Reactive printing vs pigment printing

The reactive printing technology provides for durability of colours for years of use. The printing process itself is not complicated but the process of fixing colours on cotton requires significant care and numerous processes of treatment of such cotton fabric. The result is undeniably highest quality and durability of colours.

Reactive printing

The cotton fabrics are pre-treated with chemical undercoat prior to printing. Following the printing the dye on fabric is subject to steaming in the temperature of 102-103 grades Celsius resulting in reaction between cotton and the dye, which colours the fibres completely and permanently. The fabric is then washed and ironed.

Our reactively printed fabrics are being printed on digital printer, steamed and washed on the same manufacturing line, with reduction of the consumption of energy and water to the most possible extent. As they are steamed and washed for finishing, the reactive dyes have an excellent quality and durability of colours in course of wearing and multiple washing. The reactive inks are better for softer fabrics and knitwear as they are less easily getting the blurred colours and patterns than in the case of the pigment printing as pigments dye fibres directly by reactive inks but it is not fixed for longer use. There are no temperature limitations for washing the fabrics with reactive prints. The reactive printing is purposed in particular for children clothes, female and male fashion as well as bed linen and towels.

 

Pigment printing

The pigment printing includes only one process, i.e. printing. Namely, the cotton is subject to printing with the colour pigment, which is fixing with the fabric directly during printing. The process is fast but the durability of colours depends on way of use and number of washings. This printing technology is applied mainly to fabrics used for interior designs such as curtains, fancy pillows and/or textiles which due to their use need rare washing.

For pigment manufacturing the non-toxic pigment inks based on water are used. The pigment inks contain colours (pigments), binder for fixing the ink to the fabric and water for distribution of the ink on surface.

In the pigment printing the inks effectively settle on the fibre and on cotton they are not significantly recognizable by touching, however the textile is definitely more nubby than in the case of reactive printing. The ink is fixing with the fabric by drying. In the past the pigment inks were regarded as offering worse colours than the reactive inks, but this technology constantly improves. The opinion on the pigment inks was also that the durability of colours during washing was poor. Currently their durability in washing is up to 40° C.

Reactive printing Pigment printing
Recommendable for clothing and for frequently washed textiles Recommendable for rarely washable fabrics
Fixed under 103°C Decomposition starts in temperatures exceeding 40°C

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