Md. Imran Hossain
At one time, All Over Printing was done in a small number of factories in Bangladesh. At that time fabric was printed only for the local market but not for export. The journey of All Over Printing started in Bangladesh around 1980. Later the textile industry gradually grew as well as the printing industry. In 2014, for the first time, BEXIMCO Group started all over digital printing in Bangladesh textile industry. At present, All Over Printing is one of the potential and growing sectors in the Bangladesh textile industry and all-over-printed garments has taken place in the list of favorites of most fashion lovers.
In the language of textiles, printing is a localized dyeing, it refers to the use of different colors and chemicals to give a specific pattern or design to a fabric. In other words, textile printing is to print 1-20 colors on the fabric with the combination of design and color. Whatever method is used for textile printing, the design has to be developed first, for which design is called the heart of printing. A designer must have the knowledge for design making such as print type, design output, mesh type, machine type etc.
What Is All Over Printing?
All over printing is a special type of printing technology that allows a particular design to be repeated continuously throughout the fabric. As a result, the fabric becomes more attractive. At present all over printing is done in about 80 export-oriented industries in Bangladesh. Fabrics made with AOP technology are also being used in denim products including woven shirts, T-shirts, Ladies gowns, Tops, Punjabi, Woven pants, Home textiles etc.
Types of All Over Print
To design all over print, a designer sketches the design with his artistic concept and prepare the screen according to the printing design. As well as creating a textile printing design a designer has to consistently have a good idea about certain processes. AOP uses several types of prints according to the buyer’s demand and depending on the type of fabric and one of them is –
Pigment Print: Water insoluble color particles are usually used for pigment printing, so binding agents & fixing agents are required to fix the pigment print on the fabric. Pigment print is least expensive and also the processing time is least. Pigments can be printed on almost all types of fabric however the rubbing & wash fastness is poor.
Reactive Print: Reactive printing is a costly process. In this case, the cotton fabric has to be pretreated before printing. Reactive prints do not require binding or fixing agents, but the printed fabric is passed through an alkali solution after drying and then the steaming process is completed at high temperature for the fixation. Finally, soaping and washing process is completed.
Disperse Print: Disperse print is done only on polyester fabric. In this case, printing is done in acidic medium, then after drying the steaming process of printed fabric is done at 125-1350C and the thermo-fixation is done at 200-2100C. Finally soaping and washing is completed.
Acid Print: Acid printing is usually done on silk, wool or nylon. Acid printing is also a costly process. In case of silk and wool, pretreatment processes are done before printing, Then, after printing process, drying is done at 1000C and steaming is done at 1100C. Finally, after treatment processes is completed.
Glitter Print: Glitter printing is a recent developed printing process. Glitter is applied on fabric through printing paste. And is later fixed by applying high temperature (1600C). It is commonly used for fashionable clothing.
Burn out Print: Burn out print is also called transparent print. The process of Burn Out Print is destroying the cotton parts of the poly-cotton blend fabric with the help of acid and other chemicals. Burn out printing is used to make fashion dresses and decorative purposes. Extra chemicals are used in this process, If the chemical process is not properly controlled the whole fabric will be damaged.
Discharge Print: Discharge print is a special type of print that is little different from other common printing methods. In case of discharge printing, light colors are printed on the dyed fabric with dark colors. In this process a special chemical (Zinc formaldehyde) is used with other chemicals, as a result, the dye in the fabric where the discharge paste will be given is removed by replacing the color in discharge paste. In this case 100% natural fabric like cotton should be used.
Resist Print: Resist printing is the opposite of discharge printing. In case of resist printing, the bleached or mercerized fabric is imprinted according to the design with resist paste like glue, then left overnight to dry. The next day the dried fabric is dyed and after steaming, curing and washing, it will be seen that the dyeing was not done where the resist paste was used. Finally, a beautiful design will be created.
Flock Print: “Flock” is the fine dust of fiber obtained from the loom during the weaving of a fabric. The fine fibers possess a very soft handle. So, for flock printing, flocks are artificially from fibers. The method of flock coating on substrate with the help of appropriate adhesive is called flocking.
Rubber Print: Rubber print is not used much in the case of all over print. Mainly, rubber printing is done onto the garments. No special chemicals are used in this printing, only rubber and fixers are used. Rubber can be printed with digital printing m/c but also with the help of screen.
Printing Machineries for All Over Print
1) Rotary Screen-Printing Machine
Rotary printing machine is basically made by attaching several cylinder-shaped screens made of nickel. This machine can print 12-16 colors at a time and requires a different screen for each color. It can print 30-80 meters of fabric per minute, but it depends on the number of colors used in the design. In this case, if the printing cost is higher but the production is higher. Some of the brands of Rotary Printing Machine are: Reggiani (Italy), Stork (Netherlands), Zimmer (Austria), BUSER (Switzerland), Ji- long (China) etc.
2) Flatbed Printing Machine
This machine has a flat screen which is made of polyester fabric in an aluminum frame. This machine can also print 12-16 colors at a time and requires a different screen for each different color. However, with its help, only 15-30 meters of fabric can be printed per minute, depending on the number of colors used in the design. In this case the printing quality is good and the production cost is comparatively less, but the production time is high. Some of the brands of flatbed printing machines are KUIL (South Korea), Reggiani (Italy), Stork (Netherlands), Zimmer (Austria), BUSER (Switzerland), INTOMA (Taiwan), CST (Germany) etc.
3) Digital Printing Machine
Digital printing machine is a modern technology in the AOP sector. No screen is used for printing through it, printing is done directly on the fabric through Ink. To print with a digital printing machine, the design has to be done through graphic software like Adobe Illustrator. In this case no color separation is required, the colors of the design are usually made in a combination of 8 ink colors to complete the print. Essential elements of Digital Printing are print head, ink jet printer, ink, software, media. There is no color limitation for printing with this machine and the printing quality is also good. Although this machine has low speed and high production cost, due to some of its unique features, digital all over printing is called next generation printing.
Printing Techniques for All Over Printing
All Over Printing activities can be done through several techniques, the two most popular of those techniques are “Large Scale Screen Printing” and “Sublimation Printing”.
- Large Scale Screen Printing: In this method, the size of screen is usually larger than the screen used for typical printing, which is able to consume the size of the entire garment of an XL men’s T-shirt! It is a popular technique for printing any type of fabric and printing can be done by hand or by industrial “Belt Screen Printer” machine. Its finishing quality is much better and faster process than other techniques, however it is not cost effective.
- Dye Sublimation Printing: Dye sublimation allows photo lab quality picture printing. During the dye sublimation printing process, an image is digitally printed in reverse with dye sublimation toners or inks onto media. That image is then placed on top of a fabric and subjected to high heat and pressure to form a heat press. This creates a gentle gradation of color and does not distort or fade over time. The best fabric choice for dye sublimation printing is 100% polyester, also polyester/cotton blended fabric is used like 80/20 poly-cotton. It is a sustainable method since it requires very little water.
Current Trends of All Over Print
Jungle Prints: Jungle print is one of the popular and fashionable prints. Mainly, this print depicts some aspects of the jungle like plants, herbs etc. on the fabric. This type of printed dress is commonly used in summer season and holidays.
Animal Prints: Animal prints will always be a fashion trend. At present, fashion lovers are giving priority to animal printed clothes. Different types of animal’s skin color like Cheetah, Leopard, Zebra etc. are printed on fabrics. After making the garment, it looks like it is made directly from animal skins. Currently, the demand for such printed dress has increased.
Pop Prints: Pop prints are a great idea in the summer, when you can don bold, colorful printed dresses and skirts to barbecue parties, pool parties and the beach. Pop prints are one of the most trending style in the world.
Florals Print: There are several types of florals print and some of the most popular prints are- micro florals, vintage florals, delicate florals etc.
Micro Florals: Few appearances say ‘spring’ such as bright floral print! You can choose tiny, old-style micro-florals or large, tropical prints. Micro-florals are sweet and womanlike with colors and combinations to suit any style, and became one of the popular fashion print trends for previous year.
Vintage Florals: One of the notable & popular prints is vintage print in style with extraordinary boldly colored florals. It is the most colorful and gorgeous print. Mainly, the demand of this printed dresses is high in summer season.
Delicate Florals: Tiny florals are underrated, quite frankly. The additional delicate print is best worn on kaftan-style frocks and sweeping maxi type dresses as seen at Stella McCartney.
Scarf Prints: For an artistic style, look into a number of the tile prints obtainable this spring. For a glance equivalent to Mediterranean tiles, these prints are typically tiny, symmetrical, repetitive shapes with pastel or monochromatic colors. The styles are particularly placing in an Ombre fabric. A cute tile print will go anyplace throughout the spring season and into summer.
Polka Dots: Polka dots print is one of the most popular fashion print trends of previous year. Whether or not you want a tiny, yellow, polka dot bikini for beach, swimming costume or a micro-dot, black and white shirt dress, polka dots can take you from the beach to the workplace in no time. Polka dots are available in large, bold prints or subdued micro-dots.
Stripes Print: Stripes are available in all colors and widths. However, the colorful ones are a number of the popular fashion print trends. Chevron stripes seems on flowing ruanas, also as on skirts and bold blouses. Bold, wide stripes seem on button down shirts, pencil skirts, or maybe sheath dresses.
Opportunities and Market Value
The tastes and fashion awareness of today’s youngsters are changing day by day and the demand for All Over Print is increasing as well. At present the profit margin in this AOP section is around 30% -50% so the reputed textile groups are introducing AOP sector, which is creating an immense potential for those who are in AOP section or want to build a career in AOP. Bangladesh is not far behind these opportunities, approximately 80+ factories have AOP facility. Research on printing design needs to be done, then the quality of printing design will improve.
According to the report of firm Smithers Pira on “The future of Digital Textile Printing to 2021” describes that the longer term of digital printing to 2021, confirms that this sector is going to be containing to check double-digit robust growth across 2016 to 2021. In 2016, All over printed clothing market size was 0.87 billion sq. meters in volume and the market value was USD 1.29 billion. This volume is predicted to extend at a rate of 17.5% CAGR across the next five years to 2021. This rapid market growth can facilitate the expansion of AOP sector in Bangladesh.
At present AOP is most emerging and growing sector in Bangladesh. AOP started its journey in Bangladesh through a group of experts and is gradually taking this sector forward. Demand of AOP printed garments is increasing day by day, however Bangladesh lags behind AOP sector compared to India, China or Vietnam. With proper patronage and investment in the AOP sector over time, Bangladesh will be able to lead the AOP sector like Denim all over the world.
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