Digitally printed textiles are invading the territory of paper, vinyl and PVC for for interior and exterior applications alike. Epson used multiple facets of its stand to illustrate the possibilities. Artwork from Blooming Bryony Designs was reproduced on various home materials and surfaces such as glass, polyester, cotton, paper and films using a range of dye-sublimation, solvent and aqueous systems, showing how print houses could implement the trend. The manufacturer also introduced the SureColor SC-F9200 dye-sublimation machine, which prints on various transfer papers up to 162.5cm wide and covers most bases for textile applications, from flags to sportswear and home furnishings.
Mimaki and Roland DG also showcased their dye-sub wares for this market. The Texart RT-640 dye-sublimation printer from Roland was demonstrated in tandem with the CS-64 calender at the manufacturer's sublimation zone, transferring dye-sub prints from paper onto polyester-based materials, as well printing directly to textiles. In addition to this, Roland flaunted its high-productivity 'beast', the SolJet Pro 4 XR-640, for interior, sportswear and graphics applications. Mimaki, meanwhile, presented various units that focused on volume production for fabrics, such as the TX500-1800DS, which reaches a blistering 150sq m/hr in high-speed mode.
With staunch competition in this more accessible production area, vendors were sure to incorporate features that deliver value. While Mimaki's mainstay was in advertising breakneck speeds for volume production, it also presented six-colour latex systems that use orange and green for wallpaper jobs. Roland's XF-640 sported a volume take-up system, able to hold up to 50kg and roll prints evenly, as well as an optional dryer to speed up and streamline the post-print process. For Epson, its PrecisionCore TFP print-heads for accurate and vibrant ink deposits, a heater unit and optional air-dryer were favoured tools. This manufacturer also launched a high density black ink for its Ultrachrome DS series which, with its proprietary ink deposition system, is intended to enable high throughput and longer service runs while keeping costs moderate.