types of digital ink for Nur Macroprinters, HP-Indigo, Kornit Digital and others. He has published over 20 patents relating to digital ink and digital print technology.