Digital Dye Infusion (DDI) is a carpet dye technology invented by Milliken 40 years ago, when print technology was a relatively new process. However, after decades of refinement and development of the digital dye technology, there are still many misconceptions surrounding printed carpet tiles.
Think about how much technology has changed over the last forty years; comparing printed carpet tiles now and then is like comparing today’s smartphones to telephones from the 1970s!
Today I’m addressing three of the most common misconceptions about printed carpet tiles.
1) Printed Designs Don’t Last
One of the most common concerns about printed carpet tiles surrounds walk-off: the idea that over time, foot traffic will wear away your printed designs. But carpets printed using DDI technology are used in airports all over the world – and those aren’t exactly low-traffic areas!
This misconception comes from a misunderstanding of the print process.
Rather than being printed onto the carpet tiles, dye is chemically bonded into the carpet fiber. This means your designs can withstand serious foot traffic with no walk-off risk. In fact, nearly all Milliken’s DDI printed carpet tiles have received a TARR rating of Severe for appearance retention – top of the scale.
2) Printed Tiles Have No Texture
Twenty to thirty years ago, printed carpet tiles were visually very flat, with little texture or depth. However, with the improved quality of print technology, printed tiles have also improved and it is now very difficult to differentiate between a DDI printed tile and a Solution Dyed Nylon (SDN) product.
This means you can benefit from DDI’s unparalleled design flexibility without compromising on visual texture. DDI makes it possible to create extremely accurate, high-definition patterns and color gradations. Designs can be made to match perfectly from tile to tile, and vary hugely in size – from high-resolution half-inch patterns, to patterns as large as your floor plan.
3) Printed Tiles Will be Damaged by Cleaning Products
This misconception comes from SDN’s innate bleach-resistant properties.
Now, bleach damages all types of carpet fiber, regardless of how it’s been dyed. The difference is that with SDN it will take longer for you to notice it, because SDN can resist bleach solutions up to 10% concentration without any change in the color of your carpet.
The carpet fibers still get damaged, you just don’t see it as quickly as you would with carpets dyed using other methods, where bleach would fade the color of the carpet. DDI printed carpet tiles can be treated with a topical treatment that means it can resist bleach at similar concentration levels as SDN, but the damage to the carpet fibers will still occur.
Thankfully, outside of healthcare environments, bleach is no longer a common component in cleaning products, with many organizations opting for a less harmful alternative. So if you’re not using bleach in your cleaning products, you don’t need to worry about your printed carpet tiles getting damaged.
Are Printed Carpet Tiles Right for My Organization?
When choosing new carpet it’s easy to get caught up in the design, but be sure to tell your designer or architect about your organization’s practical requirements too. This well help you identify the best carpet design options for your organization.
Think of Solution Dyed Nylon and Digital Dye Infusion as two different design tools to help match your carpet tiles to your organization’s practical and aesthetic requirements. It’s important not to discount one of these tools based on misconceptions that are 40 years out-of-date.
Discover how to choose long-lasting carpet tiles for your organization, and download out whitepaper below.