Felix Schoeller India shows S-race sublimation paper at Gartex

Indian textile printing segment has immense potential

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Felix
Pranav Vaswani, director, Felix Schoeller India. Photo IPP

Felix Schoeller India came into being in 2018 as a joint venture between New (India) Imaging Industries and the 125-year-old German Felix Schoeller Group. The Mumbai-based joint venture converts and distributes German-made premium specialty papers and media. It supplies paper to Indian paper manufacturers and textile printers with a range of durable and sustainable solutions.

With a state-of-the-art converting facility at Khairane in Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra, the firm diversified to customized paper products in 2019. Its facility can convert paper to a range of widths from 8 inches to 72 inches. It has the technical know-how to make wider widths up to 126 inches and is one of the few manufacturers in the world capable of providing this customization.

Felix Schoeller India recently exhibited its range of sublimation papers from Germany under the S-race brand name at the recently concluded Gartex Texprocess from 3 – 5 December 2021 at Pragati Maidan in Delhi NCR. These papers are used for sublimation printing and transfer onto textiles. Digital dye-sublimation printing works not only for fashion garments and sportswear but also for home décor and soft signage applications. The S-race range is claimed by the company to provide the brilliant pin-sharp image quality required in personalized applications and merchandise. S-race’s papers range from 38 gsm to 120 gsm for textile and hard substrate applications.

Indian Printer & Publisher interacted with the company director Pranav Vaswani at Gartex, where he shared the firm’s experience during the Covid-19 crisis, “It was a difficult time for all of us and especially the initial lockdown was very difficult but we managed to cope well with that. One of our products is used for medical purposes, so that was a good opportunity for us. We started supplying that product to hospitals. It was a difficult time but we managed it well and we have come out of it stronger.

“That is a fast coated photo imaging paper that is used for testing procedures like X-rays. During the Covid time, many people had to get their lung X-rays done, so we had to supply the paper to various hospitals around India.”

With a sales office and a stock point in Noida in Northern India, Felix Schoeller India entered the sublimation market specifically for textiles two years ago. However, it has been selling sublimation paper for about four years, mainly for hard substrate applications. 

Vaswani adds that the market for sublimation papers is growing very quickly with significant potential and scope soon. The firm primarily came to the event to find out more about the market and to try to get more customers, dealers, and distributors on board and was able to generate substantial leads.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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