Pretreatment of fabric with a number of chemicals and auxiliaries is a prerequisite for inkjet printing. Owing to the rapidly increasing use of inkjet printing for textile fabrics, the study of the effects of process variables on various characteristics of the resulting print has drawn considerable interest recently. The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of different variables associated with the inkjet printing process on the quality of the resulting print. Specifically, the effects of chemicals and auxiliaries used in the pretreatment of the fabric prior to printing and factors such as steaming time were studies.
In the present study, which forms a part of a larger study by the authors, the influence of the nature of thickener, the amounts of thickener, urea and alkali, pH of the pretreatment liquor and the duration of steaming on ink penetration into the printed fabrics and the ink spreading across the fabrics was studied. The nature of ink penetration and ink spreading are known to have pronounced effects on the quality and, in turn, the overall appearance of the resulting print. A set of experiments based on a blocked 25–1 fractional factorial design with four centre points were conducted to evaluate the role of the aforementioned five variables. Ink penetration was quantified on the basis of the principles of Kebulka-Munk theory while ink spreading was analysed by image analysis.
Detailed statistical analyses of the experimental data obtained show that different thickeners perform differently and can have a marked influence on ink penetration and ink spreading. In the case of polyacrylic acid-based thickener, changing the levels of the factors has a marked effect on ink penetration and in-turn on ink spreading. In the case of polyacrylamide (PAM)-based thickener, on the other hand, the effect of changing the levels of various factors on the ink penetration and ink spreading is considerably less pronounced. In addition, PAM treated samples exhibited better performance in terms of ink penetration and spreading.
This study provides useful information for textile printers and highlights the importance of selecting the right type of thickener to make the printing process and the quality of the resulting print more predictable and controllable.
The authors would like to acknowledge NED University of Engineering and Technology for the moral support and for the permission to assess laboratory facilities at the Department of Textile Engineering.
Faisal, S., Ali, M., Siddique, S.H. and Lin, L. (2021), "Inkjet printing of silk: factors influencing ink penetration and ink spreading", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 50 No. 4, pp. 285-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRT-12-2019-0120
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