Digital printing on fabric: how to have a continuous and low-cost process

Digital printing on fabric is a trend that has been growing in the industrial sector in recent years. With constant evolution and adaptation to digitalization, this has become an indispensable solution to guarantee quality, competitive advantage and compliance with consumer demands.

With this in mind, in this text we have gathered everything you need to know about this technology, as well as tips on how to have a continuous and low-cost process in your industry. Check it out!

Importance of digital printing on fabric in the current context

Digital printing on fabric is a solution resulting from the constant change brought about by Industry 4.0. Digitization and technology have started to be used as tools that allow increased productivity, in addition to reducing costs and rework.

In an increasingly competitive scenario, it is necessary to stand out in the market by focusing on differences. The Brazilian Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry (Abit) points to revenue of R$161 billion with investment of R$4.5 billion in 2020.

1.91 million tons of parts were also produced in the 24.6 thousand formal production units across the country.

Added to this, there are constant changes in consumer behavior and preferences. According to research by Dessault Systèmes, cited by G1 portal, 83% of them want their products to be personalized to suit their needs. Furthermore, they are willing to pay, on average, more than 25% more for customization.

In this context, it is possible to consider the research by the international consultancy Smithers Pira, The Future of Digital Textile Printing for 2023, cited by the Terra portal. The results point to around R$10 billion being moved by digital textile printing in 2018 alone. The estimate is that this number will double in 2023, reaching R$20.63 billion.

And from 2013 to 2018, the report also reported that the volume of printed fabrics reached 1.16 billion m², and could reach the incredible amount of 2.7 billion m2 in 2023.

This panorama of the current context, both in the sector and in technology, only reinforces the importance of digital printing. This is because, by adopting this solution, your industry will meet consumer demands and develop a competitive advantage. Which, consequently, will directly affect the financial health of the business.

After all, what are the main characteristics of digital printing on fabric?

digital printing on fabric

This is a method that is being increasingly adopted in the sector. The solution uses different techniques to repeatedly transfer colorful designs and different effects onto fabrics.

According to an article from the Future Print Fair, there are three main systems for digital printing on fabric: sublimation, that with reactive dyes and acids; and with pigmented inks.

It should be noted, however, that everyone can produce prints of different sizes. What only changes is the equipment required to correspond to the peculiarities of each process.

In the first, printing is carried out with disperse dyes in order to apply them to the polyester fibers. According to the Fair, this is the cheapest and simplest technology on the market, and is widely used by smaller companies. This is because there is no need to use water.

The second performs printing on cellulosic fibers, such as cotton, viscose and linen, using reactive inks. As well, it can also be applied to mixed cotton, polyester and artificial fabrics made from recovered cellulose and polyamide fibers.

While acid dyes are used in animal fibers, polyamide, silk and wool. The processes require greater water consumption and effluent treatment, with roll-to-roll printing. In addition to requiring larger and more expensive installations.

Finally, the third and final system corresponds to the use of organic, nano-dispersed pigment paints. Application occurs on cotton, viscose, ramie and linen, mixed fibers, artificial fibers, polyester and polyamide.

This is a cheaper solution than the previous one, even with 2 and 3 meter equipment. It is recommended for small businesses as it requires little water and less effluent treatment.

How to ensure a low-cost production process

Considering the scenario presented, we have put together a list of Delta machines that guarantee quality, continuous process and low cost for your production.

Digital Print Preparator

The PID100 Digital Print Preparator – iConcept Print is a unique Delta machine. This is an innovative solution for the country for the pre-treatment phase.

It is recommended for low-cost continuous processes and for processing small batches, carrying out roll-to-roll processing more quickly. In addition to facilitating the application of the primer and being able to be used in the preparation of different compounds.

The Preparator guarantees vivid colors, high-resolution images and greater wash resistance. Furthermore, with automated drying control, it ensures a higher quality standard.


digital printing on fabric

The Sublimation Calender CTM450 – iConcept Print works on rolls or cut pieces, allowing standardization and automation.

The solution’s distinguishing feature is the heating system that guarantees a uniform temperature with greater use of the circumference of the thermal cylinder.

Calandra allows productivity, quality and profitability for industrial heat transfer processes.

It may also have optional accessories such as:

  • Entrance table;
  • Input unwinder;
  • Anti-static bar;
  • Parts conveyor belt;
  • Output winder and aligner.

The machinery has 100% Nomex felt and high durability, and adjustments for size, temperature and speed. As well as recipe configuration via HMI, heating system with automatic start and automatic cooling stop. As opções de trabalho são rolo/rolo, peça/rolo ou peça/peça.

Paper Punching Machine

The PAP500 Paper Punching Machine – iConcept Print ensures large-scale production with profitability. It has electronic drives to control paper stretching and tensioning.

This is an intelligent solution that reuses sublimated paper, which was discarded in digital printing, to carry out the wrapping. Therefore, it guarantees sustainable production, reducing waste and impacts on the environment.

The perforator also reduces raw material acquisition costs and setup time thanks to the quick roll change system, ensuring standardization.

Digital Printing Dryer

The SDR100 digital printer dryer – iConcept Print It is an accessory for digital printers of various formats. It increases productivity and the quality of printed materials.

The automation of infrared drying, together with the module and mini fan, allows greater direction of the hot air flow, ensuring rapid and uniform heating of the entire width of the fabric.

Furthermore, the accessory allows:

  • Temperature control;
  • Compact layout;
  • Easy installation;
  • Standardization and automation of the process.

What’s next?

In this content you saw the importance of being up to date with market trends, such as digital printing on fabric, to remain competitive and ensure business success. Furthermore, Delta machines were highlighted as solutions that contribute to continuous, low-cost and quality production.

If you want to know more about Delta textile machines, check out our complete catalogue.


Did you like our products?

Delta Equipamentos was born out of the need for textile industries to optimize their production, aiming for greater competitiveness and constant updating in the globalized market. We offer innovative products and customized solutions, meeting the expectations and needs of our customers.