The consumer behavior is changing ever fast, becoming more demanding with the evolution of digital era and swift flow of information. The new business models are emerging with e-commerce booming, keeping physical retail stores at bay and stressed. Fashion brands are under immense pressure for quick replenishments and grappling for instant gratification of consumers’ personalized demands. Sustainability, circularity and traceability are gaining grounds in the textile industry and in pursuit of technological advancement. The trend of fast fashion, mass customization and personalization are ever demanding for shorter runs at competitive prices and speed to market. While the entire textile industry is aligning itself to changing trends for shorter value-chain, the last lap – textile printing is most adept to serve customized demand at a faster pace.
As per the estimates, the textile printing industry is valued at USD 175 Billion in 2020 and expected to grow at CAGR of 8.9% to reach USD 266 Billion by 2025, much of which will come from fast-growing newer printing technologies.
Evolution of Textile Printing Technologies:
Let’s look at the history of printing industry to understand its evolution. The term ‘printing’ was coined in 18th century and defined as a localized dyeing on the substrate with pre-defined designs and patterns. In early days, majorly wood blocks with raised surfaces were used for textile printing. Further advancement led to engraved metallic roller printing for continuous production and longer runs, while open-mesh silk gauze screens were used for shorter runs. At the beginning of 20th century most of the textile printing were done on engraved roll printing machine. Dyes were selected according to the substrate to be printed, while synthetic pigment systems were first used in 1930s. Automation was the word in the 1950s as firms such as Bayer and Hoechst developed wet-on-wet printing chemistry. By this time, flatbed-screen printing was well accepted in Europe and US, and companies had developed automated moving belt with automatic lifting of print screens, and thus moving the squeegee to print.
Rotary Screen Printing:
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