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Publication Number:WO/2005/028730

International Application No.:PCT/EP2004/010732

Publication Date:31.03.2005

International Filing Date:22.09.2004

Int. Class.:B41J 11/00 (2006.01), B41J 3/407 (2006.01), B41J 3/54 (2006.01), B41J 3/60 (2006.01), D06B 11/00 (2006.01)

Applicants:TEN CATE ADVANCED TEXTILES B.V. [NL/NL]; Campbellweg 30, NL-7443 PV Nijverdal(NL) (All Except US). CRAAMER, Johannes, Antonius [NL/NL]; De Kampen 48, NL-6943 HE Meppel (NL) (US Only).Inventor:CRAAMER, Johannes, Antonius</font> [NL/NL]; De Kampen 48, NL-6943 HE Meppel (NL).Agent: CLARKSON, Paul; Howrey Simon Arnold & White, CityPoint, One Ropemaker Street, LondonEC2Y 9HS (GB).Priority Data: 1024338 22.09.2003 NL PCT/NL03/00841 28.11.2003 NL

Digital upgrading textile
Digital textile finishing
Digital applications on textiles



The invention provides a method for digitally upgrading a textile article (T) using a textile upgrading device (1), the device (1) comprising a number of nozzles (12) for applying one or more substances to the textile (T), in addition to transport means (2) for transporting the textile (T) along the nozzles (12), wherein the nozzles (12) are ordered in a number of successively placed rows (4, 5, 6, 7) extending transversely of the transporting direction of the textile article (T), the method comprising the steps of: guiding the textile article (T) along a first row (4) of nozzles (12); performing with the first row (4) of nozzles (12) one of the operations of painting, coating or finishing of the textile article (T) carried therealong; subsequently guiding the textile (T) along a second row (5) of nozzles (12); and

performing with the second row (5) of nozzles (12) another of the operations of painting, coating or

finishing of the textile article (T) carried therealong.

Designated States:

AE, AG, AL, AM, AT, AU, AZ, BA, BB, BG, BR, BW, BY, BZ, CA, CH, CN, CO, CR, CU, CZ, DE, DK, DM, DZ, EC, EE, EG, ES, FI, GB, GD, GE, GH, GM, HR, HU, ID, IL, IN, IS, JP, KE, KG, KP, KR, KZ, LC, LK, LR, LS, LT, LU, LV, MA, MD, MG, MK, MN, MW, MX, MZ, NA, NI, NO, NZ, OM, PG, PH, PL, PT, RO, RU, SC, SD, SE, SG, SK, SL, SY, TJ, TM, TN, TR, TT, TZ, UA, UG, US, UZ, VC, VN, YU, ZA, ZM, ZW. African Regional Intellectual Property Org. (ARIPO) (BW, GH, GM, KE, LS, MW, MZ, NA, SD, SL, SZ, TZ, UG, ZM, ZW) Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) (AM, AZ, BY, KG, KZ, MD, RU, TJ, TM) European Patent Office (EPO) (AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IT, LU, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR) African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) (BF, BJ, CF, CG, CI, CM, GA, GN, GQ, GW, ML, MR, NE, SN, TD, TG).

METHOD AND DEVICE FOR DIGITALLY UPGRADING TEXTILE The present application relates to a method and device for digitally upgrading textile and claims priority from Dutch application number 1024335 filed on

22nd September 2003 and also from PCT application No PCT/NL03/00841 filed on 28th November 2003, the contents of both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Roughly five production stages can be distinguished in the production of textiles. The fibre production, spinning of the fibres, the manufacture of cloth (for instance woven or knitted fabrics, tufted material or felt and non-woven materials), the upgrading of the cloth and the production or manufacture of end products. Textile upgrading is a totality of operations which have the purpose of giving textile the appearance and physical characteristics that are desired by the user. Textile upgrading comprises of, among other things, preparing, bleaching, optically whitening, colouring (painting and/or printing), coating and finishing a textile article.

The conventional process for upgrading textile is built up (figure 1) of a number of part-processes or upgrading steps, i. e. pre-treating the textile article (also referred to as the substrate), painting the substrate, coating the substrate, finishing the substrate and the post-treatment of the substrate.

A known technique for printing textile is the so-called template technique. Ink is herein applied to cut-out leaves or elements, the templates, with which desired patterns such as letters and symbols can be applied to the substrate.

Another known technique for printing textile is the so-called flatbed press technique, wherein the printed image lies in one plane with the parts of the print mould not forming a printing area. An example hereof is a so-called offset print, wherein the printing process takes place indirectly. During the printing the print area is first transferred onto a rubber fabric tensioned round a cylinder and from there onto the material for printing. A further technique is screen-printing, wherein the substance for applying is applied through openings in the print template onto the textile for printing.

The above described techniques all relate to the upgrading step of printing a substrate, in particular textile, or, in other words, they relate to the application of a pattern of a coloured substance to the substrate. As is already indicated in figure 1, painting of the substrate is another upgrading step. Painting is the application of a coloured chemical substance in a full plane, and then uniformly in one colour. Painting takes place at present by immersing the textile article in a paint bath, whereby the textile is provided on both sides with a coloured substance. Another upgrading step is coating of textile. Coating of textile involves the application of an optionally (semi-) permeable thin layer to the textile to protect (and increase the durability of) the substrate.

The usual techniques for applying a coating on solvent or water basis are the so-called knife-over roller, the dip and the reverse roller coaters. A dispersion of a polymer substance in water is usually applied to the cloth and excess coating is then scraped off with a doctor knife.

A further upgrading step involves finishing of the textile. Finishing is also referred to as high-quality upgrading and involves changing the physical properties of the textile and/or the substances applied to the textile, with the object of changing and/or improving the properties of the substrate. Properties it is wished to achieve with finishing are, among others, softening of the surface of the substrate, making the substrate fireproof or flameproof, water-repellent and/or oil- repellent, non creasing, shrink-proof, rot-proof, non- sliding, fold-retaining and/or antistatic. A technique frequently used for finishing is foularding (impregnating and pressing).

Each of the upgrading steps shown in figure 1 consists of a number of operations. Diverse treatments with diverse types of chemicals are required, depending on the nature of the substrate and desired end result. For the upgrading steps of printing, painting, coating and finishing four recurring steps can generally be distinguished which often take place in the same sequence. These treatments are referred to in the professional field as unit operations. These are the treatments of impregnation (i. e. application or introduction of chemicals), reaction/fixing (i. e. binding chemicals to the substrate), washing (i. e. removing excess chemicals and auxiliary chemicals) and drying. One drawback of the usual methods of upgrading is that per upgrading step (painting, coating, finishing) two or more cycles of unit operations have to be carried out to achieve the desired result. Three or more cycles of unit operations are often necessary for coating, which entails a relatively high environmental impact, a long throughput time and relatively high production costs. Four or more cycles of unit operations are even required for painting. The traditional painting process has for instance the final operations of several rinses (washing and soaping) for rinsing out excess chemicals,

such as for instance thickening agent. Rinsing results in the use of much water. Following on from the rinses is a drying process, usually consisting of a mechanical drying step using press-out rollers and/or vacuum systems followed by a thermal drying step, for instance using tenter-frames. It is moreover usual at this moment to carry out the different upgrading steps of the textile in separate devices. This means that for instance the painting is performed in a number of paint baths.

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