Why consider Printing on Fabric

The consideration as to whether to take the option of Printing on Fabric or some other substrate is usually governed by the end use, the customers preference and the availability of the technology to make it happen.

The technology may be there but is it commercial and is it readily available? These factors will persuade both the printer and the end user as to whether Printing on Fabric is the favoured route to follow.

Let us consider a situation where we have an end user and a printer considering the typical options for a print job. This may, for example, be for an exhibition stand or a banner display at a point of sale.

Hence the market for digital fabric printing took off. Not only was it the traditional flag and banner markets that were enjoying this development but also the ability to now produce printed fabrics in small volumes – commercially – was now a reality. This rapidly led to growth in other markets such as point of sale, exhibition graphics and architectural applications.

Initially consideration will be given for the location, life expectancy, print design, effect, durability, any environment implications and cost. All these factors will be carefully weighed up and the substrate decided upon.

So now we have to make the decision as to why are we going to do the Printing on Fabric as opposed to other media or substrates such as paper, PVC or vinyl etc. In some situations fabric is just not appropriate or an option but it certainly is an option in far more situations than any or the other media that are available.

Typically fabrics give far more options than any of the other substrates; the options really are as broad and deep as the oceans. They can come in a huge variety of constructions, weight, colours, designs, rigidity and density. There really are very few areas where Printing on Fabric could not be considered.

Having the option of promoting a product on fabric also gives you the option of using different styles of material to freshen up the image and the advertising campaign. Fabrics, uniquely, provide a substrate that is flexible in its handle that allows it to be stretched and can be rigid if desired or soft and pliable if needed…

Fabrics also tick the green and environmental box as they can be recycled. They also can be packed away either on a display frame or on their own as required. This allows them to be used on multiple occasions and can be moved easily from venue to venue without any major creasing or deterioration.

Fabrics are also weatherproof and are resistant to water, sunlight and weathering. So once again this broadens the arena for its applications.

As far as the printing machines are concerned they have now been produced specifically to print on textiles which now gives the printer maximum flexibility and all the options to produce stunning results and in a commercial manner. There really is no reason now why Printing on Fabric should not be an option considered by all printers who supply to the advertising, promotion, block art, theatrical, exhibition and personalised soft furnishing markets.

Article by Chris Drury

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