Como-based, silk printing specialist, Alatex Printing Ltd, has taken delivery of its second stenter, a new Montex from A. Monforts Textilmaschinen for exclusive preparation and finishing duties for the company’s inkjet digital printing applications.
Founded in 1970, the family owned company undertook traditional high quality silk printing on tables and, later, flat printers. With the introduction of rotary printer technology in 2000, the company subsequently installed 12-colour and 10-colour printing presses; relying on old second-hand stenters for finishing.
Founder director Ambrogio Brenna, explained his feelings at the time recognising the necessity to purchase the digital technology.
“At first l was very sceptical, unable to find pleasure for the digital printed fabric compared with the traditionally produced printed fabric – l felt that computers were killing the creative aspect of our production.”
He continued, “Today l must admit that l have revised my fears, recognising that with digital printing you still require experience and knowledge to achieve great results.”
“The key is sensibility in choosing the best colour for the right combination of colours and sensitivity of feel.”
Currently, with its third generation of digital printers, Alatex recognised the importance of a state-of-the-art stenter offering hi-performance and precision for ink jet preparation – preparing the silk fabric with chemicals before printing; to achieve the specified high quality required for the digital printer. As a result the company ordered a Montex from local representative Sacconaghi-Monaco Srl for exclusive operation with the digital printing process.
In a first pass through the Montex, the opportunity is taken to join the 30m, 40m or 50m rolls into larger batches as well as adding chemicals for digital preparation.
Following printing, the fabric is washed and steamed before passing through the Montex in a second pass for finishing.
Fabrics for digital printing range from 20gm/m² - 300gm/m² with around 80% of production featuring weights up to 70gm/m². A typical blend features 88% silk and 12% lycra elastane.
Following its recent installation, more than 120,000 m of silk production has been processed by the Montex ensuring the superior hi-spec, quality finish. Digitally produced production is expected to exceed 5,000,000 m by the end of the year confirmed Ambrogio.
Although ordered specifically to handle fabrics for the digital printing process, the Montex, together with a second recently installed used stenter, is also used for finishing duties on the rotary and flat bed printed fabrics.
“We are extremely happy with its performance,” said Ambrogio Brenna.
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