LexJet Talks Innovative Textile Printing with Sign & Digital Graphics

Sign & Digital Graphics magazine recently spoke to Jaimie Mask, product specialist at LexJet, about the burgeoning field of printable fabrics. In its January 2017 issue of the magazine, Sign & Digital Graphics highlights this growing industry of textile prints. fabricsGiven the demand for inkjet-printable fabrics, there has been an increasing need for technology that enables any type of digital printer to utilize the fabric.

While this technology is still somewhat new, LexJet offers a self-adhesive printable fabric called LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. Versions of this product are compatible with aqueous, latex and solvent printers, and is often used in supermarkets, office buildings and other areas with wall murals. Mask explains the difference between this product and a similar one called Photo Tex.

“The difference between the two is that Photo Tex has more of a wider weave vs. the LexJet Print-N-Stick product having a tighter weave,” she says. “So the tighter weave gives better image quality.”

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric wall mural
LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric wall mural

Mask goes on to explain that there are markets for both products, especially architecturally. This shift to fabrics is in part due to its durability. The advances in technology have improved the scratch and flame resistance, allowing them to be used in a variety of environments.

“This technology allows the ink to adhere with the fabric material, and you don’t have a scratching issue at all. You can fold and do everything you do with dye sub fabric,” says Mask, who considers these advances in technology to be “game changers” for many LexJet clients.

To read more on this exciting new technology, see the article in the January 2017 edition of Sign & Digital Graphics magazine.

Better Banners: When to Choose Vinyl or Fabric for Event Signage

Banner printing is a staple in many print shops, and vinyl was the go-to for years. However, fabric is a top trend lately that customers demand these days. While fabric used for banners has some advantages, vinyl is still the top option in many circumstances. We put together this quick hit list on when to choose which media for the best event banner results:

Printer capabilities. If you have an aqueous printer, vinyl is generally your best bet. Fabric works well on latex or dye-sub printers. However, LexJet does offer LexJet Poly Select Heavy, for example, which works on aqueous or latex printers. It’s a good option when you want the drape of a fabric, but a heavier option that won’t curl like vinyl. It’s also available in Poly Select Light and Poly Select Medium that are multi-tasking products that can be used for backlit signs and trade show displays.

rodeo bannerEnvironment. Asking your customer where the banner will be displayed and what the ambiance is are the two most important questions to help you deliver the best banner for their expectations. At a casual, outdoor sporting event, a vinyl banner with grommets can deliver great results for the money. However, as Nackard Companies found when working on the Chuck Sheppard Memorial Roping event, opting for LexJet Poly Select Heavy was a great outdoor choice because when the signage hit the chain-link fence, it didn’t make as much noise as vinyl would, which could spook the animals in the rodeo.

2016 SGIA Recap: Print Everything!

Our team at the SGIA Expo met with hundreds of attendees at the Las Vegas Convention Center earlier this month. It was a lively show covering 272,700 square feet (the largest in SGIA history), featuring all of the latest technology and trends in the specialty imaging marketplace. More than 24,000 people registered to attend the event featuring 562 exhibitors on the sold out Expo floor.

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Steve Webster displays the Canon PRO-6000S printer at work with Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas.

In the LexJet booth, attendees were introduced to the latest printer technologies from Canon, HP and Epson. The LexJet team provided lots of industry knowledge along with details on popular products and workshops featuring canvas wraps with GOframe, adhesive photo panels and HP PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper.

No Dye-Sub? No Problem. You Can Still Print Great Fabrics

There’s no doubt about it: Printed fabrics are in demand right now. And with the textile market seeing a 75% increase in the soft signage category, print service providers need to offer fabric as an alternative substrate, or their customers may just walk on by.

One major misconception is that printers need dye-sublimation technology to print fabrics correctly. But with the advancements in media options and printer technology, that’s certainly no longer the case. And in some instances, inkjet-printed fabrics are an even better option than dye-sub.

Roping up Fabric Banners for Rodeos

Fabric Banners for a Rodeo

Special events are an increasingly important branding opportunity for the Nackard Companies and the beverage brands it represents in the Arizona market. As the beverage distributor’s experience with Dew Downtown, the annual snow-shredding competition through downtown Flagstaff, has illustrated, a successful and growing special event provides brand saturation beyond the point of sale.

This summer is rodeo season in Arizona, and Nackard is branding at four different rodeos. The first one of the summer started just three years ago and Nackard was there as a sponsor and a print provider from the beginning.

The Chuck Sheppard Memorial Roping event at the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Grounds brings calf and team ropers together to honor Chuck Sheppard, a famous horseman and roper, and to support various area scholarships.

Fabric Banners by the Nackard CompaniesWith an average of about 30 sponsors per year, Nackard’s job is to provide 3×8 banners to line the fences around the rodeo grounds. Steve Lalio, P.O.P. shop manager for the Nackard Companies, created a template that includes one of Nackard’s brands and one of the sponsoring companies.

The rodeo’s first request was for banners that wouldn’t make a lot of noise when they flapped in the breeze and struck the fencing. It seems the animals get a little spooked when that happens, and the last thing a roper needs is a spooked animal in the ring.

So, Lalio suggested LexJet Poly Select Heavy for the banners, and the solution worked. Though it’s a heavy, durable fabric, it doesn’t make a lot of noise against the fencing if it flaps around, or at least enough noise to get up the hackles of a bull.

“If every sponsor notices what we did with the banners, they’ll want the fabric material because they print well, look nice and are lighter than typical banner material,” says Lalio, who prints the banners on the shop’s Canon iPF8000S. “What’s also nice about the fabric is that we can run them without lamination, so all we do is print, put Banner Ups and grommets in the corner, roll them up and send them out.”