|Thermotransfer sublimation printing|
|Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00|
Eclipse has expanded its offer by thermotransfer sublimation printing products. This technique is mainly used to print on textiles, primarily polyester-based ones. This is a complex printing technique, consisting of two distinct steps - the first step involves printing of thermotransfer paper, the second involves the transfer of the print from the paper onto the fabric.
Eclipse makes use of its wide screen printing capacity to print the transfer paper, with technology adjusted to this printing method - special sublimation inks are used, and printed as a mirror image. The main printing machine used for printing transfer papers is the 3-automatic 4 x 2 m Svecia SM Jumbo, which had been obtained with a view to this kind of application. However, other machines are also used to print transfer papers, mainly when smaller formats or larger runs are printed.The transfer process itself is based purely on chemical and physical reactions. The transfer paper is heated to approximately 210° Centigrade - at such temperatures, the sublimation inks vaporise, and are then captured by the polyester fibres of the fabric, which is pressed on the transfer paper at high pressure.
This printing technique is used in the textile industry as well - fashion, decorative fabric, as well as upholstery fabric for furniture is made by thermal transfer. The sublimation paper, however, is made not by screen, but by gravure printing in rolls. The transfer process is then realised in a "roll to roll" mode, and high performance calenders are used.
Eclipse uses transfer technology mainly to manufacture textiles for advertising - flags, sunshades, umbrellas, tablecloths, covers, and for making sports dresses, shirts and other apparel. To facilitate such production, Eclipse has invested in a Monti Antonio Speedsport 97 combined transfer calender, which enables a number of working modes (from sheets, from roll and sheets, and from rolls), making its performance and versatility satisfactory for this type of production. The machine, made by the leading Italian manufacturer, has a working width of 200 cm, and a 100 cm diameter transfer drum. In practice, this enables the printing on two meters wide and almost infinitely long pieces of textile. Thanks to having obtained this equipment and perfected the technology of sublimation paper printing, Eclipse has significantly expanded its possibilities and offer range in the area of textile printing.
In addition to the existing option of direct printing of textiles on digital machines, transfer printing has been added with all its advantages – high productivity, lower unit prices at higher print runs in comparison with digital printing, excellent penetration of the ink needed particularly for flags viewed from both sides, long durability of colour, and the possibility to use raster printing and direct colours at excellent quality, meaning an edge over direct printing of textile by silk screen technology.