Neenah Coldenhove has been manufacturing paper since 1661 and is known for its innovative paper solutions. The company is a leading supplier of high-tech digital sublimation transfer paper. This paper can be used to print on synthetic fabrics and surfaces that are equipped with a polyester layer. Today, Neenah Coldenhove is positioning its new product Texcol® to open up an entirely new market: printing on natural fibers. V.O. applied for a patent on the new type of paper and registered the brand name on behalf of the company.
Coldenhove has been supplying large-scale industrial consumers for many years. Not only have they been producing the well-known blue envelopes from the Tax Authority in the Netherlands for years, Coldenhove has also enjoyed great success with its Jetcol® sublimation transfer paper. This paper consists of regular paper equipped with a special coating. It is used to print clothing and sports uniforms, but also home textiles and signage such as flags and banners.
“The transfer paper is used in a sublimation printer. The printer prints the image or text onto the paper using sublimation ink. Next, a heat press or ‘calender’ – a rolling press – presses the design into the textile at a temperature of around 190 degrees Celsius. In the process of sublimation, the heat from the press causes the inks on the paper to change from a solid to a gaseous state. This allows the ink to penetrate the substrate – the polyester that is supposed to be printed,” says Reshma Bhansing, product manager at Neenah Coldenhove.
‘A single point of contact for our patents, brands and legal matters is a very efficient way to do things.’Reshma Bhansing – Neenah Coldenhove
“Jetcol paper has a single limitation: in order to use it, the textile being printed must consist of at least 65% polyester. That’s why, following the success of Jetcol, we started looking for a solution that would enable us to print on textile made from natural fibers like cotton and linen as well,” Bhansing explains. “Until now, this was either done using the traditional silkscreen method and pigment ink, or with the current digital solutions – but in the latter case, the quality was never sufficient. With Texcol, we’ve found a method that lets us deliver the quality the market demands.”
“Texcol is a digital pigment transfer paper that makes it possible to use industrial printing methods on natural-fiber substrates. Applying various kinds of coating to the paper results in a high printing quality and other benefits. Moreover, the pigment ink ensures the design stays colorfast, even when exposed to UV light. Another major advantage to using Texcol is that it is a dry process. Because no water is used, there is no need to treat the textile before and after printing. That shortens the production process and is better for the environment,” Bhansing says. “For our clients, it requires only a relatively minor investment, as they can use the same paper and pigment ink in their current sublimation printers as well. Our discovery might just be the very tool our clients need to be able to switch to new digital printing applications. This is enabling them to tap into new markets.”
V.O. has been assisting Neenah Coldenhove with patent applications, registration of brand names such as Jetcol and Texcol, and additional legal services for years. According to Bhansing: “By now, V.O. knows our company through and through. That makes it extra pleasant to work with a partner who offers all the services you need under one roof. V.O. regularly lends a hand when we are drawing up contracts or terms of sale, too.”
At Neenah Coldenhove, innovation is clearly in their blood. According to Bhansing: “New ideas are first presented in our Innovation Board. Henri van Kalkeren, patent attorney at V.O., is proud to serve Neenah Coldenhove. “The paper business may be quite old, but what they’re doing is absolutely innovative. They are looking past their own limitations and are aware of the value of their intellectual property. As a result, we are always informed of new developments within the company at an early stage. This allows us to take quick decisions and always stay one step ahead of the market.”