By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
Traditional ink sets designed for textile printing include acid, disperse, pigment, and reactive. All four ink options have their own advantages and disadvantages, which were discussed in the first part of this article series. Here, we include available textile ink sets by vendor.
Available Ink Sets
Eastman Kodak Company offers the KODACOLOR EDTG and RDTG Series of inks for direct to fabric printing on cotton, cotton blends, and polyester fabrics—either finished garments or roll fabrics. The water-based pigment inks are ideal for printers employing piezoelectric printheads designed for production printing, however they are suitable for devices used for high-quality sampling and strike offs. Both EDTG and RDTG are designed for compatibility with specific printhead makes/models, Epson and Xaar for EDTG and Fujifilm and Ricoh for RDTG.
Epson manufactures its Genesta ink portfolio for use with the complete Epson Textile Solution, which includes the printer, printhead, and pre- and post-treatments. The printer part of this solution is the Epson Monna Lisa, which is equipped with a vacuum-packed and degassed ink management system designed to obtain maximum efficiency and ensure no ink is wasted. Genesta inks are available in reactive, disperse, acid, and pigment options, all of which are granted the ECO PASSPORT certification by OEKO-TEX. The reactive iteration of the Genesta ink set is also approved by ECOCERT, certifier for the Global Organic Textile Standard.
INX Digital’s TXKC pigment ink set is formulated for Kyocera printheads. It does not require pre- or post-treatment, but it is recommended for maximum quality. Eight colors plus white are available. Its four dye-sublimation (dye-sub) ink sets include DT8, DT8 Pro, DTK, and DTF; designed for Epson, Epson, Kyocera, and Fujifilm printheads, respectively. DT8 inks are used for printing directly on fabrics and transfer paper, they do not require post-wash. DT8 Pro and DTK inks are used for printing on transfer papers, available in extra CMYK and fluorescent colors. DTF inks are used for printing directly on fabrics and transfer papers with no post-wash required.
Kornit Digital specially formulated NeoPigment Robusto pigment-based ink for its direct to fabric print systems. The company’s printing methodology combines the use of pigments rather than dyes in conjunction with a proprietary binding agent and fixation on the fly, allowing for printing in a single step. The printer houses an integrated drying and curing system to offer a single-step textile decoration solution. Designed with high wash and rub durability, NeoPigment Robusto offers a superior retail-quality product with a soft hand feel, increased color gamut, vibrant colors, and the ability to work with multiple types of fabrics.
Mimaki USA, Inc. offers AC400 acid ink for its TX300P-1800 and TX300P-1800B printers in CMYK, light black, blue, orange, and red. It features color vibrancy on protein and polyamide fabrics. For direct disperse inks, Mimaki provides the high-energy direct disperse ink DD400, which offers an expanded color gamut and increased colorfastness. It is compatible with the Mimaki TX300P-1800 and Mimaki TX300P-1800B printers. Mimaki’s reactive ink sets—Rc500, Rc300, and MLRc500—are part of one complete, compact solution that includes the printer, pre-treatment coating devices, and post-treatment steaming and washing machines. Tp400 pigment ink is used in the Mimaki TX300P-1800, TX300P-1800B, and TX300P-1800MKII printers. It offers the ability to print on uncoated natural fiber textiles. Mimaki also offers disperse transfer inks including SB54, SB411, SB310, SB610, and MLSB510.
Roland DGA Corporation designed its Texart SBL3 dye-sub inks for its Texart series of printers including the RT-640, RT-640M, and XT-640. The inks are available in CMYK, orange, violet, light cyan, light magenta, pink fluorescent, and yellow fluorescent. The water-based inks feature a fast drying time. Dense blacks offer sharp details and deep shadows. Roland also offers its TPG textile pigment inks for the Roland VersaSTUDIO BT-12 direct to garment printer. Available in CMYK, the inks are ideal for fabrics with a minimum of 50 percent cotton and offer a shelf life of 18 months.
Sensient Imaging Technologies provides Xennia Amethyst reactive inks available for both Kyocera and Ricoh printheads. Available in CMYK, red, orange, blue, and gray, they offer significant benefits in ink consumption, color reliability, and batch-to-batch consistency. Sensient’s ElvaJet line includes a range of inks designed for sublimation. ElvaJet Opal SC and Opal SB are designed for dye-sub transfer printing using Kyocera and Epson printheads, respectively. ElvaJet Coral is a direct sublimation ink that allows for printing directly to polyester without using a post wash process. Xennia Agate is the company’s acid ink designed for use in Kyocera printheads in CMYK, red, orange, blue, and gray. Xennia Emerald is a pigment-based ink used in both Epson and Kyocera printheads available in CMYK, orange, violet, green, and gray.
A number of vendors offer the four traditional ink sets found in textile printing—acid, disperse, pigment, and reactive. Many are manufactured with a specific printer in mind, while others are designed for specific printheads. There is no overall solution for textile printing, it is a multi-faceted process that must be chosen based on user needs.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, A Four Ink Primer.
Jun2020, Digital Output