Christina Lu

Christina Lu

Overseas Sales Director and Co-Founder of KASU Laser, 12+ Years Textile and Fabric Laser Cutting Machine Expert.

Contents

How Is Co2 Laser Cutter Used In Printed Fabric?

Laser cutting is one of technology’s numerous gifts to humans. It makes the industrial cutting process much more effortless by eliminating the need to hack rigorously when cutting, and it speeds up fabric cutting processes. 

Manual fabric cutting techniques require tools like scissors, knives, different types of blades, die modes and hot iron wire to cut. 

Hot knife manual cutting sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutting machine
Hot knife manual cutting
knife or scissor manual cutting sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutting machine
Knife or scissor manual cutting

And although they may suffice sometimes, they are often not as effective as we want them to be. And even when they are, they tend to take up a large chunk of our time.

The Co2 laser cutting technique, on the other hand, is more upgraded, and it utilizes lasers to vaporize materials, leaving clean and tidy edges afterward. 

What’s more? With laser cutting, you do not need various cutting tools to perform different tasks. 

The Co2 laser cutter can cut through several materials like fabric, leather, and other non-metal materials perfectly. 

KASU KX Series CCD Laser Cutting Machine Working Step 4

But that is not all. The laser cutter can also auto cut printed designs on fabrics with the assistance of camera and vision software, which makes it even more desirable. 

This article focuses on how Co2 laser cutters are used in printed fabrics.

KASU LASER CLIENT FACTORY 14
Co2 Laser Cutter

Two Main Types of Fabric Printing Technology

The printed fabric is a fabric material with a printed design. Fabric printing has become a widespread trend today, and you can find beautiful designs printed on fabrics wherever you look.

These excellent results prove that fabric printing is a vital introduction, and this next-generation fashion trend has come to stay. But the big puzzle for many people is, “how is fabric printing done?

The printing on fabrics and textile materials can be done in two ways which are:

  • Screen Printing
  • Digital Printing

Both methods are somewhat distinct from each other, but they produce a similar excellent finish. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of both methods.

Fabric Screen Printing Technology

A screen printing is a fabric print that is produced by using a mesh to transfer a substrate. The ink is used to fill the mesh aperture by an instrument called a squeegee that moves across the screen during this process.

The skin is then made to touch briefly make contact with the substrate along a line known as the line of contact. But after the blade passes, the screen spring pulls back up and causes the ink to wet the substrate as a result.

However, this process only allows for one printing at a time. Therefore, you will need to apply multiple screens if you wish to create a multi-colored image in your design.

Basic processes of screen print:

  • Place the screen face down on the material
  • Apply ink on the back edge of the screen and use the squeegee to drag the ink across the screen without pressing it down against the material
  • Use the squeegee to drag the ink across the screen again and press it down slightly on this screen.
  • Repeat the step about 3 – 4 times until the design is transferred
  • Allow the ink to dry off, and your fabric design is ready.
Manual Screen Print - Kasu Laser Cutter
Manual Screen Printing

There are two types of screen printing used in fabric design and production. They are:

✮ By Piece (Flatbed Screen Printing):

Flatbed screen printing is an advanced automated version of the traditional handmade screen printing. And although this method of screen printing only prints in single patterns rather than a continuous pattern, the multiple strokes of the squeegee present allows helps produce an enormous amount of print paste.

✮ By Roll (Rotary Screen Printing):

Rotary screen printing, on the other hand, is done by a machine that rolls screen shapes to allow continuous pattern making. But similar to flathead printing, rotary printing utilizes a metering system to control the quantity of dye paste being fed into the printing mechanism. 

Screen printing has quickly become a favorite for customers who demand that designs be printed on their fabrics.

Top Types of Screen-Printed Applications That Laser Cutting Machines Can Work On

✮ Screen Printed Clothing and Garments:

One fun fact about screen printing is that you can give it a go with just a little knowledge and experience you gather. Where better to try out the screen printing, if not on T-shirts, polo, or kids’ bibs? This makes clothes and garments one of the most used application materials for screen printing.

So the garment laser cutting machine is also widely applied to cut off the designs right after they are screen printed. 

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✮ Screen Printed PU Leather Shoes and Bags:

Modern shoe and bag makers prefer to use PU leather material for their products because of the material’s flexibility. Another reason why they choose leather for these products is that they support screen printing, which is one of the top design methods.

This technology is used to attach innovative ink to leather products so that it looks as if the material and the design are one. With this technology, companies can now imprint their brand name, logo, and other designs on their leather products, taking fashion to another level while advertising their brands.

After the roll screen printing, the PU leather laser cutter will start the automatic cutting-off process with super high precision and production.   

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✮ Screen Printed Labels and Appliques:

After the label or applique is prepared on the mesh using ink and the graphic overlay, it can then be transferred onto the material using the screen printing method.

One advantage of this printing method is that once the mesh is prepared, it can be used to produce many copies of the pattern.

And laser cutting machine with camera can cut off screen printed labels and appliques with super high precision.

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✮ Screen Printed Signs and Displays:

Screen printing is used to produce big amout of signs and displays on textiles and PU materials, and laser cutters are used to provide just the perfect edge cutting off.

The hot-sealed finishes that laser cutters leave on screen-printed displays make them more smooth and give them higher quality and high accuracy.

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✮ Screen Printed Plush toys:

The fact that you can laser cut screen printed plush stuffed toys just goes to show that there’s only a little limit on what you can work on with laser cutters. If you have a long-hair plush toy that you wish to customize, your best bet for perfect design printing is roll-to-roll screen printing and then roll laser cutting.

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Fabric Digital Printing Technology

Digital Printing refers to a fabric print that is produced by printing a digital-based image on fabric material. It is the most popular type of modern fabric printing, and it is preferred because it is more adaptable to current marketing trends.

This method is also a lot faster than other more traditional methods because it does not require regular printing plate changing. In this method, pigments are deposited onto the substrate, and then the laser heater is introduced to transfer the design to the fabric.

There are two main digital laser printing methods, and they both function effectively, although their applications are quite different. They are:

✮ Dye Sublimation Printing

The dye sublimation printing method is a digital printing technique where ink is firstly printed onto sublimation papers by sublimation printers and then heat transferred to fabric materials by heat transfer machine.

It is called the sublimation method because the dye was initially thought to change directly from solid to gaseous form. However, it was later proven that the dye actually goes through a liquid form briefly before converting into gas.

But the name was not changed after this finding, and it is still called the sublimation method today. This process uses more advanced machines to produce displays and designs on fabrics.

KASU LASER DYE SUBLIMATION PAPER PRINTING
Sublimation Paper and Printer
KASU LASER DYE SUBLIMATION CALENDAR HEAT TRANSFER MACHINE
Calendar Heat Transfer Machine

✮ DTF (Direct to fabric):

The DTF digital printing technique is a new way of personalizing fabrics that is quickly becoming very popular. It is mainly used for apparel, workwear, and gift printing, and it leaves great quality finishes with an intense grip that can last for an extended period.

This technique requires a PET film, and white paint is often used as background paint to help the print colors maintain top quality even on darker materials.

KASU LASER DYE SUBLIMATION PET WHITE INK FILM
Printed DTF Film
KASU LASER KD SERIES LASER CUTTING SAMPLES-WHITE INK PET FILM AND VINYL
Laser Cut DTF Film

Digital Printing Laser Cutting Machine

Making and engraving designs on materials like fabrics, wood, and other composite materials have evolved from manual craftsmanship to more sophisticated approaches like laser cutting.

The most suitable laser cutting machines for digital printing are the KD series with top Canon Camera and the KX series with small CCD Camera.

The laser cutter is used in this printing method to help give it a more precise and excellent finish, but how exactly is the laser cutter used in digital printing.

Here’s how.

A computer is used to direct the laser cutter’s highly powerful and accurate laser beam towards a section of the material, heating the material rapidly till it melts or evaporates partially. A camera system will be needed to accurately position the digitally printed graphics’ contour.

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Laser Cutting Digital Print Applications

✮ Laser Cut Customized Garments

Companies often take advantage of this printing technique to customize garment designs to satisfying the fast-changing tastes of the market.

They digitally print out the patterns on roll-to-roll fabrics first and then use the camera laser cutting machine to cut out the clothing patterns.

The whole process can be automatic and cost-effective. Most importantly, the MOQ of the customized garment orders can be just 1 piece.

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✮ Laser Cut Sublimated Sportswear and Teamwear

The sportswear market is huge and shows potential to become even bigger in the coming years. This results from the growing trend of sportswear as both an attire for sports activities and fashion wear off the tracks.

Sportswear manufacturers use sublimation and laser cutting technology to make patterns, design logos, and paste sponsor names on sports wears, giving them just the perfect finish required.

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✮ Laser Cut Digital Printed Soft Signage and Advertising Banners

No doubt, Advertising is the spine of marketing for any business, and it may not be proper to talk about advertising without mentioning billboards and banners.

These advert media contain large images of products and services printed on them using the digital printing method. Check this article to find out more details of How To Laser Cut Flag, Banner, And Soft Signage?

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✮ Laser Cut Digital Printing Home Textiles

Home textile designs have gone beyond ordinary brick paintings and placing tiles, and if you look closely, you’ll notice some more sophisticated designs on curtains, carpets, beddings, cushions, sofas, and walls around.

These designs are made on composite materials, most of which are non-metal materials. All these and more are made possible with the Co2 laser cutter technology that opens up several possibilities for designs and engravings.

Laser Cut FIFA World Cup 2022 Woven Floor Mat Kasu Laser Cutter
Carpet & Mat
KASU LASER APPLICATION HOME TEXTILE CUSHION BLANKET BED COVER
Home Textile

✮ Laser Cut Sublimation Plush Toys

Plush toys are very good gifts for your kids and loved ones, whether it’s the festive periods or not. But what is better than a plush toy?

A personalized plush toy. With the aid of a digital printer and laser cutter with camera, you can design images, logos, and love notes on plush toys to make them the perfect gift for that your loved one.

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✮ Laser Cut Digital Printed Labels and Appliques

Digital printing is the go-to technique when it comes to printing labels and appliques.

This is because the benefits of using this technique for labels and appliques are many, including a wide variety of design options, faster production, cost-reducing, and minimum waste. 

Check this page to find out how digital printed labels and appliques are cut by laser cutting machines.

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✮ Laser Cut DTF (White Ink PET Vinyl Film)

PET vinyl films are made of natural and environmental-friendly materials, which means that they do not produce toxic gasses when worked upon by lasers.

Hence, laser cutting technology is the favorite technique for cutting vinyl film. Check this comparison cutting video of scissor cutting and laser cutting DTF film.

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✮ Laser Cut Digital Print Leather

When it comes to fashion accessories like shoes, bags, and wallets, leather materials are the most preferred. But plain colors like tan, black, brown, and white may seem too bland and dull to suit modern fashion.

But with digital printing, you can spice up the appearance of these leather accessories by adding durable designs on them. 

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Laser cutters are undoubtedly one of the best cutting technologies that have been introduced to the printing industry.

Its precise and accurate cuts and finishes make it a very valuable tool, while its versatility only means that this technology has come to stay.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot Christina,
    I enjoyed your post, keep share please
    hope we could work together

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