Skip to main content

How to choose your perfect printed backdrop

Product Innovations, Buyer's Guide Fabrics
© Luke Dyson

Are you looking to turn your artwork into a stunning branded concept for your stage, event or venue? The ShowTex in-house production team has the capacity and knowledge to do that for you. With 3m and 5m wide printers for high-resolution imaging, all your wide format printing needs are covered.

But how do you select the ideal printed backdrop? Make your choice from an extensive collection of polyester and PVC materials, acoustic fabrics or eco-friendly solutions, all with their own characteristics to suit your project. On top of that, all ShowTex print fabrics are fire-rated according to the European standards!
 

WHAT ARE YOUR PRINTING OPTIONS?

There are 3 main printing techniques to keep in mind, each with their own specifications: direct sublimation, transfer printing and UV printing. Depending on the type of fabric you need and your deadline, the ideal printing process will be different. Let's take a closer look.

 


 

WHAT IS DIRECT SUBLIMATION?

Especially when you're on a tight deadline, direct sublimation is a good option. This fast printing technology yields impressive colour results for backdrops made of 100% polyester, both for front- and backlighting.

The printer’s sticky belt transport system allows you to print on stretch fabrics, delicate sheers and mesh textiles. As the solid dyes are converted into gas and directly injected into the fabric, these backdrops will also fully maintain their specific look and feel after printing.

And there's more! You can save on transport costs as well, as backdrops printed with direct sublimation can be folded. The folding lines are hardly visible and will even totally disappear after tensioning the fabric.

 


 

WHAT IS TRANSFER PRINTING?

This exciting printing technique suits fabrics with at least 80% polyester and can print up to 315cm wide. It will first print your design on a special paper before transferring it onto the fabric using heat. You'll be amazed by the extremely detailed print this method leaves on your drape!

Because of the transfer paper, this technique allows you to print on very specific materials such as velvet, Molton and satin. You should, however, keep in mind that this is a rather slow printing process that is less suitable for large quantity projects.

Does your design require a very special fabric? Let's fire up the transfer printer and surprise you with a super sharp impression and brilliant colours!

 


 

WHAT IS UV PRINTING?

Going extra wide? The UV printer is suitable for 100% polyester textiles and flexible PVC materials up to 505cm wide!

The speed and accuracy of this printer are remarkable, whether you opt for a frontlit or a backlit drape. Either way, you'll end up with a high-quality image printed at dazzling speeds. Perfect for short deadlines.

By combining different printing profiles and fabrics, you can also use UV printing to create stunning special effects. A partial blackout/backlit effect or a striking glossy/matte contrast just to name a few. There are of course a lot more options!

The UV machine can even print on PVC projection screens, which can then be welded almost seamlessly to create enormous printed backdrops up to any size. 

To top it all off, the flexible UV ink makes your prints easy to tighten and even foldable for transportation.

 


 

UV PRINTING ON THE FLAT-BED MACHINE

Looking to print a rather stiff or non-conventional material up to 1cm thick? The flat-bed UV printer is perfect for this application! TrusSleeve, string curtains or non-flexible items such as dance carpets are printable up to 195cm wide. 

And there's more: apart from the standard CMYK colours, this flat-bed can also print white! The white ink enables you to print black fabrics with a blanc coat, prior to printing the actual artwork.

Do keep in mind though that your printed textiles cannot be folded for transportation when opting for this printing method.

 


 

We love to give you more advice on how to choose the ideal printed backdrop for your project!