The textile industry is not the same as it was fifty years back or even ten years for that matter. It is constantly evolving with numerous trends coming and going away.
Increasing purchasing capability, population growth and rapidly changing fashion trends are three of the most important drivers for the growth in the textile market.
One such trend that has really caught up is digital prints. Digital textile printing involves printing on garments and textiles using inkjet technology to print colorants on the fabric.
From everyday clothes to clothes for occasions, digital textile printing has brought on a revolution when it comes to the way we dress.
What is digital textile printing and how did it come into existence?
Digital textile printing involves printing a design, an image or a pattern directly from your computer onto the desired media using a large format digital printing machine.
Digital printing machines do not require printing plates and it prints the image directly onto different mediums such as paper, cloth, canvas, synthetics, etc.
Many different dyes and processes are used when it comes to digital printing.
Digital printing first came into existence during the 1990s when ink-jet printers started becoming widely available for paper printing applications.
This technology continued to develop over time, so much that a lot of big companies started manufacturing specialized wide-format digital printers that could print on many mediums, one of them being fabric.
This is how digital textile printing got its start. When people started to love the rich digital prints, the popularity and demand started increasing and now, it’s almost impossible to walk into an apparel store and not see any digital prints.
The process of digital printing
The process of digital textile printing is broken down into three steps. First, the fabric is pretreated with liquid solutions that prepare the fabric to accept the dye and better absorb the colour.
The cloth is then fed through the printer which sprays the dye with tiny droplets onto the fabric.
The final step involves fixing the fabric, a process that maintains the design and helps it stay permanent. This process may involve dry, steam heat or pressure or a combination of these depending on the type of print, textile and dye.
Digital inkjet printers come in two types. The first is the scanning (multi-pass) printer which has been on the market for over 25 years and these printers have a moving carriage. These printers typically reach the speed of 20 linear meters per hour to 400 linear meters per hour.
The second is the single-pass printer that does not have a moving carriage. It is made in such a way that it can attain very high printing speeds. The demand for such printers is very high but it’s very costly as compared to multi-pass printers.
The advantages of digital printing
There are many advantages to digital printing as compared to the other printing techniques:
- There is no deposition of nickel of the screens onto the fabric.
- Less fabric and dyes are wasted because only droplets of ink are used to print on the fabric. There is also no disposal of excess dyes and chemicals used in rotary screen printing and thus it also doesn’t harm the environment.
- You can get unlimited color combinations as digital printers are not limited to the number of rotary screens that can be used.
- High resolution fine and precise patterns can be achieved with digital printing.
- Short term delivery and fast sampling can be achieved as designs are made digitally and can be adjusted on the spot. Whereas in conventional screen printing, a new rotary screen is required for each adjustment which slows down the entire process.
The future of digital printing
Digital textile printing is here to stay. There are many reasons for the same. One of them is that the demand for digital textile printing for both home furnishings and apparel is rapidly growing.
One of the reasons is that you don’t have to make expensive metal screen plates for every color that you want to use. Digital textile printing just speeds up the entire process, that too with less fabric and dye waste.
With fashion changing so fast and consumers wanting more customization and exclusivity, digital textile printing is here to stay for long.
With all these benefits and uses of digital printing, the future promises a lot more advancements in the machines to the types of prints that will be available to the consumers.
Digital printing at Gokul Texprints
Gokul Texprints has always had one eye on the future and so we started with digital prints way back in 2002 and became the first textile company in Surat to do so.
To ensure that the digital prints we supply are of the highest quality, we take care of all the factors like having complete in-house capacity that operates modern technology and takes care of all the processes like coating, finishing and stenter.
We also follow a quality control mechanism to not only make sure that every print is fine and sharp but also that the fabric stays intact for a longer time. For this very reason, we inculcate processes like singeing and Reactive and acid processes.
We attain one of the highest production volumes in the country – 12,000 metres per month due to our highly advanced variety of digital printing machines like MS JP -7 and MIMAKI JV – 5.
Does churning this much amount of fabric mean we don’t focus on the design part?
Absolutely not. We have a 20-member team of experienced designers and experts that create such amazing designs and patterns that we manage to produce over 20 lakhs designs per annum.
By taking care of all these factors, we ensure that our dealers and distributors all over India not only love the quality of our fabric and digital prints but they also earn great profits by selling our exquisite range of fabrics.
We would love to hear from you if you need any kind of assistance in understanding our digital textile printing process or partnering with us.
Call us on 9328113011 or chat with us here – wa.me/919328113011.