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Products for dye sublimation are the most in demand right now
Printing inks have gone through many a revolution from time to time. The market has always been demanding about printing inks, and that is the reason the industry has been able to see many innovations. Guy Evron, Marketing Director at Bordeaux discusses the industry trends along with company highlights with Fibre2Fashion.com
What are the latest developments in digital textile printing inks industry? How do you manage to keep pace with changing requirements?
We have just introduced the Bordeaux Eden PG Ink, a water-based pigment ink, which enables direct to textile or direct to garment printing. The basic aim of this ink is to simplify the printing process carried out today. It eliminates the use of different types of ink for different types of fabric. We have managed to create an ink and a pre-treatment, which are suitable for all types of fabric printing. Regardless of what we are printing on, be it cotton, polyester or other fabrics like lycra or viscose; you can print all of them using one single printer in one single process, instead of having multiple processes.
This is a very rapidly changing market, especially in the last few years. There has been a focus of many companies on the digital textile printing industry with a lot of acquisitions recently. Our effort in this direction has been at the forefront, by using a very qualified and experienced team of researchers, which enables us to come up with solutions for problems that the market is facing at the moment.
The ability of Bordeaux to keep pace with changing requirements is by having a very strong and very capable research and development team. We are in the field all the time, speaking to customers and trying to solve their problems. And we understand that it is time for the market to come up with solutions for the current problems. So just a few years ago, when we started working on digital textile printing inks, the main feedback we received from the market was that one process cannot be used for all types of materials. A single printer can only print on one like polyester or cotton. This actually motivated us to create the Even PG, one ink for all fabrics.
Once we came up with this notion of one ink for all fabrics, we made a solution by chemical analysing -that is Even PG ink. But in order to see how an ink reacts to market situation, we collaborated with some of our partners in order to work with this ink. The first use of this ink was with one of our long-term partner. One partner we had was based in South Africa - a textile printer, printing mostly on cotton. Right after inspection of this ink, we have already received feedback from him on the colours of final print and limitations. This allowed us to develop and re-formulate the ink in order to overcome limitations and by this open dialogue with our partners, we were able to modify and change the product to what the market needs.
What products are the most in demand from digital printing inks fraternity?
Right now, the most in demand are the products for dye sublimation. Every single printer, either doing commercial printing or wide format printing likes to expand to soft signage, flags and t-shirts, and is aiming towards dye sublimation. So, this is the area we see the most growth in. Once again, this is the limitation we have tried to overcome. Instead of moving to dye sublimation for printing only on soft signage, which is not pure textiles, we wanted to enable printers to expand into not only soft signage, but to pure textile as well, such as upholstery, garments or home decoration, with one simple process.
What technology do you intend to introduce into the market in coming years?
In the coming years, the main thing that we want to push is the pigment direct to garment printing. We currently have four colours, C,M,Y,K for this. We are already adding this year spot colours. Of course, textile printing requires white, which is the next target. We do plan to be able to completely replace both reactive and dye sublimation inks with just one single pigment ink.
Which countries are best export destinations for your product? Which ones are emerging in a big way?
There are very traditional textile printing countries such as India and Turkey. These are two main markets that we have aimed towards from day one. These are markets in terms of capacity and quantity manufactured the most, and we believe in going to markets with the most need first. So this is where we started. I must admit that we were quite surprised, but interest has been coming from additional countries like Latin America and South Africa, where we see a huge demand for direct to garment textile printing and a demand for Eden PG.
What new products do you plan to introduce to the market in coming years?
The thing that we want to do most in the next few years is to enlarge the colour gamut. Because right now, the colour gamut is very good for about 80 per cent of applications needed. But for applications where you need very bright colours, we still need to enlarge the colour gamut. We can print very well on white fabrics, but we still need to finalise our white colour. Even this year, our aim is to offer at least two or three spot colours and white.
What colours are trending in market for the textile industry?
In terms of CMYK, black is always something we focus on. Black and red colours are colours that are very important, especially in the fashion industry. Colours that really pop and really shine to the eye are popular. For home decoration applications, pastels are very good with the Eden PG, with high definition images looking superb.
What are the sustainability norms practised in the industry?
With respect to sustainability, there will definitely be one trend that is going along for quite some time, ie the organic trend. It's still a very very niche market. But despite being a niche market, it is rolling high turnovers that gradually increase over the years.
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