Higher Stretch and Digitally Printable Textiles

A photo of the Higher Stretch and Digitally Printable Textiles team working on their project

Sponsor: Avery Dennison

Team Members: Hannah Allgood, Heather Freeman, Emily Stolarcyzk

Project Description: Per rising market trends in digital printing in the textile industry, Avery Dennison wanted to explore the feasibility of introducing this technology to their capabilities. We were asked to explore various print methods-specifically in regard to Avery Dennison’s Printed Fabric Label (PFL) division and asked to incorporate greater stretch into the fabrics. These labels are sold to textile manufacturers for placement in all types of textile goods. The comparison to the PFL’s is to understand these opportunities and evaluate how they could expand beyond that division and play a greater role in the Avery Dennison printing textile department. 

The design process for our project was unique in that it consisted of one iteration instead of multiple iterations of a prototype. The purpose of this project is to gather information about how the different fabrics interact with the various printing methods and then to provide an analysis and recommendation. 

The design of experiments had 36 sample combinations composed of nine different fabrics and four digital printing methods. The four print methods explored were: latex printing, dye sublimation with transfer paper, dye sublimation direct to fabric, and ink-jet using a FujiFilm Dimatix. Our fabrics were woven at Wilson College’s weaving lab and purchased from online vendors. The fabrics were also made of various yarns made of recycled polyester and various yarns using polyester/lycra. The fabrics represented three weave structures: plain, 2/2 twill, and sateen. Each fabric was analyzed on its readability, stretch, wash fastness, and crockfastness. By exploring these parameters, Avery Dennison gains a better understanding of how evolving technology can help them expand and better serve their business.