This invention relates to methods of uniform color fading, fading with patterns and marking patterns onto textiles materials, such as denim, using lasers. More particularly, it relates to using lasers to simulate conventional laundering techniques, such as stone washing, echo ball washing and acid washing without the use of water or chemicals. Still more particularly, it relates to performing the above mentioned process in an environmentally safe manner.
Different methods of laser printing
Still other methods include the use of laser radiation to heat the textile to allow for better adhesion by the dyes. The prior patented art includes some methods for using a laser to mark various items, including textiles, but most require the use of wet dye solutions and none is like the present invention. There are a number of methods for marking
• a method of laser marking which requires that a pigment coating be placed on the surface of the article being marked. Then a focused laser beam is used to affect the internal molecular structure of the pigment to change color.
• a method and device for the recording of pictures by laser which requires several layers of material be placed on a substrate. A laser beam is used to ablate the top material to form an image.
• a method for transferring a still image onto a substrate that is carbonizeable or discolorable. Unlike the present invention, this technique engraves a pattern into the substrate to form a pattern of some depth.
• a process for manufacturing textile materials using lasers. In this method, a laser beam is used to cause a physical change in the textile material. This change, due to charring and burning effects, results in a larger cross-sectional area being exposed to the dyeing process. The larger cross section of the textile results in better dye adhesiveness.
• A method involves using a laser beam to print a pattern on textile fabrics that is wet with dye. This latter method creates a pattern on the material by changing the color of the dye. Thus, a need exists for a method for marking various detailed patterns on colored textile fabrics without damaging the fabrics.
Unlike the above patents, the present invention uses an environmentally safe method for marking, fading and treating textile fabrics with a laser without the need for conventional washing methods, wet dyes, or excessive amounts of water.