Revolutionary Textiles

Digitally printed textiles represent a faster turn around in production for clothing manufacturers world wide, but what about textiles the respond to your body temperature? Textiles like these are being to be refined and used within the garment industry. According to a recent article in Australia’s ABC news networks, textiles are being used for outdoor clothing items are treated with paraffins. “Paraffin changes its character. As you get hot it becomes more liquid and all that heat to pass out,” says Campbell. “As the body gets cold it solidifies and keeps heat back with the wearer (Catapult par 4).” These types of treated textiles can be seen in Goodnighties – a maker of pajamas for menopausal women.

An example of electronics printed into textiles.

Another really interesting avenue for textiles is the printing of electronics into the surface. “And there are a growing number of markets and applications possible, from health care (light therapy bandages and iontophoretic cosmetic skin patches) to electronic wallpaper, heated or lit clothing, and flexible solar cells for portable power (Preus par 3)”. Imagine the possibilities for third world applications for this technology.





Goodnighties Sleepwear With Patented Ionx Fabric. (n.d.). Goodnighties Sleepwear With Patented Ionx Fabric. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from

Preus, J. (n.d.). Printing electronic circuitry – Fabric Graphics. Home – Fabric Graphics. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from

Smart fabrics – Indepth – Catapult – ABC Online. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2012, from

Consumer Perception of Inkjet Printed Textiles – Abstract

Finally you all are able to have access to my thesis!! Here is the abstract:

Digital inkjet printing for textile printing represents a key development in clothing production. The application of inkjet printing for textiles follows the trends within both the printing and textile industries in regards to the demand for personalization in order to gain consumer interest and buying power. There has been much research done in the hopes of getting inkjet printed textiles to the public on a mass scale. however, very little is known regarding the consumer of their preferences when it comes to the image quality, look, and feel of digitally printed textiles. This study attempted to address this problem by finding out such preferences from not just the consumer but also the buyer of merchandise, specifically that of the boutique market, for clothing stores. There were two methods utilized within this experiment. The first is the use of structured interviews of boutique owners within the high end boutiques of Rochester, NY to find out what their general feelings on fashion, clothing and print on demand textile options are. The boutique owners were interviewed for approximately 30 minutes through the use of a formatted structured interview. The second part of this experiment dealt with the image quality preferences of the boutique owners and observers, that fell within a specific set of criteria outlined by the researcher, for inkjet printed textile samples. The observers were asked to rank order the different inkjet samples according to preference of image quality, tactile feel and for specific applications. This part of the experiment took approximately 30 minutes for the observer to complete and followed an experiment outline. It is through the qualitative and quantitative data gathered by both parts of the experiment that the researcher has attempted to answer the research objective, ‘what does the consumer prefer in regards to image quality and feel of inkjet printed textiles?’ The findings of the experiment show that the consumer is highly aware of the image quality within their clothing and specifically favor textiles with high OBAs and tighter weaves of fiber. Depending on the application of a shirt or a bag the observer showed that tactile feeling is more important to the observer for clothing but image quality standards are willing to be lowered when dealing with accessories such as the bag as long as the sturdiness of the textile is acceptable.


If you would like to know more about my thesis you can find the RIT library link here. A digital copy is available for download through RIT as well. Please keep in mind my work is copyrighted.

Brief Analysis of Digital Printing Textile Research

For a break down of my favorite article Measuring Print Quality of Digitally Printed Textiles feel free to download this pdf.


The topics of the three papers chosen deal with textiles and printing. The research papers especially focus on textiles and inkjet printing. The topics include image quality on ink jet printed textiles, dyes for digitally printed textiles and evaluations of pigmented inks on digital printers for textiles.After reading the papers, it was found that there has been much research in regards to creating new ways to allow on demand printing textiles to evolve into a production sized operation, as well as ways to integrate digital into the rotogravure market of textile printing.

The paper that stood out the most was the article Measuring Print Quality of Digitally Printed Textiles (Kai 548). The article deals with the quantitative methods for evaluating print quality of the printed fabrics. By evaluating the output, they were able to determine which fabric maintained the best image quality for this process. Thermal Ink Jet Printing of Textiles details research into the requirements of textiles as it relates to results of a modified printer for thermal ink jet (Hunting 568). Finally, the Evaluation of Pigmented Ink Formulations for Jet Printing onto Textile Fabric provides insight into the methods of pigment dispersion to have it successfully move onto the fabric (Daplyn 307).

When looking at all three papers there is a great emphasis on digital textile printing in laboratory environments. Since most of the hypothesis in the articles were proven correct, it would be interesting to see these experiments replicated at a production scale. Another area not explored that may be of benefit for further research is a subjective evaluation, done by the consumer, to see if the fabric that was chosen to be the best quantitatively is also the best qualitatively. There seems to be no such study in the field. If it can be determined what digital printed textiles consumers prefer, it may help direct the development of textile friendly ink jet substrates.



Daplyn, S., & Lin, L. (2003). Evaluation of Pigmented Ink Formulations for Jet Printing onto Textile Fabrics. In Pigment and Resin Technology (Rep. Tech. Vol. 32 No. 5). England: ABI/‌INFORM Trade and Industry.

Hunting, B., Derby, S., Puffer, R., & Loomie, L. (1999). Thermal Ink Jet Printing of Textiles. In Recent Progress in Ink Jet Technologies II (Rep. Tech No. 5). Springfield, VA: Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

Tse, M.-K., Briggs, J. C., Kim, Y. K., & Lewis, A. F. (1999). Measuring Print Quality of

Digitally Printed Textiles. In Recent Progress in Ink Jet Technologies II (Rep.Tech. No. 1). Springfield, VA: Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

Digital Ink Comparisons for Textiles

This in excerpt from an SGIA article for more on the article you can download the file here: digitalink_0706. It also contains a great glossary of terms too!!

Ink Type Characteristics
UV Ink
  • More versatile in terms of what they can be printed on, rigid substrates, such as board product, plastic, glass, wood, ceramics and metal.
  • Can help achieve fast production because there is no wait time for prints to dry.
  • Save on production costs and media versatility despite having up front equipment costs that are higher than other digital printers.
  • Avoid continual cleaning and purging of the print head to remove insoluble products.
 Solvent Ink
  • Commonly regarded as the most economical inks for digital printing today, in terms of equipment costs and maintenance expenses.
  • Produce highly durable outdoor prints.
  • Media is less costly than coated media for aqueous inks.
  • Well suited to printing on soft and compatible flexible materials.
  • They can be used on low-cost, uncoated materials, such as self-adhesive vinyl, fabrics and scrim banner materials.
 Mild Solvent Ink
  • Often dubbed “mild,” “low-odor” and “eco-solvents” because they are more economical than conventional solvent inks.
  • Tend to have a low odor during production.
  Aqueous or Water-based Inks
  • Primarily derived from water, 70 to 90 percent, with a small amount of a milder solvent so that the ink will adhere to the medium.
  • Mostly used for retail POP for short-term outdoor prints, long- lasting indoor prints and indoor backlit materials.
  • Have a relatively clean handling process.
“Bio” or vegetable-based inks
  • Made with vegetable oil rather than petroleum oil. The vegetable source, coming from soy, linseed or corn, to make ethanol uses fewer non-renewable sources such as petroleum. However, some conventional solvent is typically used as well.
  • Adhere to a wide range of uncoated media.
    Deliver nearly the same durability as compared with conventional solvent inks.