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Advancements in Textiles Series 2012 EDPIU, MINTEX --- SFDAC

Advanced Dyeing & Printing Techniques

Synthetic Fiber Development and Application Center Ministry of Textile Industry, Government of Pakistan

Muhammad Hanif Memon

The Textile Industry, including the dyeing sector, has undergone major changes, Which are centered on The introduction of new fibers (and dyes for their coloration) New machinery for more efficient processing More severe demands from the consumer Legislation controlling environmental issues

Two primary forces have driven recent technologies in Coloration The Environment and The Economy i.e., ENVIRO-ECONOMICS

The textile companies will be competing more and more on a global basis The successful must deliver quality products, on time, and maintain the highest standards Developments in machinery have a critical part to play, but without state-of-art-chemical technology even the most sophisticated machinery will not provide optimum performance

Companies wishing to improve their environmental performance through technology may Control established production processes by treating waste emissions, in order to limit the impact on the environment OR Adopt clean technologies that incorporate environmental considerations into their design, to avoid or reduce adverse impact on the environment

There is now a global perspective for the textile and apparel industries, which has been brought about by economic growth, development of communication technologies and the unprecedented ability to transport people and goods throughout the world

Automatic Control is used on both batch and continuous processes, giving marked improvements in productivity and savings in resources. Automatic Control results into Increased production and improved quality, because machine will be running at the set optimum conditions. Savings in plant costs, because the dyeing process, equipment and ancillary processes will have been designed to operate under automatic control Savings in raw materials arising from processes being carried out under optimum conditions Improved working conditions Improved plant management

An automatically controlled plant provides more information of higher quality on process conditions, leading to potential improvements in process operation The danger here is that The information is not understood or it cannot be acted upon

A D y e i n g E

p p l i c a t i o n P
F l a t W o v e n / J e t a r n D R D

r i n t i n g
b e d / R o l l i r e c t i s c h a r g e e s i s t

x h a u s t
o f t f l o w i n c h P J i g g e r F i b r e a c k a g e / Y

n i t t e d

/ CT ao bp i n e t

C o l d ( C

e m

i - C

o n t i n u o u s
/ K n i t t e d

o v e n
a d - B )

a t P c ah d - J i g / P a d - D r y - J i g


o n t i n u o u s
W o v e n
- S t e a m a d - D r y - P a d ( P D P S )

Textile Industry
Changing Scenario
Stringent Quality requirements led by export market Higher pressure on Price Trend towards high economy Conservation of Energy / Utility Cost Shift of manufacturing from Europe to Asia Growing commoditization of Products Modernization, Automation & Re-structuring activities Growing importance of Brands and Retailers Fast changing consumer tastes Newer fibres and blends Better RFT and Reproducibility Shade accuracy and quick delivery Increase in the technical support requirements by the user

Reduced Costs Less Dyestuff Less Chemical Less Water Less Energy Reduced Stock Costs Higher Productivity Shorter cycles RFT Performance Robustness Product Integrity Shade Reproducibility Color Fastness Eco-compliance

Pad Batch 15.0%

Continuous 11.0%

Exhaust Warm 40.0%

Printing 21.0% Exhaust Hot 13.0%

Cotton 43.5%

Synthetic 12.5% Blended 42.0% Silk 1.5% Wool 0.5%

Acid 12.4%

Direct 4.6%

Others* 14.9% Vat 6.0%

Reactive 29.4%

Disperse 32.7%

Recent Applications / Concepts

E-Control System Digital Ink Jet Printing RFT Approach Dyeing in Ultra Low Liquor ratio Dyeing of Newer fibers & Blends (Lycra, Lyocell, bamboo etc.) Rapid dyeing Disperse dye One Bath Continuous dyeing of Polyester / Cellulose blends (without R.C.) Pad OX Process Reactive dyeing Perceptible shift from Hot dyeing to Warm dyeing process Replacement of Vat dyes with Reactive dyes - achievement of Light and Wash fastness properties.

One Step, Simple & Economical Continuous process No unproductive batching sequence Ideal for short lot dyeing Effective Wash-off A wide variety of fabric can be dyed Rapid shade matching in laboratory Energy efficient

Performance High Productivity due to short process

Environment friendly as no salt, urea & silicate are used Soft handle of fabric due to mild fixation conditions Migration is minimised by rapid fixation & humidity control No crushing of pile fabrics. Improved penetration of different fabrics - Presence of Humidity at high temp. Very good Lab- to -Bulk & Bulk- to-Bulk reproducibility.

RFT Approach
Important Factors
Raw material: Substrate Dyestuffs Chemicals Water Preparation of Substrate Process Conditions: Machine parameters Liquor ratio Time / Temperature profile Dye bath pH Concentrations of Chemicals


Lower Costs per Batch Increased Output Improved Profit margin

Better Customer Service Improved Quality Reduced Effluent load

RFT Approach
NON RFT Impact on Process Costs

200 180 134 118 100 141

Relative Batch Cost





1 Add

2 Adds

Black Overdye


Off Shade & Unlevel


Energy Water Chemicals Labour Fixed Drying


RFT Approach
NON RFT Impact on Productivity

% Machine Time




60% RFT

70% RFT

80% RFT

90% RFT

100% RFT


Dye House Key Factors Management

Cost Reduction RFT Approach Technology Up-gradation Improved quality Reduced cycle times Reduced lead time for delivery Perfect Repeatability Reliable results satisfying critical fastness requirements Maximum machine flexibility International competitiveness Much reduced environmental impact

From a practical point of view Textile printing is the process which incorporates artistic design, engineering and chemical technology to produce unique patterns which can then be accurately repeated on large volumes of fabric

Most common Printing techniques Screen Printing, both rotary and flat bed Transfer Printing The newer technique Digital Printing

Flat B ed 28.0%

R otary S creen 58.0%

T ransfer 5.0% Intaglio 3.0% H and S creen 6.0%

The trends in textile printing include: Continued improvement of microprocessor control systems for printing machines of all types including flat-bed screen, rotary screen, transfer printing calenders and digital ink-jet printers

Refinements in Screen Printing Increased printing output Minimization of set-up times Higher print pattern control Minimization of downtime for pattern changeover and machinery cleaning

Improvement in mechanical design Hydraulic drives replaced with electronic drive systems results into increased printing speeds with subsequent reduced maintenance costs Both rotary and flat-bed printing machines with highly compact print tables in order to conserve expensive processing floor spaces

Refinements in Color mixing and dispensing systems Print paste recovery and reuse Improved systems for filmless screen engraving Which produce excellent image resolution with increased accuracy Also engrave screens at a higher productivity rate, thus reducing the overall cost of the engraving process.

Heat Or Sublimation Transfer Printing:Clean & environmentally safe. The only by product is paper. Perfect medium for today's market demand (apparel). Fes samples can be produced at small scale with good results at lesser cost.

Mechanism: Sublimation paper & special dye sublimation inks are used. Temperature & heat is provided. Transfer inks are passed over to the printable material. The inks (sublimation) permeate the coating of the material. Excellent fastness.

Why Ink-jet?
Simple technology and high quality Existing colorants can be used [Reactive / Disperse / Acid / Pigment] Constantly improving technology [Robustness, Speed (>100 m2/hr.), Quality (1440 dpi)] Printing of innovative & unique designs No screens / Unlimited colours in a design Outstanding colour gamut Different types of Substrates

Trend is towards digital photography (Home / Photolabs]

Lower start-up costs & shorter production times Shorter time from design to print Supply chain advantages More design options Purified MCTs Inks specially designed for existing ink jet head technology Covalent bond gives excellent wash fastness

Reactive dyes in ink-jet printing

Requirement is maximum fastness through non-covalent interactions Fastness requirements

Water fastness Humidity fastness Highlighter smear Light fastness Increase size of dye [Water fastness increases with size] pH switch [Differential solubility between ink and water] Hydrophobic effect Use of additives for greater longevity of prints Photographic media Need for increasing light fastness - New chromophores - Improve performance of existing chromophores Approaches [ Sacrificial groups / Physical quenchers / Physical protection]

Achieving enhanced fastness

Current and future developments

DReAM by Reggiani
Two unique innovations
First, it combines the high technology of Reggiani s well proven textile substrate conveying systems, holding the fabric in position very accurately, with Aprion s Magic six color inkjet heads. Second, it use completely new printing inks developed by Ciba Specialty Chemicals. These inks include reactive dyes, acid dyes, disperse dyes and pigments. This machine reportedly achieves printing speed of up to 150 square meters per hour, with designs suitable for both apparel and home furnishing.

DuPonts Artistri machine is built by ToshinKogyo of Japan, and the two companies celebrated the shipment of their 50th machine as a milestone. The marriage of Toshin-Kogyos experience and expertise in the design of textile printing equipment with DuPonts leadership position in chemistry and inkjet technology has allowed the companies to co-operatively develop a uniquely capable and robust system, said Shiro Ichinose, president of Toshin-Kogyo. The system includes DuPonts Artistri inks for silk, polyester, wool, cotton and nylon/Lycra;

The DuPont Artisri

The Isis competes head-to-head with rotary screen printing, printing 20 linear meters a minute (1.6m wide) at 1440dpi, using either reactive or pigment inks. Crucially, the machine will use standard screen printing inks, vastly reducing the cost per meter, with pigments this will be around 1 per linear meter; a little more for reactive. The figure includes capital costs, and no pretreatment is required. Based on three color ways per design, the print cost for runs of less than 1,000 meters will be equal to or less than rotary screen printing. However, for longer runs (e.g., 1,500m) will be slightly higher.

The Isis

There is a strong correlation, among these machines, between production capacity and price, making it hard to pick a winner. Artistri, for example, with a typical printing speed of 30m2/hour, comes at a capital cost of around 150,000; The DReAM does 150m2/hour but costs 750,000. The expensive special inks often required also have to be accounted into the calculation. The most original machine of them all is the Isis (price tag 3 million), from Dutch firm The Isis Osiris.

The Mona Lisa machine, starting at 250,000, uses Epson printhead technology, but its unique configuration of 24 print heads produces greater speed than the familiar sampling printers. The 12 Mona Lisa so far delivered have gone mainly to the Como district of Italy and are being used on silk, cellulose and polyamide/elastomer, in conjunction with the Genesta family of inks from For.Tex. According to Robustelli, print speeds in the first year since launch have increased from 78m2/hour to 120m2/hour, without loss of quality. Intermediate printing resolutions of 450dpi and 630dpi have been added to the standard 360-540-720dpi.

The Mona Lisa by Robustelli

Another change is the ability to adjust the gap between the heads and the fabric during printing, without stopping the printing itself. It is very likely that during mass production the fabric to be printed is uneven (seams, frays or thickness unevenness), says Robustelli. It is therefore essential to have the possibility to change the gap between the heads and the fabric without stopping printing, then go back to the original gap. Other recent improvements include the drying and printed-fabric collection systems. Infrared radiators are now combined with a special ventilation system, and continuous collection of the fabric, with start-stop photocells, has been added as standard.

Recently added features include an advanced feeding system that allows for the use of wider varieties of fabrics, and a new selvage protection mechanism that improves printing reliability. DuPont Ink Jet has opened its DuPont Artistri Technology Center (ATC) in Cavenago, (Milan) Italy, providing demonstrations, technology training and customer service.

Another wide-format printer with interesting characteristics is the VirtuMT, built by the Swiss Spuhl AG, a subsidiary of Americas Leggett & Platt. This super wide machine offers a single 2.5m printing width, or even a 3.5m version that will print 2x1.5m widths. Speed is claimed to be up to 125m2/hour, or 35m2/hour (2-pass/600 dpi, 6 colours). The machine is already established in the graphics market, while dye-sublimation printing on textiles was introduced early in 2003 and direct printing with UV-curing pigment inks was launched at ITMA. However, the problem was close to a solution and new inks were expected to be available late this year or early next. The Virtu range starts at around 320,000.

The Virtu

Nano Art Nanotechnology Coatings Textile Paper, claiming this to be the first and only product of its type in the world specifically intended for computer-generated, fine-art inkjet printing, and made from nano-coated polyester, cotton and blends

The further one looks into the future, the more exciting the possibilities become. Researchers at the University of Arizona talk about light-emitting textile curtains and window blinds based on ultra-thin organic films that either emit light, or alternatively, act as solar cells, collecting light to generate electricity. Ghassan E. Jabbour, associate research professor of optical sciences and his group, along with European partners, are developing nanometre-thick organic films for printing on paper, plastic and textiles. His laboratory claims to be the first to print organic light-emitting devices on large areas of plastic and textile by screen printing and has also developed a unique technique for inkjet printing these layers on to textiles.

In terms of more conventional textile printing and coloration, nano-powders are likely to have an important impact on future ink technology and all major producers are believed to have active research programs in this area. For example, in Israel, which is a leading developer and producer of inkjet technology, a consortium of 14 companies and 12 academic research groups, Nano Functional Materials (NFM), has been formed to seek new ways of fabricating and using nano-particles in industrial processes and products.

SciTex Vision, developer of the unique Aprion piezo drop-ondemand technology used by the Reggiani DReAM printer, is another member of the consortium and is seeking to develop a new generation of inks based on nanotechnology of pigments and polymers to achieve high performance inks and films through ultra-high jetting performance (drop velocity, directionality, jetting stability), conductivity, stabilization and better color gamut. Nanotechnology also offers new routes to achieving effects such as metallic or opalescent prints that are difficult or expensive using existing inkjet techniques, while printed nano-films can produce iridescent effects on textiles.


Advancements in Textiles Series 2012 EDPIU, MINTEX --- SFDAC

Advanced Dyeing & Printing Techniques