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Digital printing on fabrics

Digital print pigmentary is one of the ways of obtaining patterns on natural plant materials: cotton, linen, viscose. The previous article talks about others printing methods on fabrics.

Digital printing consists in applying directly to the material several colors at the same time ink. The print heads have a very high precision, making it possible to obtain rich shades color and tonal transitions. Such differentiation and detailing of the pattern is not possible in the case of traditional printing.

In pigment printing it is used ecological water-soluble pigments. Preparation of fabrics and knitted fabrics for printing does not require chemical treatmentas in the case of reactive printing. Moreover, printing is possible and cost-effective only in the case of pigmented printing minimum quantities: even only 0.5 m! That's why the House of Cotton store offers a selection of over 1800 designs on 5 different types of fabric. We print everything to orderonly when the customer chooses a given pattern and material, in accordance with the rule #zerowaste. Otherwise our warehouse would have to be gigantic! And completely non-ecological 😉

After the material is printed, a phase follows fixing the print with high temperature. In the video below, you will see what pigment printing looks like:

Applying pigment

Pigment printing is applied to the fabric pigment layers of the appropriate color. The darker the pattern, with the darker the background, the more more pigment must be applied to obtain a deep color.

Therefore, the darker the pattern, the more noticeable the pigment layer. Depending on the type of material, the pigment layer will behave slightly differently:

- in case of textiles (premium cotton i.e. cotton satin and thick premium cotton i.e. decorative fabric) the layer is practically imperceptibleworks like fabric works

- in case of not very stretchy, thick knitwear (like brushed sweatshirt), the pigment layer will be in a little stiffen the material, if it is a dark print

- in case of thin knitwear (like single jersey), the pigment layer will stiffen the knitted fabric a bit more for dark pattern and background

- in the case of knitted or crocheted fabrics highly stretchy (how viscose knit), the pigment layer will be felt preferably if it is a dark patternbecause it will not work as hard as knitted fabric when fully stretched. We advise you to sew clothes that fit, but not very stretched in the case of viscose knitted fabric with a dark pattern or on a dark background.

Color reproduction from the monitor

In digital printing, patterns are designed on a computer. You watch them on your monitor screen when you decide to buy fabric. Both in the case of a photo showing the pattern itself and a photo of the printed material, the shade will always be slightly different than it really is.

This is due to several factors that I describe and show in the following video:

In summary, actual and screen content will differ due to the following:

  • Your monitor probably isn't calibrated and you see a different shade than I did when designing and preparing the pattern for printing
  • The shade on the monitor (even calibrated) will always be slightly different than on the printout and this applies to printing on everything, not only on fabrics
  • The shade will be slightly different also due to the fact that the monitor is there backlit and it displays colors differently than we see them on objects in daylight, and we see them differently in artificial light.

The perceived difference in shades will be smaller in case of bright patterns and patterns on a white background, a bigger for dark patterns on dark or saturated backgrounds. 

Order for a trial

Therefore, if getting exactly the shade you dreamed of is crucial for you, or you want to be sure that the material will not be stiff to the touch, I encourage you to order first to the test 0.5 mb and check if it is what you mean.