Inks for digital printing of textiles

Alka Madhukar Thakker, Danmei Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an overview of the types of inks and their formulations for digital printing of wool, silk, cotton, and polyester. The innovative artificial inks were constituted by a fusion of reactive dye, 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride and Tween-80 surfactant, five Perylene acid dye inks were synthesised based on Acid red 27, also polyvinyl alcohol and waterborne polyester have been utilised for disperse dye ink formulation. Likewise, sustainable inks were prepared from curcumin and tannic acid incorporating triton x-100 and sodium dodecyl sulfate, additionally dye molecules were encapsulated in a sonicator by an eco-friendly process of mini-emulsion polymerisation with styrene-co-butyl acrylate copolymers. The herbal inks constituted from bio indigo for blue ink, quebracho red for red ink, the flame of the forest for yellow ink and the mixture of three to derive black ink is included herein. Overall, greater colour values, fastness properties and print quality were acquired on the textile substrate inkjet printed with new quebracho red herbal inks. The review offers several novel ink formulations including those that are UV-curable, blue light curing or self-curable inks along with a critical analysis. The pre-treatment requirements, ink formulation, fabric composition, mechanism of printing and the desired end results are interdependent. The paper concludes by highlighting the need for more eco-friendly and simplified ink formulations for digital printing of textile substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of The Textile Institute
Early online date12 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2023


  • Inkjet inks, sustainable inks, herbal inks, synthetic inks, inkjet printing, digital printing of textiles
  • Inkjet inks
  • digital printing of textiles
  • inkjet printing
  • sustainable inks
  • herbal inks
  • synthetic inks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Inks for digital printing of textiles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this