Because of the materials involved and the printing process, occasional problems arise in digital prints that are due to material shrinkage.
How does this happen? – Wallcoverings are fabric backed, but can still stretch under normal conditions (a very small amount). When heated, as when under an ink jet printer, and pulled taught between rollers, some stretching occurs. This minimal amount is usually only 0.25% or less. When cooled, the wallcovering material is usually not pulled taught (as on the take-off of the ink jet printer) and returns to its actual size. –This means that the printed design is now 0.25% smaller than it was intended to be.
0.25% shrinkage, big deal, right? I’ve had customers deal with high height projects (40′ heights in a casino) that had shrinkage of nearly 1.5″. This is a BIG deal for if you are matching other architectural components.
Solution-Determine the amount of shrinkage and adjust
- Do a test run by simply printing a design of hack marks on the outer edge of a print – something that can be printed over for a different run
- Record the total printed distance
- Measure and record the actual distance of the hash marks
- Determine the difference and stretch your design by the difference, and reprint.
Solution- Maintain product tension during cooling
The problem with shrinkage is the fact that the material is allowed to shrink. Don’t allow the material to shrink by maintaining the same material tension during the cooling process. This will in affect allow the material to cool off in its extended state. – This one will be some trial and error.