T-Jet The History Of Inkjet Printing To Shirts

History of Inkjet Printing on Shirts
By Scott Fresener

It may seem that inkjet printing on shirts is new when in reality it was first introduced by a company called Embleme in France. Embleme was started in 1993 by Patrice Giraud as a spin off from a company called IMAJE. It was a French government sponsored project. See Image A

The Embleme system (called D'TOPE) was unique in that is used UV curing ink printed through industrial inkjet heads. The machine was large and nothing like we see today. In order speed up the curing process UV lights were actually attached to the printing head to help cure the ink immediately after it was printed. See Image B

The printing mechanism was designed much like a typical carousel printing press. Two arms held a typical platen. The shirt was loaded or draped over the platen and then the sleeves or excess garment material (in the case of a thick sweatshirt) is tucked under the platen to keep it out of the way of the machinery. Again, all procedures adopted from traditional screen printing on T-Shirts. The operator would then send a command from a graphic program and the shirt would be printed. See Image C

Like today's machines, the Embleme machine could also print on yard goods, towels, and even mousepads. This mousepad was printed in late 1994 for a 1995 News Years celebration. See Image D

Due to funding cuts this project was abandoned in 1997.

We were able to obtain a short and very poor quality video tape of this machine in action and would like to thank Patrice Giraud for providing this. This video was taken in late 1994. In fact, our good friend and inkjet expert, Vince Cahill visited with Patrice and saw this machine working in early 1995.

Image A
Photo courtesy Patrice Giraud - circa 1994
Image B
Photo courtesy Patrice Giraud - circa 1994
Image C
Photo courtesy Patrice Giraud - circa 1994
Image D
Photo courtesy Patrice Giraud - circa 1994
Photo courtesy Patrice Giraud - circa 1994
Important Links

Home Products Commercial Embroidery Machines Used Embroidery Machines New Embroidery Machines Used Direct To Garment Printers New Direct To Garment Printers Industrial Embroidery Machines Start your own business Customer comments Support Links Contact
Free designs Digital T-Shirt Printers
New embroidery machines
Used embroidery machines Help FAQ's Site-Map

imachinegroup.com Copyright 2003
2512 East Fender Ave Ste. A
Fullerton, Ca. 92831
(888) 652-4464 714-869-3048 Imachinegroup, international machine group