Catch up with all the latest developments in screen and digital printing inks from the top brands
Adelco: Kornit Eco Rapid Inks
“Kornit ink has been designed and refined over the years, resulting in an environmental, cost-effective and higher quality option for apparel and textile printing needs, and is the first step in leaving the toxic trail behind forever,” says Adelco. The new range of Kornit Eco Rapid inks is said to offer even brighter colours, no odour, a wider colour gamut and a softer feel, making it suitable for retail requirements. Adelco says Kornit inks also benefit from the Kornit integrated pre-treatment as this “eliminates the need for any external pre-treatment process, saving both time and money”.
It adds: “The results are truly incredible. The prints are solid, photorealistic, intricate fine details and vivid colours.” In ISO STD tests, Kornit ink scored four out of five on washfastness, and 4.5 out of five in crockfastness. Kornit HD ink is also available from Adelco, which it says is even more cost effective: “It reduces by half the print cost per unit compared to earlier Kornit systems, and so offers much more savings when compared to systems from other manufacturers. “The cost per print depends on the size and resolution of the prints. When printing on light garments with only colour ink, an image 20x20cm has a cost per print of 8-10 pence. When printing on dark garments, with a white layer and colours, the same size image has a total printing cost of 32- 40 pence per print,” adds Adelco.
International Coatings: FlexCure Inks
International Coatings (IC) recently expanded its portfolio of plastisol inks to include FlexCure products, which offer “innovative inks with a flexible curing range, from a low 135°C to a standard 163°C”. “The rise in popularity of synthetic, polyester and performance fabrics has challenged printers in a couple of ways,” explains IC. “Many synthetic fabrics contain temperature-reactive dyes that gas off and migrate well below the typical cure temperature of plastisol inks of 160°C. Many synthetic fabrics also shrink or melt when cured at standard curing temperatures. Lower curing temperatures mitigate these dye migration and heat- sensitivity issues.”
Rather than create a separate line of low-cure inks, the company said it has expanded the curing range of many of its existing inks to give printers the option to select the cure temperatures that works best for them. “A flexible cure range eliminates the need to stock separate lines of ink for low-cure and standard-cure production runs, a bonus to the bottom line,” adds IC. It is said that printers can use FlexCure inks to cure at temperatures as low as 135°C when needed, and for other jobs calling for regular cure temperatures. FlexCure inks have been tested and verified by the company, and are said to be compatible with its existing plastisol inks, including special effects inks.
Epson: SureColorSC-F9400H Fluorescent Inks
Epson’s new SureColor SC-F9400H dye sublimation printer offers decorators the option of printing with two new fluorescent ink solutions – yellow and pink – so they can add vivid colours to their production of fashion garments, workwear and sportswear. The 64” printer has been developed primarily for fast, high-volume printing of clothing, textiles and soft signage, as well as other printed merchandise. “The SC-F9400H is an evolution of the Epson SC-F9300,” says Epson, “and, in addition to the new genuine fluorescent Inks, it provides enhanced quality with even greater productivity and reliability.”
The new fluorescent inks are part of Epson’s UltraChrome DS stable, which already includes cyan, yellow, magenta and high-density black. “This is a first for Epson, and we believe that we’ve made fluorescent inks that are superior in terms of brightness and colour density,” adds the company.
Brother: Innobella Textile Inks
Brother’s newly formulated Innobella textile inks promise a bolder, wider range of colours that make it simple to reproduce designs more accurately, with a visible increase in vibrancy. The Innobella inks are said to be made with a much softer haptic than other inks on the market, and feature a special formulation that is designed to combat the chemicals found in typical washing detergent, and withstand the rubbing and scraping of zippers and buttons. “The result is a print that looks brighter and lasts longer,” says Brother. “Proof can be found in the AATCC wash tests, where our inks score 4.0 or higher on every test.”
Virus Inks: Geo Killer Black
Virus says its new Geo Killer Black is a water-based ink specifically designed to give printers ready-to-use ink with an excellent shade of black and great colour saturation. “Easy to be printed, it shows an enviable washing resistance for long lasting results.” The new ink is designed to print on cotton, promising smooth, soft-touch printing with a matt finishing and a clean uniform tract. Geo Killer Black is also particularly suitable on the toughest cotton yarns, subject to fibrillation, says Virus. “It tears down the fabric fibres, giving back a smooth and compact printing, which prevents the fibres from lifting up after washing and so avoiding the risk of fading the image.”
Virus suggests using the ink with a 48 or 62 threads/cm mesh count screen to get a perfect flat background (or 123 or 158 threads/inch). For thin tracts or soft shades however, the company recommends the use of a 90 threads/ cm mesh count screen (or 230 threads/ inch). “The ‘no dry’ feature makes it highly stable in the screen, and easy to be printed even in particularly warm working environments,” adds Virus. Geo Killer Black complies with the strictest ecological restrictions: it’s PVC-, phthalate-, formaldehyde- and heavy metal-free, and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class 1 certified.