Suwanee, GA — Mimaki USA, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, introduces two revolutionary technologies in textile printing while at ITMA 2023: a Textile Pigment Transfer Printing System and the Neo-Chromato Process. These innovations are showcased for the first time, and ahead of commercial availability, at the exhibition in Milan, Italy, solidifying Mimaki’s leadership in sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for the textile printing industry.
The New Way to Print Textile Pigment Printing
Mimaki, in response to a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly ways of printing, has developed a textile pigment transfer printing system. The traditional methods of dyeing with pigment and dye produce almost 2 billion tons wastewater. This is about 20% of the total industrial wastewater.* This water contains chemical substances generated from pre and post-dying processes worldwide. The large-scale dying plants are also responsible for the high CO2 emission from their production as well as the overseas transport that is required.
Mimaki’s Textile Pigment Transfer Printing System uses nearly zero water for printing and significantly reduces CO2 emissions due to its on-site capabilities and small-scale structure (Figures 1 and 2). This system is smaller and more affordable compared to traditional methods of textile dye printing (Figure 3). It allows for the production of small quantities of textiles outside the major textile-producing nations, which reduces CO2 emissions.
The three components of the Transfer System for Textile Pigment Printing are: Transfer System, Textile Transfer Paper and Textile Pigment Ink. The textile pigment ink is currently undergoing bluesign® certification, with an anticipated approval in September 2023.
These elements are currently being evaluated for compatibility with fiber materials used in apparel, home-goods textiles and soft-signage. Mimaki will officially launch The Textile Pigment Transfer Printing System by fall 2023.
Reduce Waste by Reusing Textiles
Another debut at ITMA 2023 is Mimaki’s unique Neo-Chromato Process, revolutionizing the reuse of colored polyester textiles. By removing color from polyester textiles dyed by dye sublimation, this innovative technology allows for materials to be reprinted or dyed right away, which contributes to a reduced environmental footprint. Neo-Chromato can be used to treat polyester indefinitely, reducing water consumption and pollution.
Colored polyester fabrics are often used in products such as tablecloths, banners and backlit signs. After use, these applications, as well as fast fashion clothing and sportswear made from colored polyester, are often incinerated, with only a small amount being recycled. Our research shows that polyester textiles make up approximately 60% of the world’s 92 million tonnes of waste textiles. Neo-Chromato eliminates the need for recycling and incineration by reusing polyester textiles. This makes it a sustainable textile technology.
These two announcements align with Mimaki’s commitment to bringing new innovations to the print market that are sustainable and minimize environmental impact. As we listen to our customers, we believe it is important to collaborate with the industry to maximize the potential of these technologies.