Maeen Md. Khairul Akter
Printed garments perhaps, is the most popular fashion now days. Prominent availability of printed garments in major retail shops and people from all ages wearing printed out-wears in the streets are evidence of its popularity. In fact, a reliable statistics depict that by 2025 44.9% of the wearable garments will be printed. This is why we see rapid innovations and expansions in the textile-garment and special effect market globally. Eyeing the huge demand, innovative business models and creative solutions are evolving to cater the opportunity. Bangladesh being one of the largest garment manufacturing hub of the World, opens a huge market for textile printing, garment printing and other value added printing like digital prints, special effects, coatings etc. This article provides you insightful information on the areas of application and market scopes for textile, garment and special effects.
Textile-Garment Printing Explained
Coloring a localized area of garment is called printing. Dyeing is the process of coloring the complete fabric with solid colors, which is too mainstream now days, thus knit garment is flooded with different kinds of printing. When printing is done in a garment part it is termed as garment printing. When it is done on fabrics it is called textile printing. There are diverse methods of printing both garments and textiles. Screen printing and all over printing are the most common techniques used in Bangladesh. Most of the textile composite factories are investing in printing project as it is a value added process. From wood block technique to today’s modern digital printing technique, a huge transformation can be characterized in printing technology. Transfer printing, discharge printing, burnout printing, rubber printing, flock printing, sublimation printing etc. are some of the printing techniques. Pigment printing is another type of special printing for very bright and lustrous color and fastness properties. Special printing effects are now becoming popular in the form of pigment printing, coatings, over dyeing etc.
The Textile-Garment Printing Market
New innovations in printing techniques, branding of top retailers with printed products is fueling a high demand of printing services in the global market. By 2025, the global market of printing is set to reach $266.38 billion with an 8.9% CAGR. As a result, textile and garments manufacturing nations are rigorously investing in developing printing facilities. There are more than 100 recognized factories in Bangladesh with export oriented garment and textile printing facilities in large scale. Apart from the large export oriented factories, there are more than 3000 small and cottage printing industries operating to full-fill the local demand and also sub-contracting export orders. During the pandemic specially the local printing factories suffered a lot as the orders declined by around 80 to 90%. However, from September, 2020 as situations started to get normal, factories are again getting orders and considerable growth is expected in the upcoming year.
The Specialty Printing Chemical Market
Printing is regarded as one of the preferred value addition technique in textiles now days. Regular screen printing and all over printing of 100% cotton requires reactive dyes along with other chemicals like thickeners, binders sequestering agents, dispersing agents, humectants, defoamers and hand modifiers (softeners) etc. Reactive printing produces bright colors and shows good wash fastness properties. The shade range is very wide with reactive dye.
Vat dye is another exclusive dye to print cotton materials but the shade range is limited. Vat dye is popular for deep colors like yellow, burgundy, blue and green. Vat dye print is exclusively popular for camouflage designs.
For cotton-polyester blends disperse dyes are used along with reactive dyes to print the polyester part. Pigment printing is now the dominant printing technique for 100% cotton and all kinds of blends together. Pigments are insoluble materials that have the ability to fix with both cellulose and non-cellulosic materials. Binder is used to fix pigment dyes with textile material. Pigment can print a wide range of colors ranging from light to deep shades.
The demand of pigment printing is on the rise as it can handle versatile range of designs in different materials. Retailers prefer different blends of material with a wide range of designs and color. As a result, special printing solutions are on the rise including pigment prints, over-dyeing, special ink prints and garment coatings.
Specially, PU coating is used in polyester and nylon garments for imparting water repellent and artificial leather effects. Spray coatings, glitter, luster and leather lamination, reflecting coatings are few examples of special effects that are widely used now days in fashionable garments designing.
Take Away for Stake-holder of Printing Industry
Printing industry opens a huge opportunity for business development both for processing factories and chemical suppliers. As printing is becoming a major design part in garments specially, knit products; the knit composite industries can develop their own printing units to ensure a complete value chain. Already we see a significant rise in the numbers of screen printing and all over printing factories. Digital printing can be the next go-to technology because of its flexibility and wide range of designs and colors. Though it requires high investment but the productivity is significantly higher. Forecast says, demands of digital printing will be rising at a faster rate in the upcoming years due to its high demand in the consumer market, specially printing Asian women clothing and home textiles.
As the number of printing facility increases, the demand for printing chemicals will also go sky rocketing. Already, Bangladesh is one of the largest textile chemical exporters after China and chemical market is set to reach $1.38 billion by 2024. After denim and dyeing industry, printing is the next biggest consumer of chemicals in Bangladesh. Reactive dyes, vat dyes, pigments, thickeners, binders and other auxiliaries will be high in demand. Especially, as more fashionable and value added production takes place, the demand of special effect solutions will be in great demand. Market research shows, the future of fashion is becoming versatile, fancy and colorful. Special prints, embroideries, motifs and washes will be a common requirement in near future. The trend has already started as we see smaller orders from buyers includes a huge range of colors, designs and styles. The scenario easily depicts a golden time ahead for every stake-holders to capitalize in the printing sector.
Textile printing, garment printing and the special effect market is offering a huge opportunity. This is high time Bangladesh takes proactive steps to establish more facilities so that no query is send back. Printing industry has the potential to bring a huge value addition in our textile-garment industry. Time has come to look how more investment can be drawn in the areas of manufacturing technology and chemicals as the largest pie of our earned currency is spent to import capital machineries and chemical. If we can become more self-sufficient in technology solutions and supplies of materials, our textile industry will be a very sustainable sector in near future. The printing industry is a vital area to really give attention to, as it has the potential of huge value addition.