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Paying Attention to Digital Textile Printing

(December 2005) posted on Thu Jan 26, 2006

Digital equipment probably won't replace screen printing in the garment industry, but the time may come when adding a direct-to-garment inkjet to your shop makes sense. Ukena explains how to determine when you might benefit the most from direct-to-garment inkjet technology.

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By Mike Ukena

As a person dedicated to the screen-printing industry and textile printing in particular, I have watched the development of digital printers closely. When I made the crossover from shop owner to the supply side, I found that I had a lot more time to study, experiment, and generally look at what was available to printers. I was amazed by how much I had missed along the way. Sure, I had caught the major technology issues, like retensionable screen frames, a new generation of automatic presses, and the newest white inks. But I really missed the more subtle changes and ideas that could have possibly helped my business and made me more effective.

As a small example, I owned a shop that could have benefited greatly from a systematic approach to four-color-process printing. I didn't have enough time to give it any thought. As a result, we always struggled with process printing, and it always took more time than it should have. When I got to the supply side, I had the time to delve into the complexities of the subject and was able to really fine tune the procedures and techniques to make process printing fun


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