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A Guide to Garment Inkjet Printers

(February 2010) posted on Mon Jan 25, 2010

The garment-inkjet landscape is changing. Use this source list to keep up with the latest systems on the market.

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

BelQuette Inc.
The Flexi-Jet from BelQuette is an eight-color (2 x CMYK) inkjet printer that supports a maximum print size of 16 x 20 in. (406 x 508 mm), maximum media height of 3 in. (76 mm), and imaging resolutions of 360, 720, and 1440 dpi. BelQuette says the printer’s linear movement is repeatedly accurate to ±0.0003 in. (0.0076 mm), which allows for printing without banding at 360 dpi. Additionally, a set of guide rollers are positioned below the printhead level to help protect the printhead and act as a reference guide. The system prints water-soluble dye inks. A white-ink upgrade is available, and BelQuette notes that garment pretreatment is only necessary when printing onto colored or black apparel. The company also will build special attachments for the printer. The printer’s Flexi-Rip software runs on Windows XP/2000.

Brother Int’l
Brother’s GT-782 (pictured) is a dual-platen inkjet printer that comes standard with white ink for decorating dark garments. Its independently controlled platens allow for printing two garments with different designs simultaneously. The GT-782 uses water-based, pigmented inks (CMYK + 4 x White) and prints at resolutions up to 600 dpi. The printer also offers underbase white and highlight white volume control, as well as controls for color saturation, contrast, and ink volume. Two 14 x 16-in. (356 x 406-mm) platens are standard. Optional platens include 16 x 18, 10 x 12, and 7 x 8 in. (406 x 457, 254 x 305, and 178 x 203 mm) for oversize prints, youth garments, and baby apparel, respectively. According to Brother, the GT-782 supports print speeds of approximately 50 pieces/hr in One-Pass White Mode and approximately 30 pieces/hr in Two-Pass White Mode. The device’s Windows-compatible driver allows for printing directly from graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW without use of a software RIP. The GT-782 offers USB (1.1/2.0) and CompactFlash connectivity.

The company’s GT-541 uses water-based, pigmented inks to print onto 100% cotton and 50/50 cotton/polyester apparel. It supports 600-dpi resolution and a maximum print area of 14 x 16 in. (355.6 x 406.4 mm). The GT-541 offers single and double print modes and manual platen-height adjustment up to 0.48 in (12 mm). The system is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista and connects via USB 1.1/2.0 and CompactFlash. Optional accessories include a machine stand, as well as youth, baby, pocket, and sleeve platens.


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