Introduction: Pigments have become the largest colorant group for textile prints because
pigment printing is the oldest and cheapest method. Binders are used to fix pigments to the fibers by
adhesion. Pigment binders play a significant role in pigment printing because it encloses the pigment
particles and adheres to the fiber.
Objective: In this study, cotton/polyester blend fabrics were treated with ultraviolet light (UVB) at an
air pressure of 1 atm to improve printability.
Methods: To study the influence of pretreatment time, experiments were carried out at different exposure
times. Untreated and UV treated fabrics were analysed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
to investigate changes in the chemical composition of fabrics. It was observed that carbonyl
groups were formed on the surface of UV pretreated cotton fibers. Scanning Electron Microscopy
(SEM) was used to investigate the roughness and cracks on the treated fiber surface. Then, all UV
treated and untreated fabrics were screen printed with different kinds of pigments. The color strength
of the printed fabrics and fastness properties to washing and dry/wet rubbing were evaluated.
Results: Experimental data showed that atmospheric UV pretreatment led to an increase in pigment
uptake. Moreover, UV pretreated fabrics had better dry and wet rubbing fastness compared with
Conclusion: The washing fastness of UV pretreated fabric showed no significant change and was
comparable with that of untreated fabric. The loss in tensile strength of UV pretreated fabrics was
greater than untreated samples.