Textile entrepreneurs now are investing heavily in digital technology, which is the fastest growing method of printing textiles. The market for digital printing technologies is moving out of the preliminary laps and gaining momentum in India.
Dipali Goenka, Managing Director, Welspun Global Brands Limited & Executive Director, Welspun India Limited, in an interaction with Karthik Muthuveeran talks on the rising scope for digital printing in India. Excerpts...
Karthik Muthuveeran (KM): Digital printing is catching up in India. How is your company doing in this area in India and all over the world?
Dipali Goenka (DG): Digital printing, also known as ´direct-to-garment´ (DTG) printing is a process of printing on textiles and garments using specialized or modified inkjet technology. It started in India with t-shirts and gradually moved onto other materials.
The digital printing on polyester bed sheet was imported from China and initially, Welspun outsourced the production of digital printing on polyester in limited quantities, which was mostly used for institutional sales. Later we saw a lot of positive responses and introduced digital printing in the domestic market on pillow covers for our Ruyal category. This same concept was further explored in bed-sheet and now we are launching 4-5 different collection with digital printing on bed sheet and pillow covers in the coming season. This printing is done on 100 per cent cotton.
KM: What are the latest trends in digital printing in India?
DG: Currently, the trends show that everyone is slowly moving from digital printing on polyester to cotton. The prints earlier were of ancient places and scenery but now it has moved to abstract prints, graffiti and bright fluorescent colours. It is getting more vibrant and is moving with the times considering the scope of growth in India.
KM: What are the various printing systems & technologies you offer for the textile industry? What are their advantages over that of competitors?
DG: We have two types of printing technology´ Rotary print and Flat-bed printing Rotary print: They are rolls which act as a screen and colours are poured from the rotary screen to the fabric. It is a vastly used printing technology which has hi-speed and low on cost. It has a limitation of repeat size till 92 cms. Flat-bed printing: It has no limitation of repeat size and can go up to 270 inches. It is a bed on which there is a flat screen and the colours poured from the screen to the design.
Considering we have state-of-the-art rotary print machine, which manages the decentralization in a professional manner, it is an added advantage over our competitors. We import high quality of dyes and chemical and have direct control of the product, which reduces the inventory cost and outsourcing of the product.
We also have two digital printing machines ´ one is used for sampling and has eight colour options and the other is used for production, which can produce almost 1,000 m per day and has 12 colour options.
KM: Give us some details about Welspun´s beginning and its developments over the years.
DG: Welspun began as a textile company in 1985 and slowly diversified into the pipes business. Soon after, we also went international by setting up our first plant in USA. Further, we began expansions in our home textiles and pipes facilities and also began setting up Welspun City in Anjar. This was also the time we made our first international acquisition, leading UK brand of towels - ´Christy´ and entered the oil & gas explorations business as well. Today, at US$3.5 billion, Welspun Group is one of India´s fastest growing conglomerates w