Screen printing, which boasts of printing virtually on any kind of surface, is on the verge of being eliminated out of the business in mangalore city.
Around 70 odd screen printers in the city are facing a grave future due to a stiff competition by the ultramodern digital colour printing technology and the entry of mini offset machines in the printing arena.
Earlier, screen printing was an easiest choice among the consumers in printing. Generally those who wanted to print visiting cards, invitation cards, stickers were largly pulled towards screen printing. But the onset of mini offset printers and the latest digital based laser printers, with reduced printing cost is proving to be a doom for screen printers.
Digital popular : The colour laser printers are being installed in every corners of the city, which provide high resolution multi-coloured prints, on glossy papers have grabbed the attention of the customers.
Eventhough these printers came 3-4 years before, its only in the last 2 years, they are spreading their wings in full speed. At least 20-25 colour laser printers are operating in the city. For an A 3 size multicolour print the charge around 30-40 Rs.
People generally get attracted towards this high tech printers since they get prints relatively faster than any other kinds. Another reason behind is the sheer fine quality.
Less Investment : In 1984-85, most of the screen printers started functioning in the city. The prime reason of early, quick expansion of this business was requirement of meagre investment. In as less as 5000 Rs, one could start a screen printing business.
The screen printing technology involves a small screen print instrument, and chemicals and ink. It is as simple as that of an art shop, does not require large machinary. People could walk in to the shop and order for 100, 125 cards. The screen printer would not take more than 5 hours to furnish the demand.
Screen printing enterprise had given employment opportunity for urban and rural youth, that too, women in particular. 'But now our future seems to be fading away, and we fear this business may not last more than 2 years' apprehended Premnath Shenoy, who is running this enterprise in Car Street from last 18 years.
As many as 300 people were in our field before. But unable to meet the stiff competition from the latest printers, mini offset printers, they most of them have moved to other profession, he laments.
Now only those who have a passion for this old type, and a few cashew industries come to screen printing. Cashew industries give bulk sticker orders to the screen printers.
Government industries should give bulk orders of stickers, and other printing orders to screen printers to save us from the closure many screen printers opined.