"We’ve broken down barriers between DTG and retail" A Q&A with Celine T Strauss - Kornit Blog

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We sat with Kornit Digital Inks and Consumables Specialist Celine Tezartes-Strauss to discuss the upcoming release of Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro, and the unique NeoPoly technology behind it enabling seamless printing on both white and dark polyester fabrics.

Why did Kornit see a need to make DTG compatible with polyester?

Polyester is now the second-largest market segment for apparel after cotton, totaling $33 billion a year. It is growing at a CAGR of 5.5% and in 2019, we expect this market to generate 2 billion t-shirts. The current common polyester printing processes are very complicated, timely, and costly.

Direct-to-garment revolutionized printing to cotton, so the next logical step was to master the next-largest market. Address the market growth and its demand for a technology that enables personalization, quick respond time at the speed of e-commerce, and profit, without sacrificing quality for speed, and you have amazing room to grow.

Who is the anticipated buyer for this particular system?

Basically, any printer or print house that wishes to grow its business should review this product.
Those who already print on polyesters; for example, printing for sportswear and athleisure. Apparel for runners, team sports. Printers of promotional apparel and such, they would see a great benefit from the Kornit Poly Pro. It will shorten their printing process and open up their print job portfolio for more clients, not to mention save them money.

Plus, since this is such a growing market, any print house not focusing on polyester printing at all, whether due to cost or complexity, can now consider stepping into the game.

We see a lot of aprons made from polyester because they’re more stain-resistant, and that’s a huge market. A lot of “work” clothes, such as polo shirts with brand logos, are using more polyester.

Avalanche Poly Pro offers high-quality printing using a very simple and straightforward process.

How does Avalanche Poly Pro offer “a very simple and straightforward process?”

Our DTG process is cost-efficient from the very first print, requiring virtually no setup so the machine is productive on demand. It’s producing a durable print that meets all industry requirements and standards, so it’s ready to wear or ship in minutes.

What other methods have been used for printing to polyester, and why is this the better option?

Currently there are three common options in the marketplace, each with its pros and cons.

Sublimation is good for light polyester, offering complex images and smooth handfeel, but it doesn’t work on colored shirts.

Heat transfer requires stock for transfer and it’s a complicated process—reliable for names and numbers, but the process of putting each letter in proper position, and then heat press them, is very labor-intensive, expensive, and slow. This applies to vinyl heat transfer, as well.

Screen printing is good for solid pantone coverage and images, but preventing dye migration requires low heat, blockers, and additional screens; it’s expensive and complicated, while your graphics are limited.

Kornit’s Poly Pro, using the NeoPoly technology, combines the best attributes of each method—versatility, high quality, photorealistic images—into one single-step process. Versatility, high quality, takes the best of each technique. Our white base has superior opacity, which results in vivid, lasting graphics. You spend less time setting up and more time printing. Furthermore, it’s the most eco-friendly process of the bunch, meeting every relevant certification for sustainability.

Kornit has been printing to polyester for a while now. How does Avalanche Poly Pro change the game?

We could always print on white poly, but printing to darker fabrics was always tricky because of dye migration. With the new Kornit Poly Pro, we are no longer limited to specific SKUs.

The new process includes a strong white layer to prevent dye migration, and features elongation, so there is no cracking when lycra is involved. This system doesn’t compromise the fabric’s qualities or the print on top of it; it’s stretchable without cracking. You can print on polyester, blends, lycra—whites or colors on any color garment. That’s an improvement on what Kornit offered previously.

With this new technology, we’ve truly broken down any remaining barriers between DTG and retail for the athletic and athleisure market. These garments continue to gain in popularity, and Poly Pro empowers shops to offer consumers the brilliance and color gamut, sustainability, and push-button reactiveness that have long come from Kornit’s single-step production innovations.

I invite you to witness a demonstration of this system live, and speak with one of our consultants about making Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro the lynchpin for your expanded opportunities and business growth.

Join us at one of our upcoming Kornit Discover events for live demonstrations and expert perspectives on integrating this technology into a successful print strategy.

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