Polyester blends are popular for many types of textile. When we blend natural fibres with synthetic fibres, we also mix the respective qualities of the fibres. These qualities will supplement each other and often provide a good final product.
You may print on most polyester blends, but there are certain elements that you need to take into account. We consider blend proportion, colours, patterns and the fabric application when we evaluate a print project involving polyester blends. As a starting point, we cannot be sure that all fibres react the same to the ink – not during the printing process, nor employing the textile afterwards.
scan htp evaluates every single print project before committing to the project. We reserve the right to reject a project if the blend proportion of the fabric will prevent us from obtaining a satisfactory and durable result.
Polyester and polyamide
Polyamide (nylon) is synthetic fibres made of inorganic raw material. Polyamide is the strongest known fibre. It does not crinkle or shrink, but it is quite light sensitive.
Polyamide has a good durability and tensile strength and therefore, the material is popular for carpets and the likes.
The big difference between printing on polyester and printing on polyamide is the texture of the raw material. Polyester is polyester. In polyamide, however, only 60% of the substance is the same every time. The remaining 40% will vary according to the raw material manufacturer’s propensity to softeners and other additives.
It may be difficult to obtain a good and colourfast result when printing on polyamide. Grinning is almost impossible to avoid. Grinning occurs because the disperse colours sit in a thin layer on the surface of the fabric and cause the pattern to separate when pulling the fabric.
However, we can minimise the grinning effect by using a dyed polyamide matching the pattern on the side of the polyester.
scan htp has made fine printing results on polyester blends with polyamide. However, it has to be polyamide 6.6 in order to be a successful print. We cannot transfer print on the old type nylon with the technical name of polyamide 6.
Polyester and elastane (Lycra)
Elastane is a polyurethane fibre with high elasticity as its major quality. Elastane is a popular material for textiles designed for underwear and swimwear.
Blends of polyester and elastane are very common and in most cases suitable for transfer printing. The blend proportion determines whether the disperse ink will react satisfactory.
The typical challenge on print projects with polyester/elastane blends is the risk of bleeding. The grease (softener) in the elastane risks affecting the ink and cause it to bleed.
We will always print a sample on the fabric in question to know in advance how the colorants react. We usually guarantee good print results on polyester fabric containing 2-12% elastane.
Polyester and cotton
Cotton is a natural fibre grown around the seeds on the cotton plant. The fibres are spun, knitted and woven into fabrics. Cotton is among the most common natural fibre textiles in the world.
Printing on blends of polyester and cotton is difficult. Disperse dyes are not suitable for cotton and the result will not be satisfactory. We usually do not print on cotton, but recommend you to use reactive or pigment dyes for your cotton blend projects.
Polyester and viscose
Viscose is a regenerated fibre made from wood pulp and waste material from cotton mills. Viscose fabric is very popular for curtains as this fibre is very light resistant. Viscose resemble cotton, but is related to paper and therefore has a poor wet strength compared to cotton.
Polyester blends with viscose are not suitable for printing with disperse dyes. We usually do not print on viscose, but recommend you to use reactive or pigment dyes for your viscose blend projects.