What is Digital Fabric Printing?

A reactive digital fabric printing bureau, printing on a range of cotton, linen, silk and bamboo – specialising in small, bespoke orders.

What is Digital Fabric Printing?

To put it simply, digital fabric printing is the act of printing digital files on to fabric, with the printing part of the process working much like your desktop inkjet printer. Only, think bigger and where the printinprinted silk fabricg element is only one part of a larger process.

BeFab Be Creative Ltd, Edinburgh

There are a number of different types of Digital Fabric Printing Ink Technologies. Each works on specific fabric types and being best suited to particular purposes and offering varying qualities of print. The type of fabric printing will also dictate both the price and longevity of your printed design.

A simple demonstration of this is the difference between a T-shirt that has a waxy quality to the print design, where the print effectively sits on top of the fabric compared to those where you can feel no difference in the fabric whether it’s printed on or not, and variations in between these.

This diagram demonstrates the 4 basic ink technologies/chemistry’s and the fabrics that they are able to print on. For the purposes of this post we are going to discuss Reactive Dye Digital Fabric Printing as this is what we work with at BeFab Be Creative.

In technologies for digital fabric printing


Reactive Dye Digital Printing is the most versatile of the high end digital printing technologies, with its ability to print onto both silks and plant based materials (eg cotton, linen and bamboo) and where the print has no effect on the handle of the fabric as the dye bonds directly with the fabric fibres. This also means that reactive printing has a greater light and rub fastness than other print technologies making it perfect for apparel and home ware.


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