HP partners Midcomp and Graficomp exhibited the textile printing capabilities of HP Latex printers at the FESPA Africa and Sign Africa expo, which took place from 12-14 September.
‘We wanted to demonstrate to expo visitors that HP Latex is, indeed, a textile solution,’ said Mike Horsten, HP Senior Business Development Manager, Graphics/Textiles EMEA GSB. ‘Everyone’s looking at pigment inks in the textile industry and we already have that – Latex is a resin-based pigment ink.’
While HP provides the printers and inks, the only thing missing was the textiles. True to its innovative nature, HP thought of solutions to make coatings available to everyone. ‘HP approached the largest coating providers in the world to develop coatings that are openly distributed and work on HP Latex machines to give the best results.’ Over 40 manufacturers worldwide have now adopted these coatings into their production facilities and are selling rolls of coated materials for HP Latex printers. HP is currently in talks with coating and textile partners in South Africa.
Horsten emphasised the unique possibility of having an all-in-one solution. ‘For the first time, we have one printer that can print onto paper, banner, self-adhesive vinyls as well as textiles, making customers’ lives a lot easier and maximising investment. This means one supply, one ink, one RIP, one printer – it’s just another way that HP is innovating for their customers,’ he said.
HP Latex Printers are compatible with a range of textiles such as polyesters and natural fibre blends. HP Latex prints are odourless. Textiles produced on HP Latex machines have a very soft hand-feel, are washable, ISO certified for rub fastness and give all the benefits of brilliant blacks and very deep reds. They are ideal for the home decor market. The textile capability only works with the current generation of Latex printers – everything from the 300 to 500 series as well as the larger machines.
The demand for textiles for signage is growing and HP Latex Technology presents a practical solution for leveraging textile signage opportunities, in particular.
• Textiles provide soft touch finishes, great colour pops, and are considered to be more premium than vinyl or paper. Due to this fact, the end customer perceives a higher value.
• Textiles are lighter, wrinkle-free, are easier to transport, mount and store, making the storage and shipment process cheaper.
• The environmental regulations are changing and impacting PVC-based substrates and traditional textiles. Media vendors are moving toward non-PVC based materials and the traditional market is moving toward digital printing.