The Monna Lisa, an industrial inkjet digital textile printer jointly developed by Epson and Italian textile manufacturing equipment manufacturer Robustelli, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Original_ML160B.jpegThe original Monna Lisa 160B launched in 2003

epson 100Robustelli develops, manufactures and sells textile printers in the Como region of Italy, a major centre for the textile printing industry and the home of many luxury brands. Epson provided Robustelli with inkjet technology such as Micro Piezo print heads and ink supply mechanism components, enabling the two companies to commercialise a digital textile printer that can handle volume printing.

The printer is fitted with Epson's proprietary high-density Micro Piezo print heads that can eject ink droplets in variable sizes. Epson also worked with For.Tex s.r.l.t, an Italian company with strengths in pre- and post- printing processes, to develop a special ink suited to textile printing. "Combined, the printer and ink enable the beautiful gradations and colour reproduction typical of inkjet printing, with the flexibility to print on a range of fabrics including silk, cotton, nylon and polyester," said Epson. "In addition, in high quality mode, it achieves high-speed printing with the robustness to operate around the clock, it offers high productivity for volume printing.

"At the time the Monna Lisa was developed, the textile printing industry had started using digital textile printers for the preparation of samples. However, manufacturers were hoping for advances in digital processing technologies and inkjet technology for volume printing. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Textile Association of Como was promoting digital textile printing to revitalise the industry. 

"With this encouragement, Robustelli with a 50-year history in textile printing and Epson with its inkjet technology for the consumer printer market, formed a business alliance aiming to develop a digital textile printer. The Monna Lisa was the result of these efforts."

The Monna Lisa offers short turnaround even with mixed, small-lot production, and, because there is little waste liquid, it has a low environmental impact. The photograph-like detail and the range of designs that can be expressed on the fabrics has won plaudits from designers and the textile industry as a whole. Textiles printed using the Monna Lisa are now being used by numerous high-class apparel makers. The Monna Lisa has long maintained the leading market share for digital textile printers used in Italy. "It is no exaggeration to say that since its debut, it has had a significant impact on the printing industry causing an unmistakable shift from the analogue to digital printing," said Epson.

In 2012, Epson took a 50% share in For.Tex s.r.l., the company with whom it had a business alliance for textile ink, in order to strengthen its digital textile printing business. With this equity stake, Epson gained access to For.Tex's strengths in marketing and consulting to the textile printing industry and expertise in pre- and post-processes, providing total solutions for inkjet textile printers, and seeking to achieve further expansion of digital printing.
Screen_Shot_2023-07-11_at_10.21.44_pm.pngEpson Monna Lisa ML-8000 textile printer

In 2022 Epson Australia launched the Monna Lisa ML-8000 direct-to-fabric textile printer - the new entry model in the Monna Lisa series with eight of the latest PrecisionCore printheads. The ML-8000 packs the power and performance of the latest world-class Epson inkjet printing and manufacturing technologies into a single package.
Screen_Shot_2023-07-11_at_10.24.46_pm.pngEpson Monna Lisa ML-8000 textile printer


With its eight PrecisionCore printheads, the ML-8000 reaches typical print speed of up to 155 square metres per hour. "The ML-8000 is a next-generation digital textile printer with high print quality, productivity, stable operation with minimal downtime, and allows easy operation for an affordable price, making it the ideal printer for companies looking to move into local, onshore digital printing and production," Epson said.

"Digital printing has become increasingly popular with fashion and textile designers as they strive meet the increased demands for short runs and fast fashion while under pressure from public criticism to ease environmental burdens. The ability to deliver digital designs for digital print on demand enables businesses to offer their customers a faster turnaround without having to rely on mass shipments of stock crossing continents, much of which result in higher waste streams due to analogue printing."

For more on the Epson Monna Lisa ML-8000 go to:


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