WHY FLUORESCENT COLORS?

Although fluorescent ink does not glow in the dark, it DOES glow very intensely under so called (UV) black lights as it reacts to long-wave ultraviolet (UV), commonly known as black light. Through the mechanism of fluorescence, UV-sensitive pigments present in the paint absorb the ultraviolet black light (invisible to the human eye) and give off visible light in return. Fluorescent paint appears a bright neon color under normal daylight or other visible light, and glows brilliantly under black light. Most fluorescent prints are highly used in both for costuming and stage attire.

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Dye sublimation is the process of turning a water-based dye ink into a gas that bonds with polyester fabric or other polymers. It dyes the polymer molecule, resulting in a vibrant graphic that never washes off. This is done with the aid of some transfer paper and a heat press.

The transfer will be as soft as a screen-printed shirt, but is much easier to make. No color separation, no messy inks, no exposing and washing screens. Just print and press.


When it comes to making decorated garments with a soft hand, sublimation is king.  Sublimation is the only method of garment decoration that doesn’t add anything to the fabric; no ink, no toner, no film.  You’re literally changing the fabric’s color. So there’s nothing to feel but the fabric.

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Pigment inks have the potential to have a big future in digital textile printing, especially when it comes to environmental aspects and process simplification. One major key difference between dye and pigment ink is that the pigment is insoluble to water while dye is soluble. Another benefit of using pigment inks in digital textile printing is the ease and has a quick time process. Pigment inks for digital textile printing have a great chance to prevail in the market for special material applications but also for the commonly used textile fibers when needing to save energy and water consumption.



2.2 Pigment versus reactive printing

Fig. 2 schematically shows the process of printing with pigment inks compared to reactive inks. Due to their chemical characteristics, reactive dyes have to be bonded to the textile fibre after printing. Therefore, a steaming process of 8-12 minutes at 102°C (saturated steam) is necessary. Subsequently, the unbound dye has to be removed in a complex washing process (after treatment) at different temperatures ranging from about 50°C to 98°C, with soaping agent to 60°C, and finally 30°C (slightly acid). Then the printed textile has to be dried.

In comparison, the pigment printing process does not need the complex steaming and washing steps. Since the pigment dye is printed only on the top layer of the fabric without any chemical bonding, the textile fabric has to be condensed at 150-170°C for a few minutes to fix the pigments. Consequently, the pigment printing process requires significantly less water due to the omitted washing step. This may be a crucial deciding factor when deciding on whether to use digital pigment printing in the future.

Nevertheless, an additional point has to be mentioned regarding the printing process with pigment inks.


Due to the insolubility of the pigment particles, the sedimentation of them could result in problems of nozzle clogging in the fine nozzles of inkjet printing machines. Therefore, to overcome this, two things should be noted: firstly, all the inks have to be well stirred before using and secondly, the necessity of a print head with a circulating system becomes more and more important. The circulation provides a kind of continuous flow that avoids sedimentation and thus clogging the nozzles. In particular, the white pigment inks mostly based on the inorganic compound titanium dioxide need those circulating systems.



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