Functional Ink Innovator Develops Anti-Microbial Face Mask for General Use

Liquid X, a manufacturer of functional metallic inks for e-textiles, is using their proprietary, OEKO-TEX certified particle-free silver ink to create the ComforTeX line of washable, reusable, and comfortable face masks. Designed for general use, the anti-microbial face masks remove over 95% of the tiny droplets and particles suspended in the air (aerosols).

Each mask includes a pocket for the SecruiTeX filter insert which features an antimicrobial coating for extra protection against micrororganisms. The coating is produced with Liquid X metallic inks that have inherent antimicrobial properties.

Over the past year, Liquid X has been using their inks to develop smart textiles for the automotive, aviation, and medical industries. Because the the company’s metallic inks use silver, zinc, and copper metals that have inherent anti-microbial properties, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Liquid X to begin offering non-conductive textiles that would help limit the spread of the virus. The Liquid X particle inks conformally coat the textile to keep pathogens from growing on the fabric.

A scanning electronic microscope (SEM) captured this 250X magnification of a woven polyester fabric coated with Liquid X’s particle-free ink. The ink uniformly coats each thread, creating smooth, flexible textiles that offer conductive properties or inhibit the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms.

“Typically our inks functionalize a textile to create an electronic device that can bend and flex in ways that traditional electronic devices cannot,” explains Beth Vasy, vice president of operations at Liquid X. “We can also use derivatives of our ink formulations to create low-cost, even transparent, anti-microbial coatings for high-touch surfaces, medical gowns, hospital curtains, automotive upholstery, and more.”


In June, Liquid X received the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification for their silver ink. The world-renowned OEKO-TEX label lets consumers know that non-woven polyester textiles treated with the ink have been tested to be free of carcinogens and heavy metals and are safe for contact with skin. Liquid X earned the strictest, baby-safe rating.

“With the new OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification, our inks can now enable wearable applications that require contact with skin and the ability to withstand sweat and/or saliva,” said Bill Babe, sales and marketing manager at Liquid X. For example, medical-device manufacturers can use the ink to design wearable electronics for health and wellness monitoring.

During the pandemic, “We initially started making masks and antimicrobial filter inserts for our employees, friends, and familes as a way to provide an increased level of protection,” says Vasy. The feedback about the breathability and comfort of the masks was overwhelmingly positive, so Liquid X decided to offer the masks to the public: “We want to provide a way for people to protect themselves when the other person isn’t wearing a mask.”

Liquid X CEO Greg Babe wears the ComforTeX face mask.

Adult-size masks costs $5.99 and come with one anti-microbial insert. A 10-pack of additional inserts can be purchased for $10.99. Visit:

The antimicrobial insert should be removed before the mask is washed. A replacement insert should be used after every three washes of the mask. The mask can be washed up to 10 times.

About Liquid X

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Liquid X is an advanced material manufacturer that can take an application for functional metallic inks from prorotype to production. Liquid X partners with manufacturers within the electronics industry to develop and print functional components such as sensors, heating elements, and smart textiles. They use additive manufactuing techniques to take an application from concept to commercialization. Visit:

Joint Venture Leads to Durable, Flexible, Washable E-Textiles for Smart Garments

Powercast Corporation and Liquid X have teamed up to enable cost-effective manufacturing of durable, flexible, washable e-textiles that could be wirelessly recharged. Using e-textiles made with printed electronics, garment manufacturers could embed battery-powered health and wealth features, movement monitoring, or LED-based illumination directly into garments.

Liquid X and Powercast showcased a wirelessly rechargeable smart athletic shirt prototype at CES in January 2020. The shirt illuminates using printed electronics, embedded power harvesting technology, and LEDs powered over the air up to 10 feet away from the wireless transmitter.

Unlike smart garments that use snap-on electronics and battery packs that must be detached before the garment is washed, the electronics made with these e-textiles could be washed without the extra battery-removal step

Using Liquid X’s proprietary ink technology, manufacturers can print circuitry directly onto a garment, add Powercast’s wireless power technology and a battery, and seal it all into the garment during the manufacturing process.

First, circuitry is printed on the fabric using Liquid X’s proprietary particle-free ink, including Powercast’s RF wireless receiving antenna.

Next, Powercast’s Powerharvester® RF wireless power receiver chip, a battery, and other components are mounted onto the printed traces.

Finally, an encapsulant provides a high strength waterproof bond to seal in all of the electronics.

To recharge the battery, consumers simply place a Powercast RF transmitter in the closet or drawer where they store their smart garment. It transmits RF energy over the air to the RF receiver embedded in the wearable, which then converts it to direct current (DC) to charge the battery.

About Powercast: Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors. For more information:

About Liquid X: Liquid X is an advanced manufacturer of functional metallic inks. The company partners with manufacturers in the electronics industry to develop and print functional components for devices such as sensors, heating elements, and smart textiles. Using proprietary particle-free inks, printing capabilities and technical expertise, Liquid X takes an application from concept to commercialization using additive manufacturing techniques. For more information:

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.”

Epson Introduces Next-Generation SureColor Dye-Sublimation Inkjet Printer

Epson America has introduced its latest SureColor dye sublimation inkjet printer for polyester textiles and apparel. The new 64-inch Epson SureColor® F9370 delivers industrial-level production with speeds of up to 1,169 square feet/hour. It is designed to support high-speed, economical medium- to large-volume dye-sublimation transfer printing for applications such as fabric production, customized promotional products, soft signage, cut-and-sew sports apparel, and home decor applications.

Epson SureColor F9370 dye sublimation inkjet printer
Epson SureColor F9370

“The dye-sublimation industry is rapidly expanding into new verticals and Epson is dedicated to being at the forefront of our client’s production needs,” said Tim Check, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America. “When developing the SureColor F9370, our engineers aimed to increase performance, efficiency, and reliability. Their efforts resulted in a production print speed increase of up to 75 percent, making it one of the fastest printers on the market in this category.”

The SureColor F9370 received a 2017 SGIA Product of the Year Award in the Roll-to-Roll Daye Sublimation on Textile category was will be displayed at the 2017 SGIA Expo October 10-12 in New Orleans.

Features for Performance and Reliability

The roll-to-roll printer features dual Epson PrecisionCore® TFP® printheads and Epson’s UtraChrome® DS dye-sublimation ink with High-Density Black ink for exceptional color saturation and high-contrast.

A new integrated fabric wiping system cleans the printheads to ensure reliable output quality and continuous production.

The highly accurate roll-to-roll media support system features advanced auto paper-tension control to ensure the consistent movement of the paper through the printer, regardless of the weight of the paper or the shape or diameter of the core of the paper roll. The new media-feed system supports heavier media rolls and transfer paper as thin as 40 gsm.

The high-capacity ink tanks hold up to 3 liters of ink per color to ensure longer print runs without operator intervention.

The high accuracy take-up reel supports efficient transfer to the calendar heat press that will be used to transfer the dye-sublimation inks on the transfer papers onto the textiles.

Turnkey System

The Epson SureColor F9370 is sold as a turnkey solution, with Wasatch SoftRIP TX and ICC profiles for use with Epson DS transfer papers.

Wasatch SoftRIP TX is a complete layout and print management program with features specifically for textile production. It includes powerful color-management technology as features such as step-and-repeat layout, a color atlas and color neighorhood spot-color matching, and color database CxF support.

Epson Dye-Sublimation Transfer Papers have a unique coating technology that allows for heavy ink loads with low cockling and superior clarity and sharpness. The papers are available three types:

  • Multipurpose is optimized for transferring designs onto multiple substrates, including mouse pads, T-shirts, ceramics, etc.
  • Textile-Adhesive is designed for high-end fabric and apparel production
  • Production is a lightweight paper for roll-to-roll printing

With the Epson Control Dashboard, you can remotely run cleanings, check ink levels, update firmware, and download new media profiles for your computer.

The Epson SureColor F9370 replaces the SureColor F9200 to join Epson’s complete line of SureColor F-Series printers, including the entry-level 44-inch SureColor F6200 and the 64-inch SureColor 7200 for short- to medium-volume dye-sublimation transfer printing.

The Epson SureColor F9370 is now available through Epson Professional Imaging resellers. For more information, visit



Epson Digital Couture Event Shows Fashion Designers What’s Possible

Epson continues to educate fashion designers, fashion entrepreneurs, and established brands about what’s possible with digitally printed textiles. Two days before Fashion Week 2017 begins in New York City, Epson will host its third annual Epson Digital Couture Project event on Feb. 7.

In addition to showcasing the works of designers from North America and Latin America, the 2017 Epson Digital Couture Project will highlight how Epson Group companies such as Robustelli and For.Tex are helping transform Como, Italy from a center of silk-making into a city that is leading the charge in state-of-the-art technology for fashion. An array of high-quality Robustelli-Epson textile samples will be displayed during the event.

Sharing Textile Stories

Supporting the theme of the 2017 Digital Couture Project “Textile Stories,” 13 design teams from North and Latin America will show how they are leveraging Epson’s textile printing solutions. They will emphasize the limitless design possibilities that advanced digital imaging technology has fueled.

“Our goal with the Digital Couture event is to spotlight the power and potential that digital printing technology plays in the apparel industry,” said Keith Kratzberg, president and CEO, Epson America, Inc. “From haute couture to sports team apparel, Epson technology gives designers and apparel manufacturers the digital platform necessary to launch the next great design.”

Each designer or design team will tell a story through their collection via textiles created with Epson dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing technology. Attendees will see how each designer created fabrics that convey their signature style.

The featured designers and design teams include: Vanesa Krongold (Argentina); Daniel Barreira (Brazil); Sarah Stevenson (Canada); Daniela Hoehmann (Chile); Ricardo Pava, (Columbia): Daniel Del Barco and Sonia Chang (Costa Rica); Carlos de Moya (Dominican Republic); Miguel Moyano, Alex Polo, and Maria Susana Rivadeneira Simball (Ecuador); Leonardo Mena (Mexico); Susan Wagner (Peru); Lindsay Degan (U.S.); Sarah Richards (U.S.); and Kanbar College of Design Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia University

At the Digital Couture Project, Epson’s global president, Minoru Usui will outline Epson’s continued vision for the role that digital technology will play in fashion. A panel of fashion and apparel industry experts will discuss market trends and the role of technology in fashion. The panel discussion will be moderated by Anthony Cenname, vice president and publisher at WSJ Magazine.

“For the third year in a row, the Epson Digital Couture event showcases how digital textile printing helps designers expand their vision for creativity without limits,” said Agustin Chacon, Epson America’s vice president of international marketing. “The future of fashion and technology is in the process of being shaped, and we are excited to be at the forefront of the industry – providing designers with printing solutions that offer a host of new and exciting opportunities.”

Introducing the Robustelli-Epson Brand

Epson and Robustelli have been working together since 2003, when Robustelli was developing its Monna Lisa series of digital textile printers. Epson acquired the company in June 2016 after acquiring For.Tex in 2015. For.Tex is a trusted provided of dyes, thickeners, and treatment agents.

The Epson Group plans to bring the advantages of digital textile printing to more customers around the world.

“New technologies from Epson are allowing designers to push the boundaries of color and quality while simultaneously giving creative teams incredible versatility and productivity. With the market for worldwide digital textile printing expected to grow annually at almost 25 percent, this is a very exciting opportunity,” Kratzberg added.

Epson Digital Textile Printing Solutions

Epson’s dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technologies give entrepreneurs and established fashion brands a new level of creative freedom by enabling them to print on a variety of fabrics, including cotton and synthetic fibers.

The Epson SureColor® F-Series dye-sublimation printing technology gives designers an accessible means to bring their ideas and inspiration to life. The Epson UltraChrome® DS inkset in the SureColor F-Series includes an all new high density Black ink. This inkset  delivers denser blacks, better tonal transitions and grayscale, plus rich colors and smooth gradations onto fabric.

The Wasatch SoftRIP workflow included with the SureColor F Series has specialized features for textile and fashion printing. The workflow enables designers to create and print original designs with greater flexibility and control.

The Epson SureColor F2000 Series direct-to-garment (DTG) inkjet printers can print digital images, art, and designs directly onto garments made from fabrics ranging from 100 percent cotton to 50/50 fabric blends.

The Epson SureColor F2000 Standard Edition is a high-speed CMYK-only model and the White Edition offers the added benefit of white ink for printing on dark or color fabrics.

Fashion designers and professionals interested in learning more about Epson’s digital printing technologies can visit For more information about Digital Couture, visit

Conference Explains Why Future of Digital Textile Printing is Now

Digitally printed textiles are widely used in retail and event graphics and athletic apparel. But with ongoing advances in inks, fabrics, and equipment, manufacturers are beginning to use digitally print textiles for a much broader range of applications, including fashions, furnishings, and accessories.

To learn what’s next for digital textile printing, check out Digital Textile Printing: The Future is Now. This two-day conference will be held December 6-7, 2016 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, North Carolina.

Sponsored by SGIA and AATCC

The conference is sponsored jointly by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and the Association of Textile, Apparel, and Materials Professionals (AATCC). The complementary membership bases of these two associations are helping drive the advancement of digital textile printing technologies.

SGIA serves printing professionals who want to use the latest digital printing technologies to grow their businesses or expand into new market segments. Many SGIA members come from screen-printing businesses that have been involved with textile printing and garment decoration for years.


AATCC originated as the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists but has expanded to serve industry professionals from: textile, apparel and home-goods manufacturers; textile testing laboratories; consumer and retail organizations; state and federal government agencies; and colleges and universities. AATCC is internationally recognized for its standard methods of testing fibers and fabrics for performance characteristics such as colorfastness, appearance, soil release, dimensional change, and water resistance.

Conference Speakers

Experts from a variety of backgrounds will explain what’s involved in digitally printing textiles that are beautiful, functional, colorfast, and compliant with regulations for safety and sustainable production. Speakers will include experts involved fabric and ink research, digital textile printing and finishing systems, certifications and standards, color management, design, and surface imaging education.

Johnny Shell of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association will provide an overview of digital textile printing technology. He will cover existing digital textile printing platforms and their costs, capabilities, and limitations. He will also look at potentially disruptive platforms that are starting to come online.

David Clark of Huntsman Corporation will outline the different ink chemistries used in digital textile printing and the fastness (durability) of colors on textiles.

Dave Brewer, chief technology officer of the Image Options screen-printing firm, will address the basic fundamentals of color and how to consistently achieve the right color on fabric graphics and textiles.

Steve Aranoff of Mikkelsen Converting Technologies will discuss how finishing innovations such as the VersaTech are making it easier to handle heavy rolls of fabric and improve quality and overall throughput.

Ben Mead of Hohenstein Institute USA research and testing lab and OEKO-TEX USA, will discuss how to know if the inks and other chemicals used in digital textile printing will meet the sustainability requirements of your customers.

Diana Wyman of AATCC will explain the importance of quality assurance testing for printed textiles. She will focus on selecting test methods, understanding test methods, and making decisions based on those results.

Harold S. Freeman of the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University will discuss research that will lead to the next generation of disperse dyes for inkjet inks.

Yi Ding of the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University will discuss research that compared the properties of pigment-based and disperse dye-based inksets on a polyester substrate.

Katelyn Lee of Cotton Incorporated will discuss a project that is evaluating the pretreatment formulations to improve the color yield and color development of reactive dyes digitally printed onto 100 percent cotton fabrics.

Xingyu Li of the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University will discuss research that explored best practices in preparing polyester woven fabric for direct digital printing. He will explain fabric factors (processes and materials) that will contribute to the quality and efficiency of digital printing.

Hitoshi Ujiie of The Center of Excellence for Surface Imaging at Philadelphia University will talk about the key role of digital textile printing in the emerging design field of surface imaging.

Carrie Yates of Cotton Incorporated will explain how the product development team at the Cotton Incorporated Research Center is developing fabrics from cotton fiber to the finished product. This presentation will highlight how Cotton Incorporated is taking digital printing to another level by fusing techniques such as laser etching and novel dyeing and finishing methods.

Steve Smith, of the DPInnovations software company will explain how an established textile printing company with a traditional B2B business model developed an online presence that enables all types of customers to submit jobs directly to their digital textile printing equipment.

Gert Davis of the Spoonflower digital textile printing service will discuss how online creative communities, advances in imaging technologies, and on-demand printing can deliver a more collaborative, environmentally sustainable, and diverse textile industry.

Fashion designer Alexander Julian will share some of the lessons he learned since he first began exploring digital printing in 1990. He will explain how technology has shaped his vision and enabled his business.

Mark Sawchak of Expand Systems will explain why companies of all sizes are interested in implementing a digital workflow to bring more printed products to market faster. He will discuss companies moving forward with digital textile printing technologies and how it is re-engineering their supply chains.

View the full program details here. Register before November 21 to qualify for early-bird pricing. For more details and registration information visit: