The marvellous Pigment Printing on fabrics

The simple and cool colour combinations of pigment printings, are still maintaining their standards. India is renowned of its textile printings. One such marvellous technique of fabric printing is Pigment printing.

Pigment printing has gained much importance today as it is the cheapest and easiest printing process, where it produces a well defined design than all other printing techniques. Today, it is appetizing the viewers with its colourful hues and shades. Pigment, an insoluble synthetic organic material or colorant used with binder for making the film on the surface. Basically, pigment is a material or substance, which tends to reflect or scatter some or most wavelengths of the light incident on it, so the resultant reflected light is perceived as a colour by the human eye. Binder, a colourless neutral substance in which the pigment is suspended and printing is the process of applying colour to the pattern.

So, Pigment printing is the technique or process of affixing the coloured designs using pigment colorants on to various fabrics through block printing. Here, an insoluble colorant is printed on the fabric as an emulsion through binders. Pigment printing is done to produce attractive designs by applying pigment paste on the surface of the fabric. As the pigment has no affinity to cotton fabric, binder is used. A pigment generally exists as a colorant powder to colour the materials where the binder is accompanied to it before applying. Pigment is a fabulous material where it can be applied to both natural and synthetic fibers. For the printer it is an easier and economical process, which allows maximum output of goods. Printing process starts with choosing the fabric. Usually, pigment printing is done on any of the fabric type i., both natural and synthetic fabrics like silk, cotton, polyester, nylon, rayon and crepe etc. Weaver obtains a high-quality printing using some mixer of recipe like pigment of 30 parts, binder of 600 parts, fixer of 10 parts and Na alginate and white spirit.

The steps involved in pigment printing are: Fabric pre-treatmentsPrintingDryingCuringWashing Printing is made using either of the following methods: roller printing and rotary printing. Here, the printing is done with binder and fixer. Based on the fabric, it will be dried and cured. Washing is an alternative step i.e., sometimes it is needed and sometimes it's not.

Weavers introduced new synthetic polymers for soft handling and fastness properties. Pigment printing can be applied to a wide range of fabrics such as pure cotton, pure silk, chiffon, crepe, georgette and super net, the prints are fast (adhesion of colour) and sharp in detail. Exquisite floral designs, geometrical patterns and even miniature detailing otherwise not possible are block printed using pigment colorants.

Pigment printed saris of Venkatagiri are attracting the viewers with their printed zari borders. Kota saris of Pigment printing are both casual and classical wears of the working women. Designer saris of Pigment printing goes down well with occasions like inaugural festivals, corporate conferences, grand functions, parties and bridal ceremonies.

Akeera About the Author :a freelancer long associated with ethnic fabrics, known for her special leaning towards ethnic sarees. She enjoys the privilege of being a part-time consultant to Unnati Silks. She may be contacted on 040-64555251 or 97000 57744 between 9 A.M.and 3 P.M. E-mail her at

This article was published on 04 Sep 2014 and has been viewed 1684 times
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