Hongsam Pigment Ink for Textile Printing with no sublimation needed
Hongsam Pigment Ink for Textile Printing
Hongsam is an ink manufacturer, with a factory in Zhengzhou and their world headquarters and demo room outside Shanghai. They manufacture inks for HP, Canon, and Epson DX printheads. The inks for Epson DX5 printheads include lots of kinds of textile inks: dye sublimation (for transfer paper), disperse dye (direct to fabric), reactive dye, acid dye, and now pigment inks.
For many years now, Hongsam has been exhibiting at different trade shows around the world. There are so many ink manufacturers at a trade show that for you to notice one over the other, there has to be something that really stands out from the rest.
A few years ago, I noticed that Hongsam’s pigment ink produced more intense and brighter colors than the rest of the other brands. Pigment ink in general is characterized for not producing the brightest colors compared to other kinds of textile inks.
This February (2014), two members of the FLAAR staff: Pablo Martinez and Maria Renee Ayau, visited the Hongsam facilities in Shanghai, to observe pigment ink printing demonstrations. The year before, Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth and Maria Renee visited the same facilities and other Hongsam pigment ink end-user facilities.
We have also visited end-users, print shops that are successful using dye sublimation and reactive ink.
Outcome (color intensity) depends on many factors
Whether you use a heat press or a more sophisticated heat curing will influence how the color comes out (on your T-shirt or other application). A heat press is made for sublimation ink. People use it for pigmented ink (and toner-based ink T-shirt transfers also). But you may get better results using a curing system made specifically for pigmented ink.
Also the results may depend on whether using DX4, DX5, or DX7 printheads.
And the results will be different using a desktop sized T-shirt printer compared with using a wide-format or grand format printer.
Also, the ink delivery system and printhead electronics and printer firmware all impact how the ink turns out. This is a polite way of saying that each ink has been created in a lab with certain size, shape, and engineering features. So your printer, with different ink delivery system, different temperatures inside the printer (not to mention the temperature and humidity in your print shop) may result in better results (or occasionally a result which is partially the fault of a printer for which this ink was not made).
Pigmented ink has a huge potential for the coming years, since pigmented ink (in theory) should last longer outside than dye ink. So we will keep our eyes and ears tuned to watching the progress of the pigmented textile ink program of Hongsam ink. You can check their web site at www.ink4you.com, plus they exhibit at leading international expos such as the upcoming APPPEXPO 2014, in Shanghai, this July.
First posted March 18, 2014
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