Book review of Digital Printing of Textiles, edited by Hitoshi Ujiie.


Digital Printing of Textiles, edited by H. Ujiie, The Textile Institute, Woodhead Publishing in Textiles, published in the UK by Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, England. Published in the US by CRC Press.

This book has 19 chapters, so it will take about 19 hours for me to digest the contents (though of course you can skim the entire book in about two hours). So this review will be updated chapter by chapter. This first chapter review was done the night the book arrived by TNT (a European sort of competitor to DHL) on January 13, 2009.

The evolution and progression of digital printing of textiles is by Vince Cahill, VCE Solutions, in the US. Vince is present all major international trade shows such as DRUPA, FESPA Digital, ISA, and SGIA. He has a good background in inkjet printing for many years so is a viable author for an introduction that deals with history. He provides a 15-page general history of inkjet printing in general with a focus on wide-format inkjet textile printers.

This book was published in 2006 which means that research is based on 2005. It is now 2009. Fortunately textile printing does not change anywhere near as much as even solvent printing. UV-cured printing changes the most rapidly (water-based inkjet printing has stagnanted in recent years). So if this were a book on solvent or UV printing it would be obsolete within two years, but on textile printing this book is still viable even in 2009. Only a few footnotes of history can be added, namely DuPont’s rapid exit from trying to

produce actual textile printers together with Ichinose (Ichinose continues without DuPont; DuPont tries to sell at least its ink).

The other major change since 2005 is not introduced in a single article, namely UV-cured printing in general, and UV-textile inks from Sensient in particular. Only the UV-cured dye inks from L&P Virtu are mentioned (but that development fizzled out quickly within L&P). Plus I bet that Staedtler Lumocolor ink is not mentioned nor latex ink nor Sepiax ink nor Eastech.

I would also add Yuhan Kimberly textile inks since these were used by ColorSpan textile printers ColorSpan DisplayMaker FabriJet and by Encad. The Encad attempt to enter the textile market is however clearly noted in Vince Cahill’s article. So despite it now being 2009 the year 2005 article still has considerable educational historical value for inkjet technology per se, most of which is applicable to textile printing.

I will now work at making time to read each other chapter, and this book review will be updated as time permits. Other chapters cover workflow for digital printing of textiles, pigmented textile inks, DuPont Artistri 2020 textile printer, Scitex Vision Reggiani, Ciba Specialty Chemicals DReAM textile printer, Mimaki TX textile printers, digital color management and ICC color profiles.

What could be added in a re-issue / update of this tome on digital textile printing?

  • A general introduction to inkjet inks, especially a classification

  • A  history of inkjet inks

  • A history of fabric transport systems (and classification).

  • A clear discussion of the difference in all forms of disperse dye inks:

    • Dye-sub ink and process via a separate calendering press

    • Dye-sub direct on the printed fabric: no transfer paper.

  • Clear discussion of calendering machines, comparison and pros & cons

Because dye-sublimation is in many ways so different than printing with acid dye, reactive dye, and pigmented textile inks, it would help perhaps to have a separate book on dye-sublimation (all kinds, direct and via calendering machines).

If the intended market is only industry and other professors, then there does not need to be as much on preparing the fabrics to receive the ink, and on post-processing (steaming, washing, drying). But the average printshop owner only knows that he buys any other printer and at most all he needs is perhaps a laminator. Rarely is pre-treatment required (at most simple cleaning with a rag for printing with UV-curable inks on flat rigid materials) or anti-static treatment. Pre-coating for UV-cured flatbed printing is also relatively simple compared with pre-treatment needed for textile printing. Perhaps these topics for textile printing are covered in other books by Woodhead.

Woodhead Publishing Limited.

This company is clearly a leader in publishing on textile technology. You can obtain catalogs and information from [email protected]. I too will be looking at their catalog to check on other books that are essential to faculty and students studying digital printing of textiles and books that printshop owners should consider. The FLAAR Reports are also read by many of the manufacturers of textile inks, printable fabrics, and inkjet printers for textiles. There are definitely books published by Woodhead Publishing Ltd that are essential for them.

Most recently updated January 14, 2009.