Printing is a value addition to basic garments. Embroidery, sequins, studs, high-frequency welding, laser, etc. are also a valuable addition to basic garments. This value addition creates a gimmick appeals to viewers, which creates the needs of that particular garments, even it is not necessary to buy in some cases. On value, addition printing plays a major role.
Printing on fabrics is generally accomplished in 2 ways as AOP (All Over Printing) and the other is PP (Placement Printing). In both processes, modernization is added as well as conventional system prevails. In both processes’ modern techniques as digital printing and sublimation are added. AOP generally is done with reactive dyes and pigment printing and in some cases, added some fashionable effects as pearl, glitter, metallic or foam.
Thus, it is having fewer varieties and particularly pricing is on per yard or per kilogram basis. On the other hand, placement printing uses many types of chemicals thus having many varieties and costing also varies according to varieties. Here we will light up the inherent factors, which affect the pricing of placement printing.
Any placement printing price consists of 3 factors as, chemical cost, overhead cost and margin. Chemicals cost affects from 20 to 40% on the whole price. Because it depends on the size of the printing or actual measurement of the printing area, chemical type such as rubberized printing or plastisol printing, etc., any extraneous materials are added on to it or not such as foil, flock etc.
Nowadays, modern placement printing is having a high overhead cost. Because modern placement printing shop consists of modern machinery such as circular (Carousal), oval type printing press, pre-press machines such as image setters, coating, exposing and wash up booths. Many post presses machines such as conveyor, heat-press, rotary press for sublimation, various cleaning equipment such as flock cleaning, etc. These actually consume a huge amount of electricity, which also a big factor of high overhead expenses, apart from the overall interest on capital and depreciation value of printing machinery.
In Bangladesh, the placement printing factories generally combines manual printing and machinery printing. In the manual printing segment, a considerable number of workers are needed to run that section, which also a substantial portion of overhead expenses. Generally, in placement printing, 30-40% is overhead expenses.
Back in the year 1986-87, when Placement Printing introduced into Bangladesh water-base pigment and elastic pigment printing (generally called rubberized printing) prevails in the market till the year 2000. After the year 2000, many kinds of chemicals came to the placement printing environment to cope up with the requirement of combination fabrics such as cotton-lycra, poly-cotton, or only polyester to match up the fashion requirement from brands.
From the year 2004 circular printing machine added to the conventional structure of placement printing (manual printing) environment, which also created to introduce new types of printing chemicals requirement such as plastisol printing.
Now in Bangladesh, 100% cotton t-shirts to lycra mix ladies garments to outerwear even tent also printed. Which creates the need to use various types of printing chemicals such as conventional water-base pigment printing, elastic pigment printing, dry discharge printing, plastisol base printing, solvent base printing, silicone base printing, printing in high acidic media such as burn out printing and many fashionable effects on each type of printing.
Considering the price of each chemical type, conventional water-based pigment and elastic pigment (rubberized) type printing has less price than all other chemical types. Discharge is another type of conventional water-base pigment printing, which uses an activator to destroy the colored portion of the fabrics and with a binder, the pigment is adhered to the destroyed portion of the color and makes it a different color than original fabric color.
Its chemical price is little higher than regular pigment or elastic pigment. For the betterment of the environment and meeting chemical restriction of brands now plastisol type printing requirements are all converted to PVC and phthalate-free plastisol printing requirement. Plastisol which meeting the environmental and brands’ chemical restriction, resides at the higher price side of printing chemicals. Generally, twice to thrice than pigment and elastic pigment type price. But mileage is more than elastic pigment type.
Similarly, solvent base chemicals cost also high as like PVC and phthalate-free plastisol but mileage is more. As it is applied in water repellent or waterproof fabrics such as outer wears or tent, hence brand’s price allocation for this type of print also high.
Silicone, another type of chemical which also high costly but uses to create a special effect or special characteristics requirements such as anti-slippery, high-frequency puff or create special density effect. If any extraneous materials are attached with some kind of adhesive to garment to make the garments lucrative such as foils or flock, then these add up to the final cost of the price, even though the adhesive may be particular type-water base or plastisol base. If the size is bigger, then extraneous materials cost is much more than conventional water-base pigment or water base elastic printing chemicals.
There are a myriad number of special fashion requirements in placement printing. From Glass beads (these beads are actually made with glass), which is attached in the fabrics with special type adhesive or caviar beads (made with plastics) to rock type texture effect, from glitters to leather-like effect, from curved type jell to pin type high density, fashion effects are immense.
This is beyond the limit of the article to discuss the price of each type of fashion effect. We can summarize in this way that fashion effects can be produced with one category of chemical types such as plastisol or can be produced with a multi-category of printing chemicals such as discharge and plastisol type-together. These combinations not only restricted to only pigment or plastisol but also can be combined with others. Pricing is done on the basis of chemical type it has been used to create the effect. If multi-type chemicals have been used then it needs to be calculated portion-wise. Then combining them to get the real costing of particular fashion effects.
In summary, generally placement printing pricing system, 1/3 expenses are considered as chemical costing, 1/3 as overhead, some portions are considered as a normal loss (Not more than 5%) and rest is operational earning. But the last couple of years’ due to worldwide recessions, brands are always pressuring to the factories for reducing the price. As a result, many factories operational earnings reduced to 10% or less.