Kornit has announced new NeoPoly ink technology as well as a new direct to fabric printer, the Presto, a high volume industrial printer that does away with the need to pre- and post-treat the textiles, and does not consume any water in the printing process.
Kornit has also announced a new version of its Avalanche printer, the Avalanche PolyPro, which uses the NeoPoly ink. This inkset is made up of inline fixation, a white base layer, followed by CMYK and finally a new Poly Enhancer channel.
Moritz Wallasch, application specialist for Kornit, explains: “We put the garment in and then the fixation is applied in the area of the print. After the fixation it starts printing the white layer, then the colour and then on top we apply an enhancer, which reduces the thickness of the print and gives a special protective layer. Then the curing happens afterwards.”
The fixation, which is sprayed on first, holds the ink in place and ensures that it doesn’t soak into the fabric. It chemically bonds the ink pigments so that the colours sit on top of the white layer. Wallasch explains: “On a white material we just need a little fixation because we just need to hold the colour in place.” He says it’s a wet on wet process, adding: “We must make sure there is a moist layer in the garment.” However, it appears the operator does need a degree of skill to judge how much fixation to spray on the garment. It does seem to me that it would be useful if you could set up profiles for different materials that could pre-determine how much fixation to use. As it is, the Kornit software does not appear to record this information though Wallasch says that you could save it in the RIP.
The Poly Enhancer is a clear fluid, which acts like a catalyst to reduce the drying temperature from Kornit’s usual 160°C to 100-110°C, which eliminates the risk of dye migration where the colorants from the polyester diffuse into the white layer. A further advantage is that the inks are odourless.
The system cannot be retrofitted to existing machines, necessitating a new series of printers. The Avalanche PolyPro, which Kornit demonstrated at last week’s Fespa show, can produce up to 85 A4 images per hour, slightly more than the 75/hr of the DC pro but less that 130/hr of the HD6 version. The PolyPro is also limited to polyester and polyester blends whereas the other printers can handle a wide range of fabrics including cotton, lycra, silk, wool and linen.
This system cannot be retrofitted to existing printers though the Avalanche PolyPro is available now in Europe and the UK.
Kornit has also announced another new printer, the Presto, which uses Kornit’s latest ink, the NeoPigment Robusto. This ink is said to give above industry standard wash and rub results and good colour fastness for a wide range of fabrics and uses. This ink is Eco Passport and GOTS V5 approved. The Presto can print at up to 450 sqm/hr. More importantly, the Presto also does away with the need for pre- or post-treatment of fabrics, but will print to a wider range of materials than the PolyPro machines. It’s a much bigger printer so hopefully we’ll see this in action at next month’s Itma show in Spain.
Gart Davis, CEO at Spoonflower, a web-based service for on-demand fabric and design creation, commented: “We were thrilled to be able to test the new system and found the Presto to be in a class by itself; it prints beautifully on all kinds of fabrics, in a single-step, with an environmentally friendly dry process, and now at a multiple of productivity. Our partnership with Kornit continues to be fundamental to our mission to make custom fabric accessible to designers, creative individuals and small businesses all over the world. We can’t wait to get going.”
You can find more details on the Avalanche PolyPro from www.kornit.com.