Here at Beckford Silk, we use digital printers to create beautiful designs on to silk. We are now running four production sized digital printers. They enable us to print a multicoloured image directly from a computer. They work on an eight-colour process so the reproduction of colour is very accurate. We use these printers to print our silk scarves and silk fabric lengths.
But there is more to digital printing on to silk than standing in front of a machine and waiting for the finished product to appear. The coating of the silk prior to printing requires sophisticated equipment. We are fortunate enough to have a clip stenter for finishing. This now is an essential machine for pre-coating and we have recently bought a padding mangle that has been fitted to the front of our stenter.
After the silk has been coated and re-rolled. The silk is ready to be put on to the printer. The design is then chosen from a file on the computer and then it is printed on to the silk.
Once the design has been printed on to the silk then it is taken through the finishing processes. This is steaming to fix the dyes and washing out the coating of gum. Before putting the silk back through the stenter for final finishing. Here is a sped up video for you to see it in action.
The Clip Stenter Finishing Machine is very important in the end process. It consists of two moving chains which are adjustable to width and taper at one end, allowing the washed fabric to be fed on. Once pulled out to its correct width, the taut wet fabric passes through the infra-red oven. This draws out the moisture leaving the fabric dry and crease-free, as it rolls out at the other end.
After the digitally printed silk fabric has been dried on the clip stenter, it will then be rolled onto cardboard rolls. To see more of our digitally printed silk please click HERE.