Durst’s contribution to digital production in textile printing

Custom and eco-friendly designs on demand

Durst Alpha 330 Series 5 with pigment – one for North Carolina, USA, and the other in Berlin, Germany – to support its adoption of eco-friendly digital textile printing technology
Durst Alpha 330 Series 5 with pigment – one for North Carolina, USA, and the other in Berlin, Germany – to support its adoption of eco-friendly digital textile printing technology

Spoonflower, the US online community providing web-to-print service for home décor, uses Durst’s pigment technology on the Alpha platforms. It has chosen to invest in two more Durst Alpha 330 Series 5 with pigment – one for North Carolina, USA, and the other in Berlin, Germany – to support its adoption of eco-friendly digital textile printing technology.

Spoonflower allows individuals to design, print and sell their own custom-designed fabric, wallpaper and home decor products. The Spoonflower marketplace hosts the largest collection of independent fabric designers in the world, with over 1 million designs available to suit every taste and style. With environmentally sustainable on-demand manufacturing, no minimum order requirements and zero finished goods inventory, Spoonflower exemplifies an integrated ‘pixel to output’ approach.

Gart Davis, who co-founded Spoonflower in 2008, said, “Spoonflower is not just a service for custom fabric printing, we are a community that prizes individuality, self-expression and a human connection between designers and those who want to bring design into their homes. Pigment printing is a future technology that we use today thanks to the hard work and strong partnership with Durst. Our collaboration on home decor has been successful; the Alpha produces beautiful fabric with a precise, fine print, a broad gamut, and strong fastness properties, which is why we have invested in two more pigment Alpha 330s.”

Christoph Gamper, Durst chief executive officer and co-owner, said, “As a pioneer in the web-to-print for fabrics, sustainability and pigment sectors, our technology platforms represent the ‘new’ textile. It’s not only speed but clever solutions too. The world needs more companies that question the status quo. We’re at the forefront of the evolution that will sweep across the textile industry. This is just the beginning.”

The Alpha 330 Series 5 is the fifth generation of Durst’s Alpha printing systems. It features newly developed software to meet the increased demands of textile digital printing as well as improvements in material handling, efficiency and material diversity. The technology platform offers a sustainable, flexible and scalable solution for every application and enables waterless one-step production with Durst Advanced Digital Pigment ink. SuperMultipass provides 30% better performance than comparable systems by integrating new technologies in the printheads, inks and drying units. The Alpha Series 5 can also have a patented SwiftJet Pretreatment System positioned upstream of the Alpha printer – valuable for short-run and fast-turnaround jobs.

A family-owned company with a history stretching back more than 80 years, Durst Group’s values are focused on innovation, customer orientation, sustainability and quality. The US division of Durst, which is based in Rochester, is a full-service subsidiary and highly integrated service provider.

Backed by consultancy and seamless integration provided through Durst Professional Services, all systems can be equipped with the new Durst Workflow Print, monitoring tool Durst Analytics and Durst Smart Shop. Expansion modules are integrated with the printing system to create a complete production process ‘from pixel to output’.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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