Digital Textile Printing and Sustainability
The need to move towards sustainable options grows each passing day. The increasing carbon footprints and waste products create a toxic environment for humans as well as the biosphere. Understanding the same concerns, a valuable change and shift are seen in the textile industry.
The invention of sustainable materials and textile production is the first step towards helping to conserve the environment and preserve a bright future for upcoming generations. The new generation printing adheres to sustainability throughout the production chain, from the making of sustainable fibers to the process of digital textile printing.
Let us have a look at sustainable differences made by adopting digital textile printing.
The entire supply chain and production of digital textile printing promote and adopt sustainability through various mediums. The fiber selected for textile printing to its intermediary process and finally the printing.
One of the key reasons digital printing is sustainable is the materials and techniques used during the printing process. Initially, conventional screen printing made use of large spaces where the elaborate screen printing devices were placed. With the advent of digital printing, the factory space utilized for carrying out printing drastically reduced. Mindful reduction in production spaces helps with sustainability by conserving the natural biosphere to a great extent.
The digital printing also uses fewer material resources as compared to screen printing. The use of water and ink during the traditional screen printing process is much larger as compared to digital textile printing.
The mechanism of screen printing uses a mesh-like screen through which several layers of ink are pressed to transfer it on the fabric. Each layer of the design is done individually with different inks every time. Hence, the entire process uses a lot of ink to achieve the final output.
Additionally, the amount of water used during the entire process is not sustainable for the planet. The traditional screen printing apparatus utilizes 50-60 liters of water per meter.
The final product of the Screen Printing requires it to be washed in a surplus of water, which creates excess waste and toxic water wastage, which causes water pollution if not discarded responsibly.
In contrast, digital uses PiezoElectric print heads that deposit minuscule ink droplets on the surface of the fabric. This results in a thin layer of ink deposition and hence, less use of ink. Since the main component of ink is water, there is a lot more conservation of water when adopting digital textile printing. Here the end-product does not require any post-processing step that requires water. Hence, it does not create any toxic waste.
Digital textile printing supports sustainability at every step. It also creates more opportunities and possibilities in the field of textile manufacturing. It promotes more creative freedom by making use of CAD/CAM software to generate varied colorful prints without restricting creativity.
In a nutshell, digital textile printing is the new-age solution to promote sustainability while enhancing the process of textile printing. It opens up multiple avenues and opportunities without hampering the environment.