INKJET PRINTING (DIGITAL PRINTING)
Usually used to print on paper, now are being used to print on textiles. Micro drops of coloured liquid ink are applied through tiny nozzles onto the fabric’s surface. Colour is applied through refillable cartridges. The colour, quantity of colour and location of drops are controlled by a computer. All colours are printed at the same time. Separate tiny nozzles are used for each colour. Generally there are between 4-8 nozzles. Only specific colour dyes can be used, this limits the number of colours that can be used. The droplets are very fine – as many as 720dpi (drops per inch), that the colour is created or mixed right on the fabric. This is similar to the colours produced for magazine photographs, or pixels on computer screens. The inks used enable the printer to print on most textile fabrics. Designers who create patterns on a CAD system can use digital printing to modify repeat size, create different colour combinations and print immediately. Design grading becomes easier when a CAD system is being used.
Two types of ink-jet printers can be used for printing on fabrics:
- Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ)
- Drop on Demand (DOD)
Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ): ejects a continuous stream of dye that is broken into drops for placement on the fabric surface.
Drop on Demand (DOD): uses a stimulus to eject the dye drops from the nozzle.