By Melissa Donovan
The July issue of Digital Output included an article on the importance of choosing the correct fabric for a light box.
Not all fabrics are meant for this application, it is important that the substrates used diffuse light evenly while simultaneously providing a high-quality color pop and not washing out the image. This is done in a number of ways like adding a special coating to assist in creating a top-notch finish. Substrates used in silicone edge graphic (SEG) frames require a bit of stretchability to ensure the graphic remains taut and does not sag.
We asked vendors to share their fabrics specifically manufactured for light box displays, whether backlit, frontlit, or edge lit; in addition to SEG compatible.
Light Box Fabric
Aberdeen Fabrics, Inc. offers Backlit 911. This is a woven with an acrylic diffuser, which allows for light to be diffused evenly. It provides superior image quality and color pop. Since the acrylic is water proof, the fabric is also used for tents/tarps, so it is very versatile. It is printable with dye-sublimation (dye-sub), UV, and latex.
ACCO Brands, under its Seal line of products offers Mambo Fabric. This is a 100 percent polyester textile featuring a unique coating for high color brilliance and rich blacks. When stretched into a frame, the fabric does not show pin holes of light.
Agfa Graphics offers its Polyfab polyester coated fabric, part of the Duratex line of products. It does not feature any pin holes, has just enough stretch to pop into an SEG frame, and is wrinkle free.
Beaver Paper & Graphic Media, Inc. specifically promotes TexStyles Brilliance for backlit applications. It features light diffusion without applying a heavy coating. It also allows for optimal light transmission to achieve a bright and brilliant look within a backlit box.
Dazian, LLC offers a number of products used in backlit light boxes, Triple White, 3D Celtic, Moonlight, Imagene Backlit, Cosmopolitan, Artist Backlit, and Backlit Premium.
DHJ International manufactures Decoprint Pearl, a coated woven media that prints with solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV-curable on the coated side, in addition to dye-sub on the polyester side. Decoprint Pearl is available in up to 126 inches. DHJ is currently in the process of installing a coating line in its factory in France that will allow them to produce Decoprint Pearl in up to 196 inches.
Fisher Textiles unveiled a new backlit fabric, DD 9575 SunBright Backlit Knit, in April. It is engineered for light dispersion and the proper amount of stretch for easier fitting into SEG frames. Compatible with both direct and transfer sublimation, SunBright is 126 inches wide, soft, lightweight, and produces brilliant backlit displays. It is flame retardant and passed NFPA 701. The company’s other backlit fabrics include GF 8874 Tri Poplin, HEYTex H7806 digitex heylux, and HEYTex H7810 digitex deco light.
Georg+Otto Friedrich GmbH 8179WFLBS features very fine microfiber yarns to yield a high density and soft fabric. 7019LUXX is made with a special PU-back coating to spread the light equal over the full width.
Pacific Coast Fabrics’ Lightbox – 7019LUXX (FR) is a 100 percent recyclable polyester with a special light diffusion coating to offer a clear print. It is available in 59- and 117-inch widths. Microlux Soft – 8179WFLBS (FR) is a 100 percent recyclable polyester featuring an FLBS aqueous finish with flame repel. Microlux is printable on either side and designed to be wrinkle resistant.
Top Value Fabrics Tri Poly and Impact Prime are specifically constructed for use in illuminated displays. Both feature color consistency, a bright white point, and excellent image sharpness.
Ultraflex Systems, Inc. features the VorTex Soft Signage Solutions fabric line with three products suitable for light boxes. VorTex Backlit Optimum D270 is a woven backlit fabric designed and coated to hold a high resolution and wide color gamut. With no pin holes, the material offers a uniform diffusion layer that allows for even light diffusion. VorTex Triple White D251 offers a fabric solution with both frontlit and backlit capabilities. VorTex Backlit LX D300 is a knitted fabric for backlit graphics.
Value Vinyls offers several products ideal for backlit light box frames including DirectTex Stretch Twill Soft, which is a 3.39 oz. twill woven product with diagonal stretch properties, smooth soft satin hand, and vibrant print for dye-sub direct or transfer. It is available up to 122 inches and compatible with SEG edging. DirectTex Artist Backlite is a 7.37 oz. woven material with a special ribbed back for excellent light diffusion. Ideal for dye-sub direct, dye-sub transfer, and UV; it is suitable for SEG and available up to 199 inches.
Verseidag seemee US, Inc. offers two backlit fabrics used in SEG frames. Premium Backlit FR is a woven textile specifically developed for both transfer and direct dye-sub. It is available in 60, 98, and 126 inches. Sheen is a woven textile developed for direct outputs such as solvent, UV, and latex. It features a smooth, satin finish and is available in 63 and 126 inches. For frontlit applications, Verseidag offers Poly Light Knit FR T/Poly Heavy Knit FR T and Value Display FR. The Poly Knits are 5.5 and 7.5 oz. weight polyester knitted fabrics up to 122 inches. Value Display is a 7.5 oz. polyester with an optimized ink-receptive top coating. It is available in 60, 98, 126 inches.
Jul2015, Digital Output LBFabrics2015