Barcodes have become an essential part of asset identification and tracking system in companies. From automobile to clothes manufacturing, barcodes are everywhere. Due to their dynamic use, we have developed specialized barcode labels and ribbons, suitable for different industries. One such ribbon is the wash care ribbon, used mainly in the textile sector.
So, let’s discuss it in detail.
What are Wash Care Ribbons?
These are a type of thermal transfer ribbons used in barcode labeling. There are two primary methods used to print barcodes on a label – Thermal Printing & Thermal Transfer Printing.
Thermal printing requires a specially coated thermochromic (changes colour with heat) layer. Once this paper enters a printer, it is heated in specific spots with the printheads. The heated part change color, giving you a final barcode printed on the label. Thermal Transfer Printing, as the name suggests, doesn’t heat the label paper to initiate printing. Instead, in this process, we compress the paper with a thermal transfer ribbon. These special ribbons (like the wash care ribbon) are coated with a mixture of ink and adhesive on one side. The side with the coating is pressed against the label before the printhead starts to heat the ribbon from the other side. The heat melts the coating which then gets imprinted on the label.
Thermal Printing VS Thermal Transfer Printing: Which is Better?
Thermal printing is more cost-effective than TTR, due to the lack of excess components involved. However, due to the thermo chromic nature of the ink, these barcode labels are vulnerable to fading in hot environments. Thermal Transfer printing on the other hand creates a more durable print on the label and can withstand hot temperatures & moisture.
In short, depending on your application, you may choose between the two.
How Do They Work?
As discussed above, wash care ribbons are a type of thermal transfer ribbon. They have a coating of special resin coating mixed with ink, on one side. During the printing process, a counter-pressure roller presses the label & the ribbon together firmly against the printhead. The printhead then heats the backside of the ribbon, this heat melts the coating allowing it to imprint on the label.
Benefits and Applications of Wash Care Ribbons?
Wash care ribbons, as the name suggests, are designed specifically to withstand repeated washing cycles. These ribbons are used to print barcode labels for clothes and other textiles. These ribbons provide a print that offers extra protection against water & cleaning agents. These barcodes can resist fading for a long time, they are expected to last longer than the lifespan of the cloth it is put on.
They are also resistant to scratches, smudges, and abrasions since they must deal with dirt, and dust in the environment & the abrasives in soaps.
Wash Care Ribbon FAQ:
Q1. What is ribbon and barcode label?
Ans: Barcode labels are adhesive label stickers that have barcodes printed on them. There are two basic types of barcode labels – Thermochromic and Thermal Transfer Labels. Thermochromic labels already have a layer of ink coated on them to initiate printing. While Thermal Transfer Labels need a special Thermal Transfer Ribbon to print a barcode on it.
Thermal Transfer Ribbons are a specialized film that is coated with a mix of resin/wax and ink on one side. As the name suggests, they use heat to transfer this coating onto the barcode label.
Q2. What are the different types of barcode ribbons?
Ans: There are three basic types of barcode ribbons, depending on the material used for their coatings, namely -
a) Wax Ribbons
b) Wax-Resin Ribbons
c) Resin Ribbons
Q3. What are the two main types of barcodes?
Ans: We can classify barcodes into two types, based on how they store data. Linear barcodes are only capable of storing data along the horizontal axes, in the form of black & white bars. The black bars represent ‘1’ and the white represent ‘0’. 2D (Two-Dimensional) barcodes, on the other hand, can store data along two axes – vertically and horizontally. 2D barcodes can store vastly more data than linear barcodes.
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- Last updated on Apr 18, 2023