In this article we cover the key issues in Digital Printing including

    • Is screen printing or digital printing better?
    • How does digital fabric printing work?
    • What is the difference between digital and offset printing?
    • How does digital printing work?
    • Digital printing on fabric
    • Digital printing t shirts
    • Digital printing machines

    Digital printing is where a digital image is printed on some sort of medium or material.

    When digital printing is being discussed, it normally refers to printing digital images with large-format or (and as well as) high-volume

      • Laser printers or
      • Inkjet printers by professionals in small businesses or medium-sized businesses.

    The whole world is turning digital, not least because of the cost savings associated with digital devices or processes.

    Interestingly though, digital printing costs more per page than traditional offset and screen printing methods.

    But the benefit is that you will be avoiding all the cost and hassles associated with making printing plates. That right there is a huge cost advantage.

    The advantages are

          • Short delivery time
          • On-demand printing
          • Image modification

    Just as with everything else in the digital revolution, the technology improves in leaps and bounds.

    And going forward, this ongoing savings in labor costs.

    More importantly it means that digital printing processes can not only equal offset printing technology to produce large runs at low cost—it can be even cheaper!!

    At Jaeger our digital printing technology is inkjet. We print directly from a digital image file to a very powerful and sophisticated inkjet printer.

    The background is interesting. It evolved from digital advances by big companies such as Kodak and 3M . . . remembering that Kodak basically invented digital photography.

    The IRIS printer was the original here. But manufacturers including Epson and HP that use fade-resistant, archival inks (pigment-based, as well as newer solvent-based inks) have since evolved to large-format printers.

    Is screen printing or digital printing better?

    It really depends on what printing outcome you are looking for.

    If you are printing on fabrics—and the best one is probably cotton—screen printing comes out on top. So if you are looking to get into the global t-shirt market (which will be worth $3 billion by 2025), then screen printing is the way to go.

    If you have really large volumes then screen printing is preferred. You will also get greater color virbrancy on t-shirts. Ink is applied more thickly in screen printing, which will give the slightly brighter colors—on the darker shirts at any rate.

    Digital printing on shirts (or Direct To Garment “DTG”) is best done on lighter colored shirts. So, if you do have a lighter colored design then the much greater precision that digital printing affords will result in a much better outcome.

    Generally speaking, if you are looking for smaller print runs and very high degree of detail and precision, then digital printing is appropriate.

    Products that are much more exclusive, less mass-market are very suitable for this purpose.

    What is the difference between digital and offset printing?(h2)
    Offset printing utilizes plates, normally made from aluminum. An image contained on the plate is transferred onto a rubber sheet. Then that image is rolled onto a medium of some sort.

    This is the reason why it is called offset. The ink does not directly get transferred to the medium where it will be “printed”.

    Rather there is this intermediate stage, or “buffer” between the design or image being transferred and the medium onto which it is to be transferred. Therefore we say it is “offset”.

    How does digital fabric printing work?

    Digital Fabric Printing has not been around all that long.

    It is mostly done as Rotary Screen Printing in very large runs. The issue here is as with screen printing generally: there are costs involving the materials and time it takes to prepare the unique set of screens that is required. And each color in a design will need its own screen.

    Again, digital printing overcomes these limitations. You have unlimited colors at your disposal. And you are not required to prepare any screens.

    The digital printing method here is inkjet printing. The technology has been with us since 1968—which many will surprised to learn. You will be familiar with its use as a cheap printing solution in the personal computer revolution.

    Inkjet technology has advanced a lot over the years. We now have specific-use wide-format inkjet printers that can process a whole number of materials including vinyl and canvas as well as a variety of fabrics.

    What is digital printing on fabric?

    The inks used for printing on fabric are created specifically for the type of fiber—silk, polyester, vinyl etc—that will be used in the printing substrate.

    As with paper through a standard inkjet printer, fabric is fed through the unit with the ink being applied in thousands of droplets. Once this is done, the ink needs to be “cured” on the fabric by heating it.

    Be aware that the color on the screen will not necessarily be the color that is reproduced on the fabric. Very deep, and rich, shades of red are included amongst some colors that dont transfer over from the digital environment very well. Broader areas of color, or blocks of color, may diplay with zones of lighter or darker tones.

    A fabric’s color or texture, will likely have an affect on the printing. A shiny fabric will reflect the light. The result is that the print appears lighter than it really is. Silk is an example of the type of fabric that can have this effect.

    Thinner fabrics are characteristically translucent. The result is you may well get a print that appears washed out.

    One of the great advantages of using digital printing for fabrics is that you can do small test runs. Add to this ability to produce samples cost-effectively the ability to be as creative as you like—no restrictions there—then you have a powerful tool at your disposal.

    You can also get designs to print so much faster than with screen printing. Getting ready for a new season means being prepared up to a year in advance. What if you got it wrong? With digital you are much more “agile” and reduce production time to a matter of weeks.

    Digital Printing T Shirts?

    The beauty of digitally printing t-shirts is that you can customize them in low quantities.

  • Either one of these qualities by itself is a win. Putting the two together is a …. win-win.
  • But the further advantage of flexibility of design with digital, then a whole new range of possibilites for T-Shirt printing is opened up.

Leave a Comment

發佈留言必須填寫的電子郵件地址不會公開。 必填欄位標示為 *