Printers Prefer the Latex Fabric EnduraFab™ Textiles. Here’s Why!

When EnduraFab™ Textiles hit the market last year, the line of fabrics was one of the first latex-compatible options available to the industry. Throughout the year, print service providers have told us that EnduraFab™ not only offered a much-needed latex solution in the market, but it also outperforms its competitors.

Pop up trade show display printed on EnduraFab™ Stretch at TPM, Inc.

We caught up with Dustin Batson, the Color Lab division manager at TPM, Inc. in Greenville, S.C., where his team produces a wide variety of event displays, banner stands, site signage, interior décor printing and more. The market demand has changed in recent years, he says, to soft signage, rather than rigid display boards that were used in the past.

“We use EnduraFab™ Stretch for trade show pop ups and the EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier for all of our backdrops,” Batson says. “There’s less cost in shipping, and easy changability with SEG panels — you just simply pull out the insert from the frame and replace it. For trade shows, it makes more sense and is less cumbersome.”

For Eduardo Aceves Hernandez, electronic publishing specialist at the Document Solutions department at the University of Texas at Austin, the ease of travel with EnduraFab™ is a huge win. “People kept asking for things they could fold and take to conferences,” Hernandez says. “In response, we shopped around, and EnduraFab™ was the solution. Customers have been really happy so far.”

Hernandez prints EnduraFab™ on an HP Latex 360 64-inch printer for his university customers, which include everyone from the athletic department to school administrators who need event signage, trade show displays, thesis exhibits and banners. When these items were printed on vinyl media, they had to be rolled up and shipped or carried in tubes to avoid creasing — “they were really a hassle to carry on a plane,” he says.

A fabric poster printed on EnduraFab™ at the University of Texas at Austin

EnduraFab™, however, can be folded and stowed in a suitcase. “It just hangs really well, and displays well,” Hernandez says. “And it’s not going to crinkle. So you get simplicity with good quality.”

Batson says the ease of use is definitely a bonus, and the print quality is strong, too. “It holds very vibrant color,” Batson says. “And the color tends to hold better and you get less crocking than other materials.”

Finishing EnduraFab™ is easier and more reliable, too, Hernandez says. “With thicker fabrics, fraying was an issue,” he says. EnduraFab™ finishes so cleanly, he says they don’t have to sew the edges. “We even mounted one graphic to a foam board and it looked good, too.”

The EnduraFab™ Textiles line is available exclusively through LexJet, and includes six options in a variety of sizes:

  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit: Lightweight fabric with excellent drape for table skirts, SEG frames and soft signage.
  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit FR: Frontlit fabric that meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.
  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier: Heavyweight fabric for retail signs, SEG frames and indoor banners.
  • EnduraFab™ Frontlit Premier FR: Frontlit Premier fabric that meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.
  • EnduraFab™ Stretch: Lightweight fabric with one-directional stretch, providing installation flexibility and ease particularly for SEG frames and geometric trade show displays.
  • EnduraFab™ Stretch FR: Stretch fabric that meet the flammability standard for NFPA 701, 2015 Edition (Test 1, Small Scale) and require heat set for desired print durability.

Print to Fabric in One Step with Kornit Allegro

Anyone who has printed to fabric knows that traditional methods include many steps, like pre-treating the fabric, waiting for it to dry, printing, steaming, washing and even more drying time. Our friends at Kornit have streamlined the fabric printing process down to one step: pressing the print button.

Utilizing digital files and its seven-color NeoPigment ink set, the Kornit Allegro print system requires just one operator who can take a digital file to printed fabric in about six minutes; plus, the Allegro outputs 200 square meters per hour to nearly any type of fabric.

“This is a remarkable new system that some of our customers can really use to expand their operation into fabric and décor printing,” says Matt Radauscher, LexJet Enterprise Account Executive. “As consumers and the market seek more on-demand, customizable short-run printing, a system like Kornit Allegro is offering the perfect response.”

The Allegro print technology is ideal for personalized, one-off to high-production of home textiles, fashion, swimwear, and more, and has light- and color-fastness testing lasting up to eight washes. With its patented “fixation on the fly,” Kornit eliminates the need for pre-treatment. “It’s refreshing to see technology that responds to market demand while also eliminating the need for companies to stock massive inventory,” Radauscher says.

The innovative Kornit Allegro’s direct-to-fabric system is the preferred technology for Spoonflower, an online fabric print provider who offers designs for customers with no minimum order. Its fabric production has been so popular that Spoonflower is on its way to purchasing a third Allegro printer. Watch the video below to learn more about Spoonflower’s operation:

Want to learn more about Kornit Allegro? Download this brochure, and give our account executives a call at 800-453-9535.

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.