Remarkable technological advancements in dyeing, printing and finishing machinery
by Professor Dr. Noor Ahmed Memon, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education.

The textile is the most important manufacturing sector of Pakistan and has the longest production chain, with inherent potential for value addition at each stage of processing, from cotton to ginning, spinning, fabric, dyeing and finishing, made-ups and garments.

The contribution of this industry to the total GDP is 8.5%. It provides 40% employment and barring seasonal and cyclical fluctuations, textiles products have maintained an average share of about 58% in national exports. The dyeing, printing and finishing sectors have seen remarkable improvements in textile technology over the years, to meet increasingly stringent requirements of lower usage of chemical, water and energy.

Today’s finishing machines provide economical and profitable production while meeting all stringent requirements. Textile printing is an important process in textile design, given its role in embellishing and contributing to the style of the garment. With rapid changes in fashion, the textile industry is making a steady shift towards prints, rather than dyed fabrics. The market for textile printing is closely linked to consumer demand for apparel/clothing, home furnishings and decor.

Steady population growth, increasing purchasing capability, and rapidly changing fashion trends are among the key factors driving the growth in the textile printing market. The steady shift towards digital textile printing driven by the technology’s ability to accelerate production speeds, and reduce coloration costs, is another factor in the steady growth in the market. Technology advancements and innovations associated with inks and consumables, print heads, and printing machinery remain vital to market growth.

With the evolution of industry 4.0, the digital textile printing ink technology is constantly crossing new boundaries. Global digital textile printing inks market was valued at US$698 million in 2016, and is expected to reach US$2.1 billion by 2023, registering a CAGR of 17.2% from 2017 to 2023.

The rapid growth in urbanization coupled with an upsurge in demand for corporate branding and advertisement has propelled the market for digital textile inks. The sublimation ink segment has observed major demand due to an increase in demand for dye-sublimation printer in computer printing applications.

The steady shift towards digital textile printing driven by the technology’s ability to accelerate production speeds, and reduce coloration costs, is another factor in the steady growth in the market. Technology advancements and innovations associated with inks and consumables, print heads, and printing machinery remain vital to market growth.

Screen printing represents the largest market sector by type of technology. At present, the global textiles industry produces the majority of printed textile fabric by screen printing. However, as the world is irresistibly moving into the digital age, developments in digital printing on different levels (hardware, software, inkjet inks) find their way into the textiles market. Inkjet printing is growing while growth in analogue printing is said to remain stagnant or decreasing, especially in Europe.

The market for digital textile printing in Pakistan is increasing as it offers better and high definition textile print design possibilities, lower water, effluent, emissions and energy use with economical production of “short-run medium run” prints to the market. The shorter delivery brings in increased savings to retailers and brands as digital printing hubs are based on proximity sourcing and just-in-time printing and sourcing strategies.

Today quality, colour, creativity and design are the main issues. However, functionality comes more and more in the picture. Digital dyeing and coating/finishing technologies will enable the textiles industry to introduce more effective processes. They will enable cost-effective production of high-end products, more flexible production, and increased productivity with the improved ecological footprint.

Textile processing

The textile sector of Pakistan is considered to play a central role in the economy of the country. At present independent processing units are working in and around Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Karachi with complete finishing facilities. These integrated units have complete finishing facilities i.e. bleaching, mercerizing, dyeing, calendaring and printing. These units from the power loom sector procure cloth and after processing they are marketed under their own brand names in the domestic market.

The weaving and made-up sectors have three different subsectors in weaving viz. integrated, independent weaving units and power loom sector. The cloth is being produced in both the mill and non-mill sectors. Pakistan’s fabrics range from coarse to super varieties. There are a large number of vertically integrated units, where production is controlled from fibre to the end product, and marketed abroad directly.

The production of cloth (mill sector) increased from 1.04 billion square meters in 2014-15 to 1.05 billion square meters in 2018-19. Out of total production of cloth during 2018-19 in mill sector, 51% produced in grey form, 37% dyed and printed, and 12% blended and bleached. Production of cloths mill sector are given in Table-1.

Table 1: Production of Cloth (Mill Sector)
                                                                                        Million sq. meters

Year Blended

Grey

Bleached

Dyed and Printed

Total

2014-15 57 573 91 316 1,037
2015-16 60 570 85 324 1,039
2016-17 55 560 90 338 1,043
2017-18 50 570 85 339 1,044

2018-19

50 530 83 383 1,046

   Source: Textile Commissioner Organisation Government of Pakistan

Import of dyes and pigments

The dyeing and printing sector consume vast amounts of water and chemicals, and release numerous volatile agents into the atmosphere that are particularly harmful to our health. The import of various dyes and pigments in Pakistan decreased from Rs 25.35 billion in 2017-18 to Rs 35.03 billion in 2018-19, thus showing an increase of 38%. Imports of dyes and pigments in Pakistan are given in Table 2.

Table 2: Imports of Dyes and Pigments in Pakistan
                                                             Value: Rs. in Million

Description

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

 Disperse Dyes.

2,898 2,718 4,697
 Acid Dyes Premetalise. 1,663 1,945 2,618
 Basic Dyes. 897 869 1,223
 Direct Dyes. 361 399 640
 Vat Dyes Indigo Blue. 2,699 3,842 6,500
 Other Vat Dyes. 1,059 1,122 1,385
 Reactive Dyes. 8,914 9,227 12,273

 Pigments Preparation.

3,006 3,038 3,259

 Dyes Sulphur.

1,319 1,965 2,382

 Other Dyes Synthetic.

240 225 50

 Total

23,056 25,350 35,027

   Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Import of finishing machines

Fashion has always been a fast-paced industry, but today top brands are incorporating new colours and styles onto their shop floors at unprecedented speeds. Household and other textile applications are also beginning to experience similar pressure to provide more designs at a faster pace. The success of garment printing illustrates the growth of an industry that equipment manufacturers have clearly noticed.

 A number of printing companies have released DTG printers, Epson’s Sure Colour F2000 series among them. Garment printing uses GT-3 Series Garment Printer with CMYK and 4 White Print Heads made by Brother. Imports of textile dyeing, drying, bleaching and finishing machines increased from Rs 8.81 billion in 2017-18 Rs 8.76 billion in 2018-19, thus showing an increase of 5%. Imports of textile finishing machinery into Pakistan are given in Table 3.

Table 3: Imports of Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machines
                                                             Value: Rs. in Million

Machines

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

 Bleaching machines.

454 348 536
 Drying machines. 944 1,643 2,952
 Coating or laminating
 machines.
225 289 147
 Dressing and finishing
 machines.
162 335 299
 Mercerizing machines. 637 392 780
 Sanfozing machines. 113 258 120
 Stentering machines. 588 698 812

 Shrinking machines.

976 164 230

 Other drying / Iron
 machines.

2,808 4,183 2,882

 Total

6,907 8,310 8,758

   Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Future Prospects

The fashion industry around the world generates more than a trillion dollars annually. It is a well-known fact that textile industry is one of the most polluted industries in the world. Therefore, by making the right choice in the methods of production and sales and what one prefers to wear.

Eco clothing is often made of natural fabric materials that are nontoxic and less polluting in their production, use and disposal. Eco-fashion is about making clothes that take into account the environment, the health of consumers and the working conditions of people in the fashion industry. 

Eco clothing is often made of natural fabric materials that are nontoxic and less polluting in their production. This fashion is about making clothes that take into account the environment, the health of consumers and the working conditions of people in the fashion industry. Eco-fashion clothes: are made using organic raw materials can also be environmentally friendly in other ways.

Today, the textile and the fashion industry understand the urgent need to change the ways clothes are manufactured. At present, there is a strong dominance of cotton and polyester fibres in the market. Together they contribute towards 80% of the total clothing production in the world. On the other hand, innovative alternatives to these fibres have been developed, which are the part of sustainable future

The consumers in the developed countries are now concerned about green activities and choose products which are non-toxic and cause no harm to either the user or the environment. This trend for eco-friendly products has been extended to textile apparel products, particularly those products which directly come into contact with the skin for prolonged periods. The requirements for socially responsible production and processing are increasing every day.

In this connection dyeing printing and finishing, the sector has seen remarkable improvements in textile technology over the years, to meet these increasingly stringent requirements of lower use of chemicals, water and energy. Today’s finishing machines provide economical and profitable production while meeting all stringent requirements.

References

  • Textile Commissioner Organization Government of Pakistan.
  • Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
  • State Bank of Pakistan-Annual Reports.
  • Various Press Releases.

 

 
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