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