- The Italian company specializing in dye sublimation printing has conquered the heights of the high fashion industry with its high-quality printed fabrics.
- With its recent investment in a direct-to-fabric printing line, Digitak is preparing to expand its print product offering and focus on fabric differentiation.
Dye sublimation printing of high fashion designs is at the heart of Digitak, an Italian company that specializes in digital textile printing. The company operates in the textile district of Lombardy in Italy and has established itself among the main suppliers in the world of high fashion and sportswear in just under 15 years.
Digitak has made versatility of production a cornerstone of its philosophy and has continued to invest in technology and research and development of its product portfolio. This forward-looking approach has enabled the company to guarantee innovative, personalized products with great attention to detail, with the highest – almost obsessive – quality standards and maximum design flexibility. Over the years, thanks to the extensive experience that the company’s management has gained in the field of sublimation using traditional and digital techniques, combined with its investment decisions, Digitak has been able to improve its production performance, gradually implement higher quality standards and differentiate itself from the competition in the EU complex and competitive sector of high fashion. An important achievement, but one that has not dampened their enthusiasm and willingness to continue growing and exceed their goals. The company’s recent investment in a direct print digital printing line with pigment ink puts the company in a new and promising production dimension.
Sublimation printing specialists
Since Digitak was founded, Filippo Taccani, the company’s founder and current owner, had set a clear and ambitious goal: “I wanted to face the challenge of working digitally – printing fabrics with this innovative technology so that products could be seen on an equal footing that I had achieved using traditional sublimation textile printing methods during my previous work experience. ”
The purchase of a Mimaki JV4 plotter, one of the first to be installed in Italy, marked the beginning of Digitak’s adventure. “To get started in business, I needed a printing system that could use dispersed inks to print on polyester, and I found the JV4 to be the best option,” explains Taccani. “It was an excellent decision because I used these plotters to build the company and its success.”
The first Mimaki plotter was actually followed by a second and third. When the company bought the fifth, it moved to an industrial facility in Tradate (Varese) – Digitak’s current location – which currently houses around fifteen Mimaki JV33 plotters in addition to three Mimaki TS500-1800 large format sublimation printers and a Mimaki TS300P are -1800 high speed sublimation printers. This Mimaki-powered production facility – one of the company’s main strengths – has recently been expanded to include a Mimaki TX300P-1800B hybrid printing system with ribbon, a Mimaki TR300-1850C textile coater and a Mimaki Tiger-1800.
“Of course we have tested printing systems from other suppliers over the years, but we have always come back to Mimaki. With high fashion as a key market, we have to guarantee our customers the highest level of quality. To date, we have never found solutions that surpass the quality of technology from this Japanese brand. ”
According to Taccani, the difference lies in the “calligraphy” of the Mimaki machines, ie the line of ink on the fabric: “Unlike its competitors, Mimaki has focused on the“ waveforms ”, ie the electronics connected to the print heads. This attention to the way the inkjet is controlled from the printhead has allowed Mimaki to achieve unprecedented levels of accuracy. This has given my company a clear competitive advantage. “
In addition, at Digitak quality comes before quantity: “We prefer to spend an extra day on production in order to guarantee the customer an end product that fully meets the requirements and expectations. Mimaki’s technology not only fits this business model of the highest quality, it also makes it crucial. ”
Operational and creative flexibility
Digitak currently prints around 2,000 meters of fabric every day. The portfolio ranges from clothing and scarves to beach and swimwear with associated personalized accessories to sportswear with technical properties such as breathability, comfort and resistance to external influences. The company has even expanded its range of diverse and creative products to include tailor-made garden furniture.
The company’s machines work around the clock. During the day, the machines are mainly used to develop and produce samples and color prints, while the actual production takes place at night. “Thanks to our technology, we have developed exceptional operational flexibility. The fact that we have so many plotters enables us to work on multiple designs at the same time and start projects that are also very different from each other, ”explains Taccani. “There are a few other critical factors that have contributed to and continue to increase our production efficiency. The reliability of Mimaki’s solutions and the remote monitoring option offered are critical. Once the standard start-up monitoring has been performed and it has been determined that the machines are printing correctly, we can leave them to work overnight without an operator. This is a great advantage for people who, like us, manage such a large and diverse fleet of machines. “
Digitak takes the same approach to customer service. Facing an increasingly demanding market in terms of creativity, precision and completeness of service, the company wants to guarantee flexibility and customization. “We decided to set up a prepress department to prepare and review customer-supplied files. Our teams rarely need to edit the files delivered, even if only minor changes need to be made, in order to make the printed document as suitable as possible and to achieve the best end result. ”
Technologies of the future
To further improve production and customer service, Taccani decided to take on a new challenge and bring things up to date with some of the most recent investments.
Taccani continued to focus on dye sublimation printing and focused on technology diversification through the installation of a direct print digital printing line. This consists of a Mimaki TX300P-1800B printing system with pigment inks and a TR300-1850C coater from Mimaki’s TR series. “The market continues to develop and now requires even more flexibility in terms of both the processes and the materials supplied. This means that for a print shop that is able to produce the same design on different fabrics at the same time with minimal color matching, there is great opportunity and similar and accurate results are guaranteed. And that’s exactly the path we’re going, ”says Taccani. “Why did we choose Mimaki again? Well, I had the chance to try their new pigment inks and I immediately realized that they are a generation ahead of the other pigments available on the market. The cyan is very clean, the black is deep and there is a very interesting richness of color that is not only suitable for home furnishings but also for other uses in the clothing sector. “
With its new pigment inks, the new direct-to-fabric printing line enables Digitak to explore other related market segments. Thanks to the innovative automatic belt system, the TX300P-1800B guarantees good productivity and high quality results. A quality standard that is also improved by the TR300-1850C fabric pretreatment system: “This coater is essential for the best possible preparation of the fabrics for printing. In fact, we can treat fabrics so that they are suitable for the type of print for which they are intended, disinfect them for specific uses, and in some cases even dye them with excellent quality. ”
According to Taccani, another beneficial factor of the pigment printing technology applied directly to the fabric is the environmental sustainability of the process and its lower environmental impact. “We are proud to be able to offer our customers excellent print results with little water and pressure in ‘green mode’ with both available technologies. I consider them to be successful technologies for the future, as both dye sublimation printing and direct printing with pigment inks use little water and mainly require energy. So if you are using renewable energy, you are done. “
Digitak’s other trump card is the Tiger-1800 installed in 2019. With this industrial printing system, the company wants to increase production volume while maintaining high quality standards and further optimizing costs. “We are pleased to have these promising technologies available internally. We are currently experimenting with these solutions, testing new possibilities and evaluating what paths we need to take to stay one step ahead of the game, ”concludes Taccani.
Filippo Taccani, Founder and Owner of Digitak in the company’s production department, surrounded by an arsenal of Mimaki’s printing solutions.