In the case of graphics, hardly any of the traditional screen press manufacturers had the vision to react sufficiently to the change of technology and retain a significant market share with inkjet products. But with ceramic tile printing it was different. Visionary companies led the way, others followed and many of the inkjet tile printing systems and inks are produced by long-term industry players.
When was the first inkjet textile printer developed? 2002? 1995? 1988? Actually, a lot earlier than that. In the early 1970’s a small consultancy in Cambridge, UK was asked by the large chemical group ICI to come up with a new way of printing textiles – digitally. They adopted continuous inkjet technology and built a prototype that printed 2 colours over a 10 inch wide web of fabric. And it worked (just).
Conventional wisdom has taught us that thermal ink jet (TIJ) printing requires aqueous inks. After all, water has quite unique properties that are well suited to the technology.