By Morris Lane February 25, 2014
A company called Supersample began in 1993 with the mission of developing inkjet printing as a textile production method and finding markets for its textile printing service.
The first customers were manufactures who used the service to make samples and prototypes. The short run printing is used for finished items, scarves, fine art, high fashion apparel, costumes and props. The colors are fast to wash on silk, nylon, wool, linen, rayon spandex and cotton. Some leathers and papers take well to the process as well. This innovation technique has resulted in unsurpassed print quality and exciting new creative potential for this emerging technology.
First with the RGB printing with no conversion from CMYK. The chemistry is also different; it allows printing with Fiber Reactive dyes on a wider range of substrates. It’s important to keep this in mind as it relates to what is the don’t do, signs, banners, mugs, anything vinyl or polyester. That’s a different process, also explained in the documents. Will the industry revive here in any substantial way? If the industry will use the tools at hand now computers, cell phones, and the Internet. There are T-shirt printing machines that make more sense for the mass market than our setup. We can print on fancy T-shirt material on a roll, but the shirt has to be made. Unless you sell through the pricy boutiques and high end markets we don’t make sense.
As for photos or artwork, if we don’t receive a digital file (by the internet, flash drive, dvd) we have to either scan or photograph the item. If it’s a piece of artwork or actual photo print, we scan at a decent resolution and save the file in a designated folder. Then we print a few variations. When a test print is approved, we print the actual job. The fabrics (a necessity for our dyes and acid dyes, most of the silks and apparel fabrics) must be pre treated, coated. After printing, the fabric is steamed, for different amounts of time, depending on the fabric and the equipment being used. After steaming, it is washed in a 3-bath process, with some (of our) chemistry involved.
Inkjet textile printing has obtained patents on unique and essential aspects of digital textile printing technology and has already applied its proprietary technologies and methods to a successful proof of concept that has been in commercial use for over 3 years. ITP is preparing to scale its technology to industrial levels and extend globally the reach of its disruptive technology.
ITP’s initial patents cover digital textile printing directly from images defined using a RGB color model without requiring an intermediate translation through a CMYK color model. Since virtually all computer-generated images use a RGB
(Red, Green, Blue) color model, ITP’s exclusive process that bypasses an intermediate conversion to a CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color model will become increasing important as more and more fabric design is done using computerized design tools.
ITP continues its research and development of proprietary methods and software in areas such as textile printing chemistry (e.g., inks, dyes, coating and finishing methods) and printing hardware (e.g., inkjet printing technology). In addition to having been granted three patents and having pending patents for software and hardware, ITP plans to file for additional in the field.
The ITP team has technical expertise in textile chemistry, hardware, software, and processes as well as extensive business expertise in the fashion, garment and textile industries. A strategic partnership with an entity that has existing traction and name recognition in Textile markets is a logical approach.
More additional working capital will expand ITP’s capacity from (20) yards per day to (200) yards per day adding a high-speed-capacity digital printer and related washing, coating, and drying equipment. With the addition of this new equipment, ITP will be able to print 60-yard bolts of continuous fabric, which compares to its current limit of 7-8 yards of continuous fabric.
Significantly expand its marketing and sales capabilities. Expand its online presence to include specialty categories such as personalized fabric for weddings, bat mitzvahs, costume design, pet art, and photography, among others. Working with leading fashion designers to accelerate the adoption of computerized fabric design tools. Accelerate and expand research and development efforts. Explore establishing alliances with, or licensing its technology to, others in the area. Working with local government and civic organizations to secure incentives and publicity for bringing new jobs to the New York area textile industry.
Extend its synergistic relationships with major players in digital textiles such as MS Italia (printer manufacturer), Kyocera (inkjet print head supplier, various ink and dye manufactures, and groups and organizations that reflect a domestic technological focus on innovation and market penetration (SPESA, etc.)
New ideas bring new changes. When you change your mind you change your experience.
The image is first photographed by Morris with digital Nikon 5200 camera which also shoots video. Then, the image is downloaded and printed n t e fabric with an inkjet printer.