Bharat Textile and Proofing Industries at Chennai, India

Providing PVC-free solutions to the signage industry

Bharat Textiles and Proofing Industries
Coating machine.

Bharat Textiles and Proofing Industries have been manufacturing PVC-free banners and tarpaulins since 1972, with its first fully automated production unit for canvas fabric and tarpaulins at Gummidipoondi Chennai.

The company extended its manufacturing unit to include a new factory in TADA, near Chennai, that produces coated textiles up to 3.2 metres wide (10 feet). Digitally printable fabric, acrylic textile coating on the fabric, artistic canvas, primed canvas, block out fabric, block out curtains, and various other materials or substrates for print are the company’s major manufacturing emphasis.

Bharat Textiles and Proofing Industries
Sectional Warping machine.

When one hears fabric, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely clothes or upholstery. The company’s print medium consists of a polyester or cotton canvas foundation with an acrylic finish. Although this is a legitimate fabric application, most of the latest digital textile technology is used to print pictures and graphics on signs and banners.

The company’s flagship goods are sold under ‘Ecofab,’ which combines the benefits of branding with environmental concerns. Particularly in the new and youthful India, where we are aware of the recent and impending reign of Indian entrepreneurs striving to be India’s future greats, there is a strong need for environmental sustainability.

Bharat Textiles and Proofing Industries
Dornier Air Jet looms.

Ecofab is a sustainable solution for businesses wishing to replace PVC flex and vinyl media for signage applications which are very toxic and causes grade one pollution when not disposed of correctly. It features a variety of indoor and outdoor advertising applications and its USP of being PVC-free, which has been verified and certified by reputable laboratories like CIPET and SGS.

State bans on plastic use

It was unsurprising that the Maharashtra government, following the lead of the other four states – Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Chhattisgarh – inadvertently increased the strain on indigenous flex manufacturers in 2019. The reasons given were not novel but rather aimed at creating a sustainable, plastic-free environment. 

The Karnataka High Court lifted the ban with some restrictions on the size and location of signage installations in February 2019, bringing a sigh of relief to these manufacturers. However, the relief gained was only temporary, as the court issued an order restoring the previous day’s ban until further notice the following day.

Printable textiles are specifically intended to handle all types of existing printing techniques, such as latex, UV, solvent, and eco-solvent, that are currently utilized in printing PVC flex banners. As a result, printers do not need to replace or modify their machines to use fabric media to substitute for PVC flex and vinyl.

Fabric banners provide a few significant advantages over other materials, including a more appealing look. The displays offer the benefits of being durable with increased tensile strength, and are lightweight. While on the subject of looks, the fabric’s ink is permanently attached to the polyester fibres. Because the colors are not reproduced as separate dots, the realistic images look more natural. A direct benefit of employing a cloth banner is the crisper and brighter picture. Other advantages to the user include the total elimination of glare or scratched finishes damaging the banner’s overall look.

Polyester and cotton cloth are highly realistic options for getting the most return on your investment due to their durability and recyclable usage. A fabric banner is simple to transport, can be kept in stock for a long time, and is nearly maintenance-free. As a result, it’s an excellent substitute for PVC flex and plastic-based products.

Cloth is an excellent choice for interior presentations because of its enhanced color and texture. The fabric appears better than flex, according to most sign manufacturers. The cloth banner may be utilized in several outdoor and indoor media advertising applications without losing quality or picture accuracy. Fabric is significantly more durable, recyclable, and environmentally beneficial in the long term, and it can also print very intricate images with high-quality prints.

Bharat Textiles and Proofing Industries
Inspection machine.

Bharat Textile and Proofing have 12 Dornier Ari jet looms, sectional warping, compressor, knife coating, and calendaring equipment. This facility is capable of weaving and coating various types of industrial fabrics.

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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