What are the best methods for duplicating / screen printing / digitizing a hand-painted silk garment?

Digital production in general is absolutely perfect for small, bespoke runs. Which means that digital printing on fabric is perfect if you’re looking to get anywhere between a small test swatch and a few hundred metres printed of your digital print fabric Although digital print fabric is a cost effective way of printing smaller volumes, it is not always the most cost effective way of printing very high volumes of one design. Therefore, if you are looking to print nearer 1,000 metres + of your design you might be best off going for rotary screen printing. In which case, we recommend you talk to the gang at majestictextile The other brilliant thing about custom digital print fabric is that there is no limit on the amount of colours you can use per design, because unlike some high-volume printing methods, it doesn’t require plates to be made up per colour, but simply works much like your standard desktop inkjet printer (only quite a bit bigger!)

The list below is made up of print bureaus specifically set up to cater for small-medium orders of up to around 50ms. It is simply so exciting to us to see that there is now such a great selection (and more joining their ranks all the time), because it not only allows many of us mere mortals access to services and technology usually reserved only for large companies, but also because for you designers and makers out there it is just making it easier and easier to get your products produced locally, right here in the UK.digital print fabric with reactive dyes vs. pigment inks There are two ways to digital print fabric onto natural fibres, with reactive dyes or with pigment inks.

With reactive dyes the colour goes right the way through the fabric, ‘dyeing’ the fibres. This means you can see the design on both sides of your fabric, which might be something you really need for a particular project. Reactive dyes tend to have a very good wash fastness and colour vibrancy, though are less great with light resistance. These characteristics tend to mean that reactive dyes are great for garments, as they can withstand frequent washing at high temperatures, but are not always the best choice for homewares that are likely to be in the sunlight a lot – eg curtain linings.digital print fabric with reactive dyes tends to be a bit more expensive per metre than when you digital print fabric with pigment inks. This is because after printing there there is a whole process of washing, steaming and drying necessary to rid the fabric of excess dye. This after care means that reactive dyes are not as eco-friendly as pigment inks, as the process uses a lot of water and electricity.

Pigment inks, on the other hand, sit on the surface of the fabric, meaning your design will not show through on both sides. It is a water-free process, with no washing, steaming or drying required. Instead, after printing the fabric is ‘fixed’ or baked for a couple of minutes at high temperatures, activating the binders in the ink. The process of digital print fabric using pigment inks is a lot easier than reactive dyes and this is reflected in the fact that per metre it is usually substantially cheaper and it is generally considered to be a bit better to mother nature. However, the limitations of pigment inks are that they are still do not quite have the same level of wash fastness and colour vibrancy of other printing methods. Because they sit on the surface of your fabric pigment inks tend to make your fabric stiffer and more crisp. This characteristic and the fact that pigment inks have excellent light fastness, tends to make them really popular within the home


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