Apparel Online - - Technique Update -

“Dig­i­tal print­ing is the best gift of the ac­cel­er­ated global rev­o­lu­tion”. Speak­ing about its swiftly spread­ing pop­u­lar­ity across the world, Navdeep S. Sodhi, Part­ner, Gherzi Tex­til Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Zurich/Gherzi Con­sult­ing En­gi­neers, Mum­bai, claimed in a re­cent sem­i­nar, that dig­i­tal print­ing which at present con­sti­tutes around 4 per cent of the world’s to­tal fab­ric pro­duc­tion, will reach 10 per cent in the next few years. Most in the au­di­ence agreed with his view which speaks a lot about the dig­i­tal print­ing craze across the globe. No doubt, var­i­ous stake­hold­ers of the in­dus­try have var­ied opin­ions on this be­cause some peo­ple are still find­ing it dif­fi­cult to adopt this in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy and few are averse to­wards its high cost.

Nev­er­the­less, ca­pa­bil­i­ties in dig­i­tal print­ing give one an edge over other ex­porters in terms of faster so­lu­tions, ser­vic­ing and bet­ter out­comes. In a can­did dis­cus­sion with Ap­parel On­line, sev­eral In­dian com­pa­nies, hav­ing heavy as well as small ca­pac­i­ties of dig­i­tal print­ing, speak about the at­tributes and fu­ture scope of this tech­nol­ogy’s newer form. N. Chan­dran, CMD, East­man Ex­ports, Tirupur, shared, “Print­ing is gain­ing mo­men­tum in all ar­eas in­clud­ing polo’s, fash­ion tees and even un­der­wear. Dig­i­tal print­ing is re­ceiv­ing more promi­nence in women’s and sports ap­parel col­lec­tions. Our de­sign team has no­tice­ably been work­ing more with buy­ers with re­spect to dig­i­tal prints.” He fur­ther added that dig­i­tal print­ing cer­tainly will help to beat the com­peti­tors if cou­pled with a de­sign team and other ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The ca­pac­ity of East­man Ex­ports is com­prised of the best equip­ment and tech­niques for va­ri­eties of prints, and dig­i­tal print­ing is one part of it. The com­pany is one of the most re­spected name in In­dia’s ap­parel ex­port in­dus­try with a turnover of more than Rs. 1,000 crore.

It would not be wrong to say that Ban­ga­lore-based ENVS Eco Friendly Dig­i­tal Fab­rics In­dia (a ven­ture of Fash­ion Ma­trix Over­seas), is one of the most en­thu­si­as­tic, sus­tain­able and ag­gres­sively grow­ing com­pany in dig­i­tal print­ing in­dus­try. Pre-GOTS cer­ti­fied, this com­pany uses 100 per cent bio-degrad­able ink and ecofriendly pro­cesses. It also has ex­per­tise in print of any kind on fab­ric sur­face and leather. Us­ing ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy of Kor­nit, the com­pany is ex­pand­ing to add more ca­pac­ity. Elab­o­rat­ing on his com­pany’s spe­cial­iza­tion in dig­i­tal print­ing do­main, Vipin Sethi, Di­rec­tor of the com­pany states, “We have taken a con­scious de­ci­sion to in­vest in sus­tain­able tech­nol­ogy. Our print­ing ma­chines are from the world’s best brand. The con­cept of ENVS is to only make high fash­ion ap­parel which is or­ganic or made by nat­u­ral fi­bres, so we are now ven­tur­ing into very high-fash­ion ladies ap­parel with the core thought that the fab­ric we use will ei­ther be or­ganic or nat­u­ral. The print­ing that we do on them should also be eco-friendly and sus­tain­able. We do not use even a sin­gle drop of wa­ter in the en­tire process as we have in­vested in the world’s best printed tech­nol­ogy. We can have 10 dig­i­tal print­ers at the cost of this par­tic­u­lar ma­chine we have, but those ma­chines would have to be pur­chased from China and they would not use eco-friendly inks and will also re­quire a lot of wa­ter. On the other hand, our ma­chines of Kor­nit are quite sus­tain­able in this re­gard, though they are pretty ex­pen­sive. As of now, we have two ma­chines and in­stal­la­tion of the third ma­chine is in process. We have al­ready in­vested US $ 3 mil­lion in our dig­i­tal ini­tia­tive and would be in­vest­ing an­other US $ 3 mil­lion for the brand’s launch and its aware­ness.” With a ca­pac­ity of 1,200 me­tre per day, Cheer Sa­gar, Jaipur, is of the opin­ion that buy­ers’ re­sponse on dig­i­tal printed col­lec­tions is good, and the edge is fat sam­pling which saves time. Ravi Pod­dar, MD of the com­pany in­formed that mainly bou­tique buy­ers pre­fer dig­i­tal print­ing as they can pay

Viva Dig­i­tal Mill, Su­rat is in­vest­ing nearly Rs. 7-8 crore with 3-4 print­ers of Reg­giani. Hav­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of em­broi­dery and dye print­ing, DH Italia, owner of the com­pany men­tioned, “We are wit­ness­ing in­creased craze for dig­i­tal print­ing and cus­tom­ized de­signs make them dif­fer­ent from con­ven­tional mill work­ing.”

a bet­ter price. Quick re­sponse from buy­ers is an­other ad­van­tage in this re­gard. Hiren Ru­par­e­lia of Mae­stro Fash­ions, Ban­ga­lore, even feels that there is a huge de­mand from all cus­tomers. Buy­ers are ob­vi­ously well aware of the out­come of dig­i­tal print­ing, com­pared to con­ven­tional print­ing meth­ods. And they want to use it as of­ten/reg­u­larly as pos­si­ble.

How­ever, show­ing his un­hap­pi­ness on its cur­rent de­mand, Alok Agrawal, Manag­ing Part­ner, Aloka Ex­ports, Mum­bai avers, “Dig­i­tal print is now less in fash­ion and the busi­ness is mov­ing more to­wards hand print screen tech­nique. We are still hope­ful for fu­ture that with im­proved dig­i­tal print tech­niques, we will be able to give screen print look.” He feels that more open ground prints, placed prints with mix of screen look, are needed in the mar­ket rather than real 3D photo prints and dig­i­tal prints. Shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ence re­gard­ing the re­sponse of buy­ers’ on col­lec­tions used in dig­i­tal print­ing, Alok says, “It is more about how you de­sign your ar­ti­cle by mix­ing var­i­ous con­cepts/ tech­niques. Just a dig­i­tal print gar­ment or scarf is re­ally not a tool to get pos­i­tive re­ac­tion nowa­days.” Aloka Ex­ports has a dig­i­tal print ca­pac­ity of about 12,000 to 14,000 me­tres per day.

Ravi Pod­dar, MD, Cheer Sa­gar

Navdeep S. Sodhi, Part­ner, Gherzi Tex­til Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Zurich/Gherzi Con­sult­ing En­gi­neers

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