A new textile printing process, developed in Europe claims to help European companies compete with Asia.

Osiris, a Dutch textile printer and Imaje, a French inkjet specialist have developed a technology called the Eureka Factory Copritex project which they claim will make European printers more competitive by reducing production times in the fashion industry.

The Eureka Factory Copritex project utilises multi-deflection technology with the print heads. The ink, they say,  is goes through a chamber and deflected on to the fabric, and the remainder of the ink is recirculated into the system.

This results in increased speed over existing inkjet printing technologies. Other benefits of this technology is that it reduces ink costs as well as being more environmentally friendly due to less waste.

Paul Morskate, technical director at Osiris said that, "It is possible to have a different fashion every two or three weeks. Today the market is asking for a quick response, so if you can respond quickly to the samples and the production orders you can bring back the textile printing business from Asia to Europe."

“China is able to produce at a lower price level,” says Osiris’ Chief Executive Officer Haje van Wesen. “We are getting closer to those price levels, but China cannot supply the time-to-market that we can. If you have a design, you could have a print on a piece of fabric within two hours, so you could walk out with a blouse within a few weeks”. Osiris is now in talks with major European printers who may be interested in buying the printing system. Its aim is to place the existing printing line with a customer by the spring. Then, the technology could be sold to other printers afterwards.

The final system is the result of eight years' work to create a long-term replacement for rotary screen printers.

Morskate claimed that in the next month three large European printers will buy Osiris machines.


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