In a groundbreaking collaboration, Epson, a leading technology company, and Robustelli s.r.l., a renowned Italian textile manufacturing equipment manufacturer, proudly celebrate the 20th anniversary of their iconic creation, the Monna Lisa industrial inkjet digital textile printer. This remarkable printer has revolutionized the textile printing industry, combining Epson’s cutting-edge inkjet technology with Robustelli’s expertise in manufacturing and printing processes.
Robustelli, located in the prestigious Como region of Italy, known for its luxury brands and textile printing industry, played a pivotal role in developing, manufacturing and selling textile printers. Epson’s contribution came in the form of Micro Piezo print heads and ink supply mechanism components, enabling the two companies to commercialize a digital textile printer capable of high-volume printing.
At the heart of the Monna Lisa printer lies Epson’s proprietary high-density Micro Piezo print heads, renowned for their ability to eject ink droplets in variable sizes. Collaborating with For.Tex s.r.l., an esteemed Italian company specializing in pre- and post-printing processes, Epson also developed a specialized ink tailored for textile printing. This printer-ink synergy allows for exceptional gradations and color reproduction, characteristic of inkjet printing while offering the flexibility to print on various fabrics like silk, cotton, nylon, and polyester. Additionally, the printer’s high-quality mode ensures high-speed and robust operation, making it ideal for volume printing needs.
During the Monna Lisa’s inception, digital textile printers were primarily utilized for sample preparation. However, there was a growing demand for advancements in digital processing technologies and inkjet capabilities for large-scale production. Encouraged by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Textile Association of Como, Robustelli, with its rich history in textile printing, and Epson, with its inkjet technology expertise, joined forces to develop a digital textile printer. The result was the Monna Lisa, a game-changing innovation.
The Monna Lisa has garnered praise from designers and the textile industry alike, thanks to its ability to offer short turnaround times, even with mixed and small-lot production. Furthermore, its environmentally friendly design, with minimal waste liquid, contributes to a reduced environmental impact. The printer’s exceptional detail and the vast range of design possibilities it unlocks have led numerous high-class apparel makers to embrace textiles printed with the Monna Lisa. It has remained the market leader for digital textile printers in Italy, sparking an unmistakable shift from analog to digital printing and reshaping the industry since its debut.
In 2012, Epson acquired a 50 percent share in For.Tex s.r.l., solidifying its commitment to strengthening its digital textile printing business. This strategic move granted Epson access to For.Tex’s marketing expertise, consulting services to the textile printing industry, and comprehensive knowledge of pre-and post-processing, thus providing complete solutions for inkjet textile printers and further expanding the realm of digital printing.
In 2022, Epson Australia proudly introduced the Monna Lisa ML-8000 direct-to-fabric textile printer, setting a new standard for textile image quality. The ML-8000, equipped with eight state-of-the-art PrecisionCore printheads, embodies the latest world-class Epson inkjet printing and manufacturing technologies, amalgamated into a single, powerful package.
With its eight PrecisionCore printheads, the ML-8000 achieves an impressive print speed of up to 155 square meters per hour. This next-generation digital textile printer excels in print quality, productivity, stable operation with minimal downtime, and user-friendly operation at an affordable price point. Consequently, it emerges as the go-to printer for companies eager to explore local, onshore digital printing and production, catering to the rising demands of fashion and textile designers for shorter runs, fast fashion, and reduced environmental footprints.
As the world embraces the benefits of digital printing, designers can effortlessly deliver digital designs for print-on-demand, facilitating faster turnaround times without relying on massive shipments of stock across continents. This shift from analog printing not only meets the demands of the industry but also aligns with the growing public concern for sustainable practices by minimizing waste streams.
The Monna Lisa’s 20th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the evolution of textile printing. Epson and Robustelli continue to push the boundaries of innovation, empowering the industry with cutting-edge solutions, and fueling the transition towards a digital future where creativity and sustainability harmoniously coexist.
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