We know that HP tells its Latex users that fabric banners printed via Latex 360/3000, etc. are to be treated as "Temporary Textiles", but how temporary is temporary? Has anyone done any accelerated weathering testing? Does the ink fade prematurely? Does the combination of rain, wind, and abrasion (wet banner flapping in the wind rubbing against itself) destroy the banner?
I've taken a printed piece of fabric and continuously sprayed water over it - nothing happens. I've also taken the same piece of printed fabric, sprayed it with water, then rubbed it, and the ink immediately comes off. Is it safe to say that we should not be producing ANY outdoor banners on our latex printers?
Is HP recommending that these be used STRICTLY indoors?
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The term "Temporary Textiles" associated with the textiles printed with HP Latex Printing Technologies refers to the fact that these printed textiles are not washable. They are, therefore, not suitable for garments but ideal for SOFT SIGNAGE, like the ones which you'd find in retail and tradeshows/events (hanging signs, banners, roll-ups, back-drops, backlit displays...). See attached PDF for some inspiration on applications with textiles printed with HP Latex Technologies.
Regarding their fade resistance, it depends on the textile and its treatment/coating. But for indoor conditions their fade resistance can be more than 150 years (no UV light) and more than 2 years in-window (with UV light). Their fade resistance is far superior than that obtained with dye-sub printed textiles! Regarding abrasion, you need to handle prints with care (avoid folding, avoid scratching, avoid intense rubbing...). Prints are very often water-resistant but the combination of water-fast with limited rub resistant do not make them suitable for outdoor usage. So to your question: HP is recommending textiles printed with HP Latex Inks strictly for indoors.
Thanks Roman. What about PVC banners? OK for long term outdoor use?
Hola! Sure. HP Latex is a GREAT technology for PVC banners. It has very high scratch resistance with these media, much superior than the one you'd get with technologies like eco-solvent (see the attached "apples to apples" comparison which I've done with the Taber tool). PVC banners printed with HP Latex Inks are perfectly suited for outdoor conditions. They may last up to 3 years without lamination.
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