How Epson and Kornit Are Advancing the Digital Textile Printing Game

Digital printing for apparel and textiles continues to make advances for both speed and efficiency, and two leaders are driving the change: Epson and Kornit Digital.

Epson recently started shipping its new Epson SureColor F2100 direct-to-garment printer. It’s equipped with an Epson PrecisionCore TFP print head and uses Epson UltraChrome DG garment ink technology, achieving up to twice the production speed for high-quality prints as the previous generation DTG printer, the company noted.

Four-color ink technology delivers durable and bold printing, and new print modes offer improved image quality, speed and efficiency, Epson said. The garment printer also comes in new Highlight White mode that applies a second coat of white ink while simultaneously printing color ink for improved print speeds.

“The SureColor F2100 development was focused on implementing improvements that directly impact the efficiency and productivity of direct-to-garment print shops,” Tim Check, senior product manager for Professional Imaging at Epson America Inc., said.

With the SureColor F2100 printer, users can print directly onto garments ranging from 100 percent cotton to blends of 50 percent cotton and other fibers, including items like T-shirts, hoodies, jackets and tote bags.

“Epson has a long history of listening to customer feedback,” Andreas Goehring, director of professional imaging, said. “We were inspired by the responses from our SureColor F2000 customers and incorporated that feedback directly into the development of the SureColor F2100. As a leader in the direct-to-garment printing market, we’re excited to see our customers’ reactions to our latest product offering and the creations they will make that will amaze their clients.”

A successor to the much-used SureColor F2000, the SureColor F2100, which has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $17,995, incorporates an integrated inline self-cleaning system to reduce maintenance time and a new garment grip pad that allows users to quickly load and unload garments to help reduce traditional load times. The printer also includes improved Epson Garment Creator Software for macOS and Windows, with tools for layout and text, color management, ink control and cost estimation.

Meanwhile, Kornit Digital, a top provider of digital textile printing innovation, said recently that it has received orders for systems and upgrades totaling more than $5 million for its newly introduced Avalanche HD6 product that touts cost-saving technology.

The Kornit Avalanche HD6 is equipped with Kornit’s HD print engine and the NeoPigment Rapid ink that leads to significant reductions in ink consumption and resulting lower cost per print compared with previous Avalanche systems. The HD6 reduces the ink consumption up to 30 percent compared with the current R-Series version and up to 45 percent compared with the previous non-R-Series versions of the Avalanche Hexa, Kornit said.

Kornit noted that NeoPigment Rapid meets Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and GOTS V5 standards and is suitable for printing on multiple fabric types.

“We have seen an immediate and clear interest from screen printers in the HD technology, and we see this interest translating into a solid business pipeline at an amazing pace,” Gilad Yron, executive vice president of global business, said. “Looking ahead to the year, we are optimistic to be able to continue the trend of selling new HD systems, as well as upgrades for existing Avalanches — the Avalanche platform represents our high-productivity product segment, and globally, we are looking at a three-digit number of systems that are suitable for upgrading.”

Kornit noted that the lower cost per print gives users a “drastically improved competitive edge” against conventional screen printing. It also has the potential to increase the adoption and market share of advanced digital printing technologies in a world where mass customization for textiles is set to grow.

In addition, Kornit said, the HD technology produces a refined hand feel of the printed material equivalent to screen printing, which is an important characteristic when replacing traditional textile printing.

Editor’s Note: This story was reported by FN’s sister magazine Sourcing Journal. For more, visit Sourcingjournal.com.

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