Which fabric is suitable for digital printing?

- Oct 24, 2018-

Description of digital printing technology

Digital textile printing is an inkjet-based printing method that allows the printers to print high quality patterns on a variety of fabrics. However, some fabrics are not suitable for this particular printing technique. In this article, we specify which fabrics can be used and which fabrics cannot be used for digital printing of textiles. To fully understand why certain fabrics cannot be used for digital printing, you must understand digital printing techniques.


For digital printing, the fabric is first pretreated, and then the fabric is passed through the inkjet printer at high speed. Textile digital printing machines use digitally printable patterns to read the correct color information and print the color onto the fabric.


The fabric is colored using tiny droplets of ink produced by the nozzle. The nozzle is located a few millimeters above the fabric.

 Digital Print Machine

Textile digital printing materials

In textile digital printing, the large quantity of nozzles on the printers ensure high quality pattern design and fast production speeds. However, some fabrics cannot be used for digital printing because the nozzles are too close to the fabric. For example, some yarn ends on fabrics can come into contact with the nozzles, causing damage.


Textile digital printing technology can be used for woven and knitted fabrics. Below, we specifically elaborated which materials are suitable for digital printing and which are not:


1.     Cotton   

Cotton is a natural fiber, which is widely used in clothing for its high moisture resistance, comfort and durability. We can print on cotton with digital printing machines. In order to achieve the highest possible quality, most digital printing machines use reactive inks because this type of ink provides the highest wash fastness to printing on cotton.

Digital Print  Cotton


2.     Viscose/Rayon

Another natural fiber widely used in the fashion industry is viscose/rayon. It is possible to print on viscose/rayon using a digital printing machine. Same as printing on cotton, the best results can be achieved by printing on the viscose/rayon with reactive ink.

 Digital Print  Viscose

3.     Wool

It’s possible to print on wool fabrics, but it depends on the type of wool fabric. If you want to print on a "furry" wool fabric, this means that the fabric has a lot of fluff on the surface, so the nozzle must be as far away as possible from the fabric. The diameter of the wool yarn is five times the diameter of the nozzle in the nozzle, which can seriously damage the nozzle.

Therefore, it is very important to choose a digital printing machine that allows the nozzle to print at a higher position from the fabric. Our printers support 4 mm nozzle heights, which allow us to digitally print on any type of wool fabric.

 Digital Print  Wool

4.     Silk

Another natural fiber suitable for digital printing is silk. Silk can be printed with reactive inks, the fastness of color is really good. Silk is always the first choice of our clients, please contact us with more details (contact@hzfengyin.com).

 Digital Print  Silk

5.     Polyester

In the past few years, polyester has become an increasingly popular fabric in the fashion world. However, the most commonly used dispersion ink for polyester printing is not effective when used on ink-jet digital printing machines. A typical problem is that the printing machine is contaminated by flying ink.

As a result, printing plants have turned to paper-based sublimation transfer printing. Recently, FY Textile has successfully switched to direct printing on polyester fabrics using sublimation inks. The latter requires a more expensive printing machine because the machine needs to increase the conduction band of the fixed fabric, but saves paper costs and does not require steaming or washing. Follow us to get lasts news of this new technology.

 Digital Print  Polyester

6. Blended fabric

Blended fabric refers to a fabric composed of two different types of materials, which is a challenge for digital printing machines. In textile digital printing, only one type of ink can be used in a single device. Since each material requires a different type of ink, as a printing company, it is necessary to use an ink suitable for the main material constituting the fabric. This also means that the ink will not be colored on another material, resulting in a lighter, whiter finish.


Typically, textile digital printing machines can handle 70-30% of the proportion of the blended fabric. For example, a blend fabric of 70% cotton and 30% polyester can be printed with reactive ink. However, for 60-40% blended fabrics, the use of digital printing has limitations in terms of color depth.

 Digital Print  Blend

Through the digital printing of textiles, high-quality patterns can be printed on various fabrics.

Digital textile printing can print almost all fabrics and help improve print quality and productivity. For these special reasons, more and more traditional printing companies are transforming into digital printing.

If you are interested to print your own patterns onto different types of fabric, please contact us at contact@hzfengyin.com, we are a professional digital printing factory with years of experience.