Eco-improved Tshirt Printing
You are a proud treehugger, using your purchasing power as responsibly as you can. For example, when you want a T with a hip logo, you shop at organic, fair-trade businesses like Gossypium, maker of the featured logo which pokes a bit of fun at the purveyors of polyester. You probably hope without verification that your chosen eco-textile supplier is clever about the dyes and associated chemicals they use. So don't let it stress you out that another variable is coming to the choice of an eco-T:
With a grant from the Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German National Fund for the Environment), the company CSC Schäfer has developed a new press for heat transfer printing. In Germany alone, with 23,000 printing facilities, the DBU estimates the new process could eliminate over 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide due to its 85% lower energy usage.
The new process takes advantage of the technology used in Ceran stove-tops, using infrared radiation and a special glass for the printing plates. A significantly improved insulation also helps to achieve an evenly distributed temperature quickly. This technique allows the printing heads to remain cold, heating up only after they are brought into contact with the fabric to be printed. The press is especially advantageous for the small-run shops which print the customer's designs on demand: if the printing head is left hot to avoid the long warm-up time, energy is unnecessarily consumed. With additional advantages such as easier use, noticably better print quality and only a third of the annual operating costs, the press will hopefully catch on widely.