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Why Pigments are the preferred choice for printed home furnishings

In the World market for Printed Textiles which reached a value of over $48bn in 2018,  Home Décor Printing accounted for over 29% of the total print volume, and Pigment Inks represented over 57% of the total amount of ink used.

Curtains, Drapes and Upholstery form the major part of the Home Furnishing Market Sector, and here, the main determining factor for ink-choice historically has always been resistance to light-fading.

Without regard to the positioning of the furnishing product in the home environment, continuous exposure to sunlight will almost certainly take place, and with it, the risk that product fading will occur if the wrong dyestuffs or ink-set are used in manufacture.

For this reason the choice of dyestuff or ink set has to be very carefully considered.

All the technical performance indicators have to be critically examined, in the knowledge that a wrong decision now, can have serious repercussions down the line.

Historically Rotary Screen Printers have always chosen Pigment Ink-Sets for Furnishings because of their vastly superior light-fast performance.

Whoever the manufacturer is, a similar story emerges when serious consideration of Light fast performance takes place and where the minimum accepted light fastness standard of 6 is to be consistently achieved.

Pigment inks give a steady 6+ performance across all the dyestuff colours with no variation between individual dyes/inks. In other words, their Black, Orange, Blue, Yellow and Red dyestuffs all hit the required standard without fail.

The same cannot be said for Dye-Sublimation, Reactive or Disperse Dyes.

In a recent examination of a major digital dyestuff manufacturer the range of light fastnesses standards generally encountered varied from 4-6, and with some colours, particularly Reactives this can be as low as 2-3. In general, this isn’t a criticism of these alternate ink-sets, for on other important parameters, and for other product groups they are a valid choice.

In Digital Textile Printing the story is similar.

Although the development of pigment printing has taken time, initial problems such as flow properties, colour space and colour fastnesses have improved significantly in recent years.

An example of this is the recently announced ground-breaking KORNIT PRESTO: Developed on a Pigment ink set, named Robusto which will launch at ITMA. The PRESTO offers a new standard for Pigment-based ink technology within the Textile Industry.  

Implemented into the renowned Kornit NeoPigment™ process, the Robusto provides above industry standard wash and rub results and exceptional colour fastness across a wide fabric and application range.

The Presto digital textile print solution enjoys faster physical and chemical bonding characteristics, enabling a significantly shorter curing time, while providing industry-leading quality and a wide colour gamut.

Built for a sustainable future, the NeoPigment Robusto ink set has been developed with sustainability priorities and is ECO PASSPORT and GOTS positive listed.

With Inks like the Robusto, Light Fastness performance in Digital Textile Printing is underwritten by a technological tour de force that leaves the printer with sharp and colourful print that is fast to light and capable of delivering a print speed at the top end of expectations.

So, in the Home Furnishing Market, where light-fastness is so important, and represents such a large volume of the marketplace, the choice of the ultra-safe Pigment Ink-Set  for Home Furnishing Printing is now available to Digital Printers in a successful commercial format that puts the print quality on an equal footing with anything produced by rotary screen printing.