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Focused on Fabrics

(September 2012) posted on Thu Aug 30, 2012

Dye Into Print continues to stay one step ahead of its clients’ dye-sub needs.

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By Mike Antoniak

Then, in 1998, company founder Mitchell Smith purchased a Xerox ColorgrafX 8954-DS 4-color dye-sublimation printer to experiment with producing its transfers in house. Recommended for use with poly-poplin and poly-satin synthetics, the newly acquired printer streamlined the production cycle and allowed the company to design and print graphics for material up to 54-inches wide.

“That Xerox did two things for the company,” asserts Lederman. “It showed we could use dye-sub to produce our own designs, and gave the company the opportunity to develop new business printing banners and flags.”

But applications for digital dye-sub quickly outgrew the capabilities of that one printer. The first of four Raster Graphics 5442 electrostatic printers was added in 2000, when Something Different Linens relocated to its present headquarters in Clifton.

Next level: expanded capabilities
Ultimately, the digital experiment proved so successful that Dye Into Print was spun off as a separate operation. Lederman assumed responsibilities as company president in 2001. “I wanted to take the business to the next level, expand our print capacity, improve the quality, and reach a wider customer base,” he says.

“One problem with the Raster Graphics printers was that they only offered 54-inch widths, and digital dye-sub printing technology had advanced beyond its capabilities.”

To upgrade production capacity, and increase its offerings, in 2003 the company invested in the first of what would eventually become a lineup of nine Mimaki JV-series dye-sublimation printers. “We’ve always tried to stay one step ahead of our clients and anticipate their needs in print width, quality, and speed,” says Lederman.

Those first Mimaki JV3 160 printers meant Dye Into Print could offer fabric printing up to 60-inches wide, but clients were soon requesting even wider material. In response, the first of five JV-4 180s, offering 72-inch widths, were added. Then, in 2007, the company upgraded again, adding the first of two JV-5 320s, with a maximum print width of 126 inches.

That was followed by the addition of a 125-inch EFI Vutek 3360 printer. The versatile printer is used in its solvent mode for direct printing to vinyl, canvas, and wallpaper. It serves as a dye-sub printer when printing transfers for 100-percent polyester material.

Fabric printing projects are processed with the ErgoSoft RIP, and printed at 720 dpi using Sawgrass Technologies inks. For signs and banners, the company relies on the Onyx PosterShop RIP.