CMYUK has upgraded to the new Spectro LFP qb Textile edition automated reflection and transmission spectrophotometer from Barbieri. Designed specifically for the automatic colour measurement of digitally printed textiles, this device shares the same technology root as the original Barbieri Spectrophotometer but adds new dedicated software and accessories to improve ease of use and accuracy in measurement for printer and media colour profiling.

The company has used Barbieri spectrophotometers to build custom colour profiles for 15 years. Digital colour management consultant Rob Cawston praised the ruggedness of the units, noting that the original one purchased in 2008 is still working. CMYUK calibrates and profiles most of the super-wide printer it sells as part of the installation service, replacing generic supplied profiles. The Barbieri unit was chosen for its ability to handle both reflective and transmissive samples; its software works on the principle of establishing a neutral grey balance from which other accurate colours – including flesh tones and spot colours – tend to follow by default.

Updates in the new version address the problem of ink and fibres collecting around the measurement head and so skewing measurements, via a new integrated air blowing system. Another enhancement is a special textile holder for easy and secure fixation of printed textile for measurement. This uses both electrostatic attraction and a frame to keep samples flat, with additional holders for thick or heavy materials. Distortion of measurement patches via stretching or shrinking is also automatically recognised and compensated in the software.

‘Textiles are measured in a highly accurate and repeatable way because of the large 8mm aperture in the camera within the sensing unit. There is also a spectral unit for spot colour reproduction and comparisons, as well as the measurement of fluorescent inks. This upgrade is designed to be as accurate as possible avoiding any errors of mismeasurements,” said Mr Cawston. 

The first use of the new Barbieri device has been to profile the UFabrik range of textile materials for selected EFI Vutek UV LED and dye sublimation printers. These designed for applications such as backlit, frontlit, blockout, backdrops, wall wraps, banners, flags, canopies, tents, and gazebos. The range includes eco-responsible textiles constructed from recycled post-consumer waste.