Give Your Graphics that ‘Get Up and Glow’ with Fluorescent Inks
If you have been to the gym lately, or participated in a marathon, road race or a fun run, you may have noticed that the world, at least in these locations, has become a much brighter place. “Eye-catching neon colors and nuanced color printing are becoming more in-demand for the sports and fashion apparel markets,” said Tommy Martin, Product Manager, Textile Business Development Group, North America, at Mimaki USA (Booths 1231 and 1345). “New ink colors developed by Mimaki add value to these finished products.”
Those new ink colors are thanks to fluorescent yellow and fluorescent pink dye-sublimation inks, now available for the Mimaki TS30-1300 transfer-based dye-sublimation printer. Mimaki is demonstrating the printer — an entry-level unit for shops looking to get their feet wet in digital textile printing — in their booth all during the SGIA Expo this week. (To keep attendees’ feet from getting wet, Mimaki is also producing dye-sub-printed socks on the show floor.)
Fluorescent inks produce bright colors beyond the range reproducible by process color printing, and sublimation inkjet systems are increasingly being employed in apparel lines.
Last year, Roland DGA (Booth 601) introduced a line of fluorescents for its Texart XT-640 and RT-640 wide-format dye-sublimation printers. These dye-sublimation inks are Fluorescent Pink (Fp) and Yellow (Fy) and can be used individually or combined with Roland DG’s Texart CMYKOrVi process ink colors to create hundreds of different fluorescent colors — from bright, bold and vivid fluorescents to softer pastel tones.
Swimwear, spiritwear and other sports and casual apparel — including socks — are top growing applications for fluorescents and neons. And it’s not just fashion; neon colors also help improve, say, the visibility of runners who take early morning or evening runs amidst traffic.
“Top applications include sports apparel and accessories, as well as décor, soft signage and even rigid substrates,” said Lily Hunter, Product Manager, Textiles and Consumables, at Roland. “Some people are using fluorescent colors predominantly, especially in sports apparel, whereas others are using them as accents — just to give it that extra pop and ‘wow’ factor. While these colors are extremely vibrant, there are a few applications, such as soft signage and backdrops, that require black light to highlight their fluorescent qualities.”
Other commercial applications for fluorescent textile inks include signage, display and décor. While having an entire home or office done in hot pink would be in perhaps questionable taste — but chacun à son goût — fluorescent accents can bring a room to life.
Outside of textile printing, neon and fluorescent inks are required for safety and emergency printing, and Nazdar Ink Technologies (Booth 1545) offers a fluorescent UV ink for tag and label printing. HP (Booths 1029 and 1045) also offers a fluorescent pink ElectroInk for its Indigo presses that can be used for such things as greeting cards, promotional collateral, posters, books and magazine covers.
Consider the growing number of fluorescent inks available to be one more tool in a growing arsenal of tools to offer customers new, unique and eye-catching print applications.