Mimaki & Fogra target new ISO standard for textile printing

Mimaki Germany has loaned one of its TS300P-1800 textile printers to the Fogra Research Institute to help with government-funded research aimed at improving color standardization in digital textile printing.

Hisashi Takeuchi, MD at Mimaki Deutschland, hands over a loaned textile printer to the director of the Fogra Institute, Dr. Eduard Neufeld

“The color communication workflow in digital textile production faces major challenges,” Fogra said. “It starts with selecting an appropriate RGB exchange color space. Creating designs from typical Adobe programs results in digital assets, which are typically created in the sRGB or AdobeRGB color space. They are far too large compared to typical textile swatch fan decks or common digital printing color gamuts. This results in time-consuming and costly, mostly iterative, color adjustments for mostly small-to-medium sized print service providers.

Fogra launched its two-year TextileRGB research project in 2020, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The project aims to develop a suitable RGB interchange color space for digital textile printing and design a standardization concept that will lead to a new ISO standard.

Mimaki Deutschland GmbH has now partnered with Fogra by lending its state-of-the-art TS300P-1800 textile printer. The model has been specially designed for the textile industry and produces sublimated prints quickly and inexpensively.

“The first goal is a systematic and metrological recording of color appearance, i.e. the color as well as the surface or fiber structure of typical print samples,” Fogra said. “The determined appearance properties should be reviewed for their compatibility with established 3-channel workflows. A spectral workflow based on the new iccMAX specification including possible spectral characterization will be developed, implemented and tested.

“The second objective is the development of an RGB working color space for digital textile printing. The third axis of this project is the production of proofs for paper and textile proofs. In summary, a standardization concept must be devised, which will lead to a new ISO standard (ISO 15311-4) and a separate chapter in the ProcessStandard Digital (PSD) available free of charge.

Targeted project results

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“An RGB working color space suitable for digital textile printing must be developed; a continuous spectral workflow based on the new iccMAX standard should be developed, implemented and tested.

“In summary, a standardization concept must be devised, which leads on the one hand to a new ISO standard and on the other hand to a separate chapter in the ProcessStandard Digital (PSD). This includes including proof production specifications for paper proofs and textile proofs. This makes the printer ideal for the production of fashion and (sports) clothing, home textiles as well as point-of-sale material.

Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director of Mimaki Deutschland GmbH, visited Fogra in Aschheim near Munich to mark the official press handover. The director of the institute, Dr. Eduard Neufeld, showed him around the laboratories and the printing room, where the textile printer will provide valuable assistance in the practical implementation of the next steps of the project.

“We have already worked closely with Mimaki on previous projects and have always been convinced of the quality of the printed products,” says Dr. Andreas Kraushaar, Project Manager and Head of the Fogra Prepress Technology Department. “We are delighted that our cooperation will continue in the ongoing digital textile printing project.”

Fogra, a non-profit association with 900 members in more than 50 countries, conducts scientific research in the field of printing and media technology.

For more information on the research project, visit: TEXTILERGB

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