Inkcups Wins Award for Helix Hi-Fi Direct-to-Shape Inkjet Printer

The 6-color Helix® Hi-Fi photorealistic digital rotary printer manufactured by Inkcups has earned a 2019 SGIA Product of the Year award in the non-flatbed, Direct-to-Shape Printers category.

Ideal for promotional and retail markets, the Helix® Hi-Fi prints multi-color graphics and photos on straight-walled cylinders, tapers, and objects with limited wall curvatures.

Inkcups Helix Hi-Fi digital rotary printer


The Helix® Hi-Fi uses UV LED ink and prints 360 degrees with a maximum resolution of 1200 dpi. The machine’s printable area is 8.6 inches; the system can print on items up to 12 inches in length with a diameter ranging from 2-5 inches.

The new Hi-Fi version of the Helix printer adds light cyan and light magenta inks to the CMYK and white inks on the standard model.

The two light inks enables the printer to produce realistic skin tones on cylindrical objects that will be personalized with facial images.

While the standard Helix® already delivers the best image quality in the industry, the addition of the light colors brings output quality to a new level. The benefits are most dramatic in printing skin tones where true photorealistic images are generated with smoother tone transitions, less graininess, and higher resolution edge effects.

Helix® Hi-Fi can import a series of unique image files and produce high-resolution photo gifts, such as glass candle holders and drinkware such as stemless wine glasses, stainless steel tumblers, and pint glasses.

A built-in programmable tilt system reduces product change-over time and eliminates the need to optimize print recipes for each SKU change.

The Helix® Hi-Fi is delivered as a turnkey package that includes software to integrate with web-based production solutions as well as warranty and service coverage.

The company offers multiple pre-treatment options, inks and other supplies, along with application testing and sample prints upon request.

Metals, glass, plastics, and ceramics are all validated for image durability from handling and washing.

“The Helix® Hi-Fi is unmatched in price and performance,” said Ben Adner, CEO of Inkcups. “The addition of these two inks are a game changer for customers looking to achieve high-quality personalized results. Inkcups has always had a strong business with promotional printing, and we are pleased to lead the industry in the personalization category.”

The Helix® Hi-Fi is engineered and manufactured in the U.S. It will be displayed at the 2019 Printing United show, Oct. 23-25, in Dallas, TX.

About Inkcups

Inkcups manufactures inkjet printing equipment, pad printing equipment, laser plate-makers and corresponding supplies. Their equipment is used in companies that serve the apparel, drinkware, promotional, electronics, medical, sporting goods and automotive markets.

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Use X-Rite i1Pro 3 Plus Device to Profile Fabrics and Other Digitally Printable Materials

Now that so many different types of papers, display films, art papers, packaging materials, and fabrics can be digitally printed, the professionals who produce digital prints need more versatile color-measurement devices. X-Rite and Pantone have addressed this need with the i1Pro 3 Plus color-measurement instrument and a new X-Rite iO Automated Scanning Table.

The i1Pro 3 Plus device from X-Rite Inc. and Pantone LLC is a spectral color measurement solution specifically designed for imaging, print, and textile professionals who need advanced calibration and color profiling capabilities to support today’s wide-format and industrial printing applications.

The i1Pro 3 Plus

The i1Pro 3 Plus has been optimized for digital printing on a range of materials and surfaces, including ceramics, textiles, glass, metal, wood, vinyl, plastics, thin films, cardboard, paper, and more.

Commercial, wide-format, grand-format, packaging, and industrial printers can now create ICC profiles for almost any substrate and calibrate print production devices for the highest level of color accuracy.

Background   

As more industries turn to digital printing, customers expect print-service providers to be able to achieve accurate, repeatable color. To do this, production print equipment must be linearized and profiled for each substrate.

Traditionally used profiling devices have limited ability to measure textured, rough, or uneven surfaces. And most, can’t accommodate the many different thickness of materials that can be digitally printed today.

Many devices do not have the resolution required to ensure the highest color quality when printing detailed patterns, metallic effects, or photography images. These shortcomings lead to costly color errors and rework.  

Benefits

“The i1Pro 3 Plus builds on the success of the i1 family of products and removes the variability to create accurate ICC profiles on the widest range of materials,” said Ray Cheydleur, Printing and Imaging Product Portfolio Manager, X-Rite. “Wide- and grand-format users and industrial material printers will see immediate value by incorporating the affordable i1Pro 3 Plus into their prepress and production workflows.” He said users can expect more accurate and repeatable color, a reduction of waste, and an increased return on investment. 

A long-term X-Rite partner, EFI (Electronics For Imaging), also sees the great potential of the i1Pro Plus 3 and supports it in their latest Fiery print-management technologies: “Due to the nature of digital textile production, this large-aperture device is an excellent fit with our latest single-pass EFI BOLT high-speed textile printer. For both color management and quality control, this device will allow our customers to produce accurate color much more easily,” said John Henze, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, EFI Fiery. 

New Features

The i1Pro 3 Plus includes a number of new features. 

The larger, 8mm aperture supports new materials and substrates used in digital printing applications. 

A new polarization filter (measurement condition M3)  reduces specular highlights and shadows on fabrics and ceramics. It provides better blacks and richer colors on rough surfaces and glossy medias, such as canvas prints and fine art photo papers. 

It can simultaneously measure M0, M1 and M2 in a single pass to account for optical brighteners. This enables prepress and print operators to quickly predict how colors printed on optically brightened substrates will look under different lighting conditions.  

A longer ruler can measure the wider charts used in grand-format printing. The ruler includes an ISO-compliant white backer and removable magnetic strips on the top and sides for holding samples in place while measuring.   

A new LED illuminant  improves device reliability. The i1Pro 3 Plus allows for four measurement conditions (ISO 13655 M0; M1: D50; M2: UV Excluded, M3 Polarized).  

It supports transmission scanning for backlit film and materials used in signage. The device can measures high brightness, up to 5K NITs for ultra-bright displays. 

“We are used to seeing bumpy shadow measurements from unpolarized devices on glossy textured medias like canvas. With the new polarization feature in the i1Pro 3 Plus, our M3 measurements are dramatically smoother in the shadows – perfect in fact,” commented Scott Martin, Founder, Onsight, a workflow consultant for print, prepress, design and photography.   

New X-Rite iO Table 

X-Rite’s new i1iO Automated Scanning Table supports the i1Pro 3 Plus. This hands-free test chart reader offers automated color profiling on a variety of substrates with reduced risk of color measurement errors. It is ideal for photographers, designers, and printers who want to speed up and automate the measurement process and eliminate manual strip reading.  

The new i1iO table can be used with a variety of industrial materials including textiles, ceramics, corrugated, etc. and supports materials up to 33 mm thick, with the optional z-axis spacer. It also supports transparencies and backlit materials. 

About X-Rite 

X-Rite Incorporated is a global leader in the science and technology of color and appearance. Manufacturers, retailers, printers, photographers and graphic design houses use X-Rite products to achieve precise management and communication of color and appearance throughout their processes.

For more information, visit www.xrite.com. Connect with X-Rite on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.  

About Pantone 

Pantone provides the universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions through every stage of the workflow for brands and manufacturers.

Learn more at www.pantone.com and connect with Pantone on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

Roland Launches New 8-Color Eco-Solvent Printer

Roland DGA has launched the VersaEXPRESS™ RF-640 wide-format inkjet printer. The 64-inch, 8-color eco-solvent printer can produce outdoor durable graphics with an extremely wide color gamut. In addition to the standard CMYK process-color inks, the RF-640 includes Light Black, Red, Green, and Orange inks. This 8-color inkset enables users to produce exceptionally vibrant prints that can last up to 3 years outdoors.

Roland Versa EXPRESS RF-640 8-Color Ecol-Solvent Printer
Excellent Color Reproduction

The RF-640 8C accurately matches and reproduces colors that are normally difficult to achieve.

With the right media, up to 99% of Pantone® + Solid Coated spot colors are within gamut. This means print service providers who need to match corporate brand colors in signage can hit a specified color with greater ease and precision.

“Colors such as green and orange are notoriously challenging to reproduce precisely,” noted Daniel Valade, Roland DGA Product Manager of Digital Print. “By adding these ink colors, as well as red, the RF-640 8C offers significant advantages and opportunities for print-service providers, especially those working with major brands and corporate customers.”

Red, Green and Orange inks extend the range of achievable colors across the entire spectrum. Along with Light Black, these inks deliver exceptional skin tones and smooth gradients for unsurpassed photo reproduction.

In addition to signage, the RF-640 8C printer is well-suited to produce interior décor, fine art, or other types of images for hotel chains, museums, galleries, entertainment venues, or offices.

Other Noteworthy Features

The RF-640 8C features a state-of-the-art gold-plated printhead with Roland Intelligent Pass Control. The printhead precisely places dots within passes and uses variable dot control to produce ink droplets of up to seven different sizes.

The RF-640 8C comes with ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 SPECIAL PLUS RIP software. This print management software offers a host of advanced features that optimize productivity, color management, and overall performance. The advanced color replacement and profiling tools within the RIP make it possible to configure precise colors for all major industry swatches.

“Our new VersaEXPRESS RF-640 8C is the result of responding to needs and desires of our customers for a printer that not only offers exceptional value, but also incorporates innovations that will help them build and grow their businesses,” said Valade. “It really comes down to giving our customers a decided edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace – and that’s exactly what the RF-640 8C provides.”

The MSRP of the VersaEXPRESS RF-640 8C is $16,995.

To learn more about Roland’s new VersaEXPRESS RF-640 8C printer, visit http://www.rolanddga.com/rf8color.

About Roland DGA Corporation

Roland DGA Corporation serves North and South America as the marketing, sales, distribution and service arm for Roland DG Corporation. Based in Japan, Roland DG is a world leader in wide-format inkjet printers for the sign, apparel, textile, personalization and vehicle graphics markets.

For more information about all of the products Roland DGA sells, visit: https://www.rolanddga.com/

New 44-in Epson Dye-Sub Printer Includes Epson Edge Software

Epson’s new SureColor® F6370 44-in. dye-sublimation printer quickly and efficiently produces high-quality images on dye-sublimation transfer papers that can be used with a heat transfer press to make promotional products, soft signage, cut-and-sew fabrics, and more.

Like all of Epson’s dye-sublimation printers, the SureColor F6370 is a turnkey solution that includes Epson printhead technology, Epson dye-sublimation inks, Epson DS transfer media, Epson ICC profiles, and Epson service and support.

Epson SureColor F6370
The 44-in. Epson SureColor F6370 dye sublimation printer

The SureColor F6370 also comes with Epson’s new Epson Edge® layout and print-management workflow software with an Adobe® PostScript® 3™ engine.

Other features include a built-in cutter for roll-to-sheet convenience and an optional take-up reel system for unattended printing.

The SureColor F6370 replaces the 44-in. SureColor F6200 in Epson’s line-up of SureColor F-Series printers. Other models include the 64-in. SureColor F9370 and 60-in. SureColor F7200.

“The award-winning SureColor F-Series product line is the number-one selling large format dye-sublimation printer,” said Tim Check, senior product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. “We are thrilled to continue expanding the series and providing new features customers have requested.”

Epson Edge Print Software

The new Epson Edge Print layout and printer management software features an Adobe Postscript 3 engine and includes job nesting and textile-printing tools such as step-and-repeat patterns, custom spot color matching, and support for project color libraries,. Users can import new media settings when available, edit media settings and manage projects remotely.

The Epson Edge dashboard, a remote-printing management software, gives operators detailed views on current printer activity, ink supply levels, and error messages. The software can also remotely perform cleaning cycles and various maintenance cycles and update printer firmware.

Dashboard users can check the status of up to 10 printers, including all SureColor F-Series, SureColor F-Series Direct-to-Garment, and SureColor S-Series wide-format printers.

Epson printers are also compatible with leading RIP workflow software.

Epson Printhead and Accessories

The Epson PrecisionCore® TFP® printhead supports fast print speeds (up to 680 sq. ft./hr.), precision dot control for print quality and sharpness, and resolutions up to 1440 x 720 dpi.

The PrecisionCore print chip is ideal for dye-sublimation ink chemistry and was co-developed with Epson UltraChrome DS inks for extreme reliability.

The new roll media adapters lock into place to prevent unwanted roll movement and the built-in cutter makes it easy to trim sheets of printed paper for use in the counter-top heat transfer presses used with promotional products and smaller photo gifts.

The optional take-up reel streamlines the process of using a rotary calendar heat press to transfer images from rolls of printed paper to rolls of polyester textiles for soft signage or cut-and-sew fashions.

The user-accessible maintenance panel provides easy access to the printhead, wiper and wiper cleaner, and features simple instructions to complete routine maintenance checks.

Inks

The SureColor F6370 printer uses four colors (CMYK) of Epson UltraChrome® DS inks, including a High Density Black.* The inks produce vibrant color saturation and contrast and are sold in 1.1 liter, easy-to-change pouches. This pouch capacity provides about 10-percent more ink than the ink supplies for previous models.

The UltraChrome DS inks are Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex. This textile industry safety standard ensures that chemicals and colorants used in the textile production are safe for clothing worn by adults, children, and babies.

Images printed in reverse on rolls of transfer paper can be cut into sheets or rewound on a take-up real depending on what type of heat press will be used to transfer the print to the polyester fabric.

Transfer Papers

Epson offers four high-performance transfer papers optimal printing with Epson UltraChrome DS inks on the SureColor F series printers:

Multi-purpose paper can be used to transfer images to a variety of products, including mouse pads, T-shirts, and ceramics.

Photo paper is optimized to transfer images to hard surfaces with minimal grain.

Textile-adhesive paper is recommended for producing fabrics and apparel.

Production is a lightweight paper for roll-to-roll sublimation transfer printing.

All four papers have a unique chemical coating that allows for heavy ink loads with low cockling, superior clarity, and sharpness.

Support and Availability

The Epson SureColor F6370 Standard Edition is available now through authorized Epson Professional Imaging resellers for $8,495 MSRP. The optional take up reel will be available in Fall 2019.

The SureColor F6370 offers a standard Epson Preferred Limited Warranty, a one-year program that includes toll-free advanced telephone access Monday through Friday and usually next business-day on-site service in the unlikely event of any hardware failure.

For additional information about Epson’s complete line of wide-format printing solutions, visit www.proimaging.epson.com.

Roland DGA Unveils Multi-function Dye-Sublimation Printer

Roland DGA Corporation describes their newest wide-format dye-sub printer as an intelligent multi-function dye-sublimation printer. That’s because the Texart RT-640M uses specially formulated Texart SBL3 sublimation inks that enable you to print directly onto coated polyester fabrics or on different types of sublimation transfer papers.

The direct-to-textile print option on the Texart RT-640M simplifies the production of dye-sublimation fabrics for soft signage and trade show graphics. The ability to print to different types of transfer paper lets you create a range of products, including sublimated hard goods and rigid signs to apparel and decor fabrics.

Roland multifunction dye sublimation printer
The Roland Texart 640M multifunction dye sublimation printer enables you to print directly on coated polyester fabrics or transfer media for photo panels and other rigid substrates

Roland’s Texart SBL3 inks are available in 4-color (CMYK), 8-color (CMYKLcLmOrVi), and 8-color fluorescent (CMYKOrViFyFp) configurations.

Features

The RT-640M includes several advanced features:

  • The media take-up incorporates adjustable front rollers for no-skew printing, as well as magnet weights for improved tensioning and performance.
  • State-of-the-art 8-channel printheads deliver unmatched color and image results on a wide range of materials. The heads also optimize ink coverage for lower operating costs.
  • The Roland Bulk Ink Switch System features 1000 cc pouches and automatically switches to a back-up pouch for non-stop printing in a 4-color configuration.
  • An ink collection channel within the platen facilitates direct printing onto mesh, flag, voile and other thin textiles.

The Texart RT-640M comes with ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 software. This software offers unique tools for textile dye-sublimation and allows users to RIP up to eight jobs simultaneously.

ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 boasts an Aurelon PDF engine with 64-bit native support, plus unlimited hot folders and job cost estimation. Other features include a new smart fill function, rectangular image nesting, variable data, and a huge range of color profiles, and more.

“The RT-640M is an unbeatable investment for anyone looking to get into the dye-sublimation market,” said Lily Hunter, Roland DGA Product Manager, Textiles and Consumable Supplies. “This value-packed inkjet offers the most flexibility you can get in an entry-level sublimation printer. Its multi-function capabilities allow users to easily and cost-effectively produce everything from flags, soft signage and backlit signage to ChromaLuxe photo panels, apparel, and décor.”

To learn more about Roland’s new Texart RT-640M multi-function dye-sublimation printer, visit https://www.rolanddga.com/RT-640M.

For more information on the complete Roland DGA product lineup, visit https://www.rolanddga.com.

ITMA 2019 Shows Digital Systems for Textile Printing

The ITMA Textile and Garment Technology exhibition, which has been held every four years since 1951, has become a leading showcase for digital systems for textile printing. Regarded as “The Olympics” of textile and garment manufacturing shows, the exhibition is organized by the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX).

2019 ITMA Textile and Garment Technology Show in Barcelona, Spain

The ITMA 2019 show in Barcelona June 20-26 attracted more than 105,000 visitors from 137 countries. The 19 categories of products at the show included technologies for weaving, knitting, spinning, dyeing, bleaching, finishing, recycling and waste reduction, garment making, and printing. Of the 1,717 exhibitors at ITMA 2019, 157 were related to printing.

According to 2019 show organizers, the number of exhibitors in the digital printing and inks sector was up by 38% over 2015 because the textile industry has embraced digital transformation.

“The increasingly high level of automation and digitization in combination with real-time data tracking and interaction has spawned the fourth industrial revolution and the emergence of smart factories,” explained Fritz P. Mayer, president of CEMATEX. “ITMA is a unique showcase of live machinery demonstrations and innovative solutions that boost productivity and profitability.”

Below are some of the direct-to-textile and dye-sublimation printing systems that are are now available to designers and manufacturers of textiles and apparel. Single-pass inkjet systems are available from EFI, Konica-Minolta, MS Printing Solutions, and SPGPrints.

Direct-to-Textile Printers

EFI Reggiani Bolt: This single-pass, industrial inkjet-printing system for textile manufacturers can produce quality output at speeds of up to 295 linear feet per minute. EFI Reggiani Colors can print up to 12 colors of ink on fabrics used for fashion, home textiles, or outdoor use.

EFI Reggiani Bolt single-pass digital printing system

Durst Alpha Series: These super high-performance multi-pass inkjet printers feature different configurations and print widths for the digital production of clothing, home textiles and fashion. The Alpha series offers print widths of 6.2 to 10.8 ft. (190 – 330 cm) and can be configured with up to 8 colors and 64 Alpha-S print heads that achieve a native resolution of 600 dpi and print speeds up to 15,800 sq ft/hr. A new intelligent feed system adapts automatically to different textiles and roll diameters

Durst Alpha Series 5

Epson Monna Lisa Evo Tre Series: At ITMA, Epson introduced their new Monna Lisa Evo Tre series of digital textile printers, including the first digital textile printer that can print up to 16 different colors.

Epson Monna Lisa Evo Tre 32 digital textile printer

The Monna Lisa Evo Tre 32 has 32 Epson PrecisionCore printheads and can handle two different sets of 8 colors or 16 different colors of Genesta Acid, Reactive, Disperse, and Pigment inks and print at resolutions up to 1200 dpi. An external rack. capable of housing up to 16 different ink packs can be positioned wherever it is most convenient.

The 8-color configuration can print at speeds up to 692 square meters/hr at 300 x 600 dpi. The 16 channel configuration can print at 440 square meters/hr at 300 x 600 dpi.

Kornit Presto: The Kornit Presto is the first industrial-grade single-step solution for direct-to-fabric printing. It eliminates the need for pre- and post-treatment of fabrics and supports high-quality printing on a variety of fabrics used for on-demand printing of fashion or home decor.

Kornit Presto Direct-to-Textile Printer

Konica Minolta Nassenger SP-1e is an upgraded single-pass inkjet textile printer with features to improve ease of use, reduce maintenance costs, and enable faster production cycles. Konica Minolta also showcased an optimized and upgraded Nassenger 10 multi-pass direct-to-textile printing system.

MS Mini LaRio from MS Printing Solutions fills the gap between the single-pass MS LaRio and the multi-pass JPK-Evo. The MS Mini Lario can reach a maximum print speed of 1094 meters/hour and uses 64 printheads. The single-pass inkjet printing system MS LaRio now has an in-line fabric pre-treatment.

Colorjet Vastrajet: ColorJet India Ltd., India’s largest manufacturer of inkjet printers, introduced the Vastrajet -8164 textile printer with 16 printheads and ColorJet’s Adaptive Ink System (AIS).

Color Jet VastraJet

SPGPrints Javelin 2 single-pass textile printer printer can print up to 2 million linear meters of fabric each year, The upgraded model features improved ease of use, an optimized printhead cleaning cycle, and an enhanced ink supply. Equipped with Archer+ technology, the Javelin 2 is more robust . It enables faster printing cycles and reduced maintenance costs.

Mouvent TX802 is an 8-color multi-pass textile printer from Movent, a Bobst Group company in Soluthurn, Switzerland. It can print up to 2,000 dpi optical resolution with very high speeds (up to 1000 linear meters/minute). What sets Mouvent printers apart is the Mouvent Cluster, a digital printing technology that uses clusters of printheads instead of fixed size print bars. The printheads are arranged by color in a modular, scalable matrix. 

Mouvent TX802 Digital Textile Printer

DGI Apollon printer is a 16-printhead direct-to-textile printer from DGI, a Korean-based equipment manufacturer that produces an assortment of dye-sublimation and direct-to-textile printers. With production speeds of around 250 sq m/hr, the Apollon will be targeted at the fashion and interior décor sectors.

Dye Sublimation Printers

Thanks for advances in ink technologies, new dye-sublimation printers for fashion and home fabrics can print either onto transfer paper or or directly to treated fabrics. Companies that showed these hybrid dye sublimation printers included HP, Mimaki, and Roland.

HP Stitch: HP, which announced their entry into the textile dye-sublimation printing market this spring, showcased the first three printers in their Stitch line of printers: the 64-inch HP Stitch S300 and S400 printers for fashion design studios and print-service providers and the 126-inch HP Stitch 1000 printer for interior design fabrics and soft signage.

The HP Stritch S1000 dye-sublimation textile printer can print either on transfer paper or direct to fabric.

DGI POSEIDON is a new mid-range 1.6 meter dye-sublimation transfer printer for mid-level production companies that need both the capacity for high-volume production and the flexibility to print different designs on multiple printers.

Poseidon can print 80 to 120 sq m/hr at 600 x 600 dpi. It uses the same type of Kyocera industrial printheads used in the industrial DGI HSFT III. This proven technology renables the Poseidon printer to have up to a 118% speed increase over the DGI FT-1608. Poseidon is designed for unattended printing. A new sleep mode enables the user to print jobs without being present. The “SE” model has an additional printhead that enables users to install spot colors or fluorescent inks alongside CMYK.

Poseidon is designed for unattended printing. A new sleep mode enables the user to print jobs without being present. The “SE” model has an additional printhead that enables users to install spot colors or fluorescent inks alongside CMYK.

ROLAND TEXART RT-640M: Roland describes their new Texart™ RT-640M as an intelligent multi-function dye-sublimation printer. Specially formulated Texart SBL3 sublimation inks give users of the Texart RT-640M the freedom to print directly onto coated polyester fabrics or to sublimation transfer paper.

Roland Texart RT-640M can print on coated polyester fabrics or sublimation paper
for fabrics or rigid substrates.

Mimaki Tiger 1800B MkII was shown at ITMA in dye-sublimation configuration. Combining Mimaki’s Japanese expertise in electronics with La Meccanica’s know-how in building solid and robust belt printer bodies with ‘made-in-Italy’ design, the Tiger-1800B MkII enables users to produce extremely high-quality products (up to 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution) at up to 385 sq m/hr.

Mimaki also previewed a direct-to-textile and direct-to-transfer printer as an evolution of the TX300P-1800. The new Mimaki printer will allow multiple sets of inks to be loaded simultaneously, supporting increased fabric range versatility and maximum product variety.

Mimaki direct-to-textile and direct-to-transfer printer

The next ITMA Show is scheduled for June 14-18, 2023 in Milan, Italty.

HP Unveils Stitch Line of Dye-Sublimation Printers for Textile Printing

At spring trade shows in Las Vegas and Munich, HP introduced their new HP Stitch line of wide-format and grand-format inkjet dye-sublimation printers.

The new HP Stitch S series of digital textile printers includes the 64-inch HP Stitch S300, the 64-inch HP Stitch S400, and the 126-inch HP Stitch S1000. The printers are built for easy maintenance and fast, precise color-matching, made possible by a built-in color-measuring device called a spectrophotometer.

About Dye-Sublimation

Inkjet dye-sublimation has become a wildly popular process for printing fabrics for trade-show banners, backlit signs, stage backdrops, sportswear, and fashions. Because the ink colors are fused into the molecules of different types of polyester textiles, the printed fabrics retain their soft feel, vivid colors, and draping characteristics. (In other words, the fabrics don’t “feel” printed.)

Unlike existing wide-format dye-sublimation printers that use piezo printheads, the HP Stitch printers uses thermal printheads heat to eject tiny droplets of ink onto a transfer paper. The printed transfer paper is then fed through a heat press, which uses carefully controlled amounts of heat and pressure to transfer the colors from printed paper to a wide range of dye-sub-compatible polyester fabrics from companies such as Fisher Textiles, Berger Textiles, and Top Value Fabrics.

Even though HP isn’t the first company to introduce wide-format and grand-format dye-sublimation printers, the market for digitally printed textiles is growing quickly.

“Décor and fashion application trends, on demand production and personalization are boosting digital print growth,” says Santi Morera, Head of Graphics Solutions Business at HP. “The digitally printed textiles market is experiencing double-digit annual growth, forecast to reach $5.5 billion by 2023, according to Smithers Pira. We look forward to more digital print transformations being realized with the arrival of the new HP Stitch S series.”

The HP Stitch S300 Printer was designed for newcomers to dye-sublimation printing who will be using it to create short runs of fabrics for soft signage, interior decor, or prototypes of fashion or sportswear designs.

The S300 uses one set of 775-mil cartridges of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black HP Dye-Sublimation Ink cartridges.

HP Stitch S300 wide-format dye-sublimation printer

Unlike dye-sublimation printers that use piezo inkjet printheads, you don’t have to call a service technician to replace a faulty printhead on HP Stitch printers. Because a printer operator can easily replace the thermal inkjet printheads as needed, users will experience less downtime and lower service costs.

“Our experience with HP Stitch S300 has been much easier and faster than other dye sub printers we’ve previously used,” says Teunis Roos of the Color Concepts independent profiling and testing lab for the digital wide-format printing industry. “Most printers require manual action in terms of head maintenance and alignment, but the HP Stitch S300 is more proactive and automated when it comes to performance.”

The HP Stitch S500 Printer for high production sites enables predictable dye sublimation color and less media waste. The symmetrical 2xCMYK printhead configuration and Optical Media Advance Sensor allow you to achieve saturated colors even in the fastest print mode. Inks are available in either 775-mil cartridges or 3-liter cartridges for lower ink costs and unattended print jobs.

The HP Stitch S500 also can hold larger rolls and is equipped for a Tension-Sensing Winder that reduces the risk of errors during overnight operations. The Stitch S500 includes HP Services and cloud-management tools.

HP Stitch S500 wide-format sublimation printer

With HP SmartColor tools, you can distribute print jobs across a fleet of printers and get consistent color from printer to printer. 

The front-loading printer is designed to save floor space and the HP Smart Nozzle Compensation system Help avoid reprints and media waste with 1200 native dpi printheads and HP Smart Nozzle Compensation system, saving up to 50 percent floor space with frontal media loading and a spindle-less system.

The HP Stitch S1000 Superwide Printer is designed for shops that require high levels of productivity when printing textiles for sportswear, fast fashion, backlit and frontlit signage, curtains, and upholstered chairs and sofas.

Designed for simplified operation, high uptime, and unattended printing, the 126-inch printer enables high-production shops to handle short deadlines and seasonal peaks. The HP Stitch S1000 can achieve production speeds up to 2,370 sq. ft./hr.

HP Stitch S1000 superwide dye sublimation printer

The printer delivers continuous high-quality prints on both transfer paper and fabric. Fully automatic maintenance ensures optimal image quality without user intervention. The HP Drop & Dry print zone dryer helps ensure sharp prints even when printing high-density jobs direct to fabric.

The printer holds 10-liter ink supplies and rolls up to 600 lbs. so jobs can run overnight when necessary.

The HP Stitch S1000 includes a built-in spectrophotometer and HP SmartColor tools that make it possible to achieve consistent colors even when jobs are printed on a fleet of HP Stitch printers.

New HP Dye Sublimation Paper

HP has also launched a set of new dye sublimation papers for the new HP Stitch S Printer series. These papers are designed and tested as a system with HP dye sublimation inks and the HP Stitch S Printer series to achieve excellent image quality and color consistency.

The HP Stitch S300 and S500 printers and HP dye-sublimation paper were showcased at the 2019 ISA Sign Expo in April. The HP Stitch S1000 Printer made its debut at the FESPA Global Print Show on May 13.  

Why Digital Textile Printing Is Growing

HP sees plenty of room for growth in the printed textiles market. For one thing, in a world of 7.8 billion citizens, everyone is surrounded with textiles from birth. Of course, only a small fraction of the portion of textiles are printed. Only 10% of the $308 billion worth of printed textiles are printed digitally. But this percentage is accelerating because the growth of e-commerce and digital marketing are transforming how fashions, apparel, and home goods are sold.

Design studios can use the HP Stitch S300 to print prototypes of fashion and sportswear designs.

Not long ago, only big brands and retailers could afford to create and sell apparel. Before digital printing and e-commerce, it took about 100 days for mass-produced garments to go from the design stage to the selling floor of the brick-and-mortar retailers. Designers and buyers had no way of knowing how many copies of a specific design consumers would buy. So unsold excess merchandise was either sold at clearance prices or destroyed.  And the manufacturer of the goods didn’t receive payment until the products were sold.

With digital printing and e-commerce technologies, garments don’t have to be printed, sewn, and delivered until the customers has actually ordered and paid for the garment. Consumers can  shop a marketplace of designs to have printed on whatever type of garment or accessory they choose. So with these new types of business models give consumers more choices, manufacturers a better cash flow, and the ability to reduce waste.

HP envisions the textile business of the future to be on-demand, personalized, intelligent, and circular. Print-on-demand garments can include new types of inks that change the functionality of the apparel. They believe “Textile printing should be accessible to everyone, sustainable, smart, and limitless.”

HP officials said they chose to enter the textile printing market because 60% of the square meters of fabric consumed in the $3.6 billion digital textile printing market is polyester.

Adobe and Datacolor Tools Streamline Digital Design for Textiles

Datacolor®, a global leader in color management technology, is collaborating with Adobe to launch tools to streamline the process of digitally designing prints for fabrics. The collaboration pairs Datacolor’s professional color lookup tool, ColorReaderPRO, with the Adobe Photoshop plug-in: Adobe Textile Designer.

The integration of ColorReaderPRO with Adobe Textile Designer software allows designers to measure color inspiration in the real world and transfer the data to Photoshop automatically via Bluetooth connection.

The Adobe Textile Designer solution and ColorReaderPRO debuted at the ITMA Textile and Garment Technology exhibition in Barcelona, Spain from June 20-26.

“Adobe Textile Designer was conceived to help streamline the print design process,” said Mike Scrutton, director of print technology and strategy for Adobe’s Print & Publishing Business Unit. “We are excited to incorporate the ColorReaderPro into the solution to simplify the process of capturing inspiration color for designers.”

Many designers use Photoshop when starting fabric designs, but with the introduction of Adobe Textile Designer, users can now build and preview repeating patterns, define separations, work with colorways and keep every element editable in Photoshop until a design is print ready.

With this Adobe plugin, designers can use Datacolor ColorReaderPRO to measure any source of color inspiration and translate the color data directly to Photoshop.

“Adobe Photoshop has always been an indispensable tool for designers and brands, and the pairing of our ColorReaderPRO with Adobe Textile Designer opens the door for users to be more creative than ever before,” said Diane Geisler, Vice President of Marketing for Datacolor. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Adobe to help artists and designers streamline the process of designing prints for fabrics, while cutting costs, saving time and increasing overall efficiencies.”

The ColorReaderPRO works seamlessly with third-party color standard libraries, including Color Solutions International’s (CSI) ColorWall™, and brands’ color libraries. This integration offers tremendous time and cost savings in the textile design process by eliminating the need to manually search and match textile color samples with swatches or color codes.

Designers can use Datacolor’s ColorReaderPRO with CSI’s ColorWall library and Adobe Textile Design plug-in for Photoshop to streamline the process of choosing colors for fabrics for fashion and furnishings.

“Finding the correct color can be an inefficient activity in the print design process that can lengthen the production cycle,” said Tim Williams, Marketing Manager, CSI. “Adobe Textile Designer paired with the ColorReaderPRO offers users an efficient means to create colorways, whether using CSI’s 3,700+ ColorWall or selecting from existing Custom colors in their own library.”

VirtualSign Augmented Reality App Helps Sign Buyers Visualize Sign Designs On Site

SAi’s VirtualSign is an augmented reality app that creates a virtual representation of how sign designs will look when installed in real world locations.

Virutal Sign augmented reality app for SAi Flexi software subscribers

Available at no extra cost to SAi Flexi subscribers, the app enables sign and display users to project a customer’s banner or sign onto the side of a building or other space for which it is intended. This makes it easier for customers to visualize a sign design that has been created in SAi Flexi software.

SAi created the app to enable sign and display businesses to secure the go-ahead for projects faster. It has the potential to increase production throughput by improving customer interaction and enhancing the buying process.

SAi VirtualSign can help sign buyers visualized what the designed sign will look like on a wall.

Not only does VirtualSign allow users to visualize signs in real life, but they can also capture and send images directly from the app, making it easier than ever to share creative ideas.

VirtualSign is available to download on iTunes and Google Play

SAi Flexi is all-in-one sign design, print, and cut software for sign and print providers. Subscriptions to the cloud-based software include a range of features for preparing and sending design files to wide-format printers, vinyl cutters, and print-and-cut devices. SAi software is also available in traditionally licensed versions.

PRINT 19 to Recognize RED HOT Technologies

APTech has announced the the return of the RED HOT Technology Recognition Program at PRINT 19 in Chicago (McCormick Place North, October 3-5). The RED HOT Technology Recognition Program highlights “what’s new” on the show floor, by showcasing publishing and printing technology, equipment, or services that have come to market within the past 12 months.

RED HOT Technologies will be recognized in 10 categories:

  • Analog presses and add-on devices
  • Color management, prepress, and pre-media
  • Consumables and substrates
  • Digital production printing devices
  • Imprinting, mailing, shipping and fulfillment
  • Marketing and multi-channel solutions
  • Post-press, specialty, and finishing
  • Sales and management systems
  • Wide-format digital printing devices

Each of the RED HOT Technologies identified at a show may also be eligible to win one of three RED HOT Vanguard Awards:

  • The RED HOT Vanguard Awards recognize products that may be industry game-changers.
  • The RED HOT Collaboration Awards recognize innovative new products that result from a collaboration among different manufacturers.
  • The RED HOT Pioneer Award will be given to a product that is the first of its kind or entirely new to the industry.

“The RED HOT program showcases ‘what’s new’ without judgement,” explains Thayer Long, president of APTech. “The Vanguard Awards recognize technology that breaks new ground, opening new markets and business opportunities that the industry needs.”

Produced by the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech), PRINT 19 will feature an array of printing equipment and technology and 80+ educational sessions including hands-on labs,