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Printing on Fabric: Dye Sublimation vs. Direct-to-Fabric Printers


Printing on Fabric: Dye Sublimation vs. Direct-to-Fabric Printers

Not all fabrics are created equal, which means the type of printer needed for any given fabric printing project depends on the fabric you plan to use. Certain materials favor certain ink chemistries. Luckily, in the world of industrial printing, these details are dialed in and there are different fabric printers available for various applications.

What Kind of Fabric Printer Do I Need?

Here, we’ll compare dye sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing for custom banners, flags, clothing, lightbox graphics, light shades and more. Ultimately, the necessary machine will depend on your vision. Whether it’s cotton, silk, nylon, or polyester that you plan to use, it’s equally important the correct inks are employed to ensure quality, longevity and durability in your final product.

Dye-Sublimation Printers

There’s a good chance that your shower curtain or favorite sports jersey was created using polyester and the dye-sublimation printing process. Polyester is an integral part of the textile market and one of the most popular materials used for soft signage at trade shows, airports and malls. Top dye-sub fabric printers on the market include the Epson F9370, Epson F7200, Mimaki TS300, Mutoh VJ-1638, and Roland XT-640.

Direct-to-Fabric Printers

When it comes to non-polyester fibers, a different ink chemistry is necessary so you can print directly into fabrics without having to transfer from paper. Products such as flags, that require deep ink penetration, benefit from this direct application. A few top-of-the line direct-to-fabric printers are the Mimaki TX300P-1800, Mimaki TX300P-1800B, and Mutoh VJ-1938TX.

Whether you’re designing for decorative, commercial, or creative purposes, Duggal specialists work with you to transform your ideas from Vision to Visuals. Watch the video below for an inside look at the Duggal fabric printing process using eco-friendly, water-based inks and the latest Mimaki dye-sublimation printers.