Colorjet launches Vastrajet 16-head printer in India

Innovations in digital textile printing

Jitendar Pal Singh (right), business head of Textile, Colorjet. Photo IPP

Colorjet, a manufacturer of digital textile printers based in Noida, displayed two direct-to-fabric digital textile printers at Gartex 2019 – the Vastrajet 16 head printer non-reactive ink and the Vastrajet 8-head printer with acid-based inks. Colorjet had launched the Vastrajet 16 head printer at ITMA Barcelona but this machine was launched and shown for the first time in North India at the Gartex exhibition in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Jitendar Pal Singh, business head of Textile, Colorjet, said, “The inks used in digital printing depend on the kind of fabric you want to print on. Say for example, you want to print on natural fabrics like cotton, viscose and silk. In that case, reactive ink is used. Dispersion inks are used for polyester and pigment inks can be used on any type of fabric but the process is slightly different. Acid-based inks are used for nylon. Printing on nylon is very difficult but the Vastrajet 8-head printer with acid-based inks can print on anything that is made of nylon as well as on woolens.”

Speaking about Colorjet, Singh said, “We are getting a good response from India and overseas. We are maintaining our leadership both in terms of machines in this segment and also in terms of new machines sold on a year to year basis. Our team is working on new applications and models in the direct-to-fabric and dye sublimation segment.”

Sharing his view on the digital textile printing industry, he added, “The digital textile printing industry is growing as expected. However, there are certain pockets such as Surat, which are not growing at the same pace. Although digital printing has gone up, it is still less than 5% globally as far as textiles. However, being a large industry even if it grows by 1%, the number of machines installed globally will be in the thousands.

“There is huge potential in digital textile printing as customers are shifting their production to digital because of the increased demand of digitally printed materials, and because of the environmental concerns raised by conventional textile processing and printing. They are also looking for ease of operation, lower cost of printing and higher productivity in digital. Colorjet’s solutions are in line with these demands. Additionally, you will see that new players are entering the market and I say that it is a good sign. It is not a competition but growth in the right direction. I personally anticipate that digital textile printing should grow much faster.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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