A Guide to Reactive Printing Process

Last updated on June 8th, 2023 at 03:08 pm

The printing process by which application of color or dye to fabric in a definite design or pattern is done with the help of reactive dye is called reactive printing. After the application of reactive print paste to fabric, the color creates bond with the cellulosic fibre and helps to resist washing and friction and also creates the fastness properties.

Roller Printing Machine

Reactive Print Paste preparation Ingredients

  1. Sodium hexa meta-phosphate.
  2. Sodium alginate
  3. Urea
  4. Sodium bicarbonate
  5. Resist salted
  6. Ecaltex police
  7. Kollasol CDA
  8. Kerpshin emulsion
  9. Water

Sodium hexa meta-phosphate is used as sequestering agent to remove hardness of water.

Sodium alginate is used as thickener. It is also used in reactive print as thickener to make printing past.

Urea is used to increase the solubility of the dyes in water and thereby enhance the brightness and intensity of the dyes used.

Sodium bicarbonate is used as soda ash to increase the fixation of dyestuff into fiber molecule.

Ecaltex pol is used as printing oil to increase the softness and it also helps to pass printing paste through the screen mesh.

Kollasol CDA is used as de-foaming agent. It reduces the produced foam during making print paste.

Process Flowchart of Reactive Printing

Fabric washing
Printing (Printing paste and fabric preparation)


Importance of Fabric washing & drying

  • Increase the absorbency of fabric.
  • Helps to remove the oil, wax, impurities of fabric.
  • Increase the penetration of chemical.
  • Helps to control PH of fabric to increase the dyes take
    up percentage.

Reactive Printing Procedure Step by Step

Fabric washing and drying before printing
Gumming cutting need to do if there scope of gumming cutting allowance
Before production shade match of fabric with standard fabric
Screen check
Color check according to design
Make window before printing to match color with approval
Print 2 meter fabric to color check before start bulk production. Then steaming and washing then color match with approval, if need any correction then do it and go to bulk production.
Check design with approval and also settings if there any m/c setup problem
Everything is ok then starts production

Some Relative Terms


Steaming of reactive print is done at 102 degree and middle time may be 10 to 20 minutes according to shade and design.


Washing is done to remove unfixed dye and to increase the color fastness properties. Normally TS as wetting agent and CRD as detergent are used.


Finishing is done to control dia, GSM, shade, hand feel and having great quality.

Washing Procedure of Reactive Printing   

Cold wash for 5 minutes
Normal hot wash at 70 degree for 5 minutes
Hot wash at 80-90 degree for 5 to 10 min with soap/detergent like TS/CRD 2-3 g/l
Shade check
Normal hot wash at 50 degree for 5 minutes
Neutralization by acetic acid for PH=4
Fixing agent 2g/l

Finishing Procedure

During finishing process need to check the requirement according to approval
Need check required dia, gsm, shrinkage, shade, and have to setup according to required parameter
Softener need to use according to print type, shade condition and required softness
Need 2 meter finished fabric according to this parameter as trial
Need to check all requirements, if all ok then start bulk finishing
If need any correction then change m/c settings or recipe according to required parameter
If all is ok then unload
Start compacting according to required parameter
Quality check
Fabric delivery
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He is Abu Sayed, the founder of the blog site Textile Apex. He is a Textile Engineer having eight years plus practical experience in the Textile and Clothing industries. With a deep love for fashion and a keen eye for detail, he combines his creative flair with extensive knowledge to offer insightful and engaging content to his readers.
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