Digital Printing in context of textiles refers to a printing method whereby a digital image is printed directly to a fabric, or cloth material. Here, the dye-sublimation printer executes the process of printing through the use of heat in order to transfer the dye on the printing medium. Simply put, once the design is created and finalized, and uploaded on the printer, the process of printing becomes as seamless as that on paper. The digital textile printing is a technique that is quickly picking up, due to its ease of use and other significant benefits, the most important of which are discussed below.
Since the digital textile printing makes use of an ink jet printer in order to replicate the design directly on to the garment, this process is fairly more precise than that of screen printing.
While screen printing at times, may, result in reduced sharpness or clarity of the design, digital printing ensures that the resulting image is of high resolution and has cleaner edges for a clearer design. Moreover, the brightness of the design is also of a remarkably improved quality, all of which are essentially for the design to stand out as a quality offering by the business.
Digital printing, as a process is way faster than the conventional screen printing, due to the considerably fewer number of steps involved. This ensures a greater turnout of the finished product in a given time-frame, thus enhancing both, productivity and profitability.
As digital printing enables the print to be carried out directly on the final product, it eliminates the need of the various elements that are a part of the screen printing process, thereby reducing both, tangible waste as well as energy consumed.
5. Cost Efficiency
Screen printing is a costly affair given the pressing need of large minimums in order to balance the cost as well as time equilibrium, thus making it an unviable alternative in cases where small batches are required. Since digital printing levies no such restrictions, it turns out to be highly cost efficient in case of small quantities. Again, given the low investment in the initial stages, digital printing proves to be more promising with references to returns on investment, thus proving to be more profitable, especially in context of small-scale businesses.
The most restricting drawback of screen-printing lies in the constraint in the number of colours that can be used, which is not the case with the new age digital printing. This innovative printing technique allows a wide range of colors, which can be easily obtained via the pre-treatment process. Moreover, pertaining to the optimum dye-fabric combination, this innovative printing technique ensures excellent color fastness, thereby adding to the overall quality of the finished product.
One of the most over-looked yet significant advantage of the digital printing technique is that the dyes used for this process are easily compatible with the traditional methods of printing, which accentuates the utility of this technique tremendously!
With so many positives for digital printing, its use is still not as widespread as the traditional methods of printing primarily because of the per unit cost economics involved in bulk scale productions. In bulk printing requirements traditional printing methods are still preferred because of the cost, however the speed at which technological improvements are introduced in Digital printing soon it would be able to realize its full potential once the costs are competitive.