Burn Out Print Technique

Burn Out Print Technique 

Mohammad Nurul Alam
SeniorMerchandiser | Asmara BD Pvt. Ltd. | Dhaka | Bangladesh
E-mail: alamnur09@yahoo.com / alam@bd.asmaragroup.com

I was trying to read in details about burn out print. But it was not easy understanding & much informative that available on internet. Most important fact is all the information is quite similar & some are done by copy paste. So if reader wants to know this print technique in practical point of view then gets lots of difficulties. I tried to dig into the matter & started learning on internet. I discussed with many of print expert & got some valuable information that can be easy workable for a merchandiser when goes to work on it.

What is Burn out print?

Burn-out print, also named ausbrenner or dévorée. In subject line this is call print but practically this is not any kind of print. The characteristic of print is layering on any fabric. But the Burn out print does not put any layer rather it burns layer from fabric. This is actually old method of designing on fabric but in new & modern form. This technique developed in the 20th century at French, The technique was popularized in the 1920s – typically used on evening gowns and shawls – and revived in the 1980s and '90s.
Fig: Burn-out printed t-shirt (Burnout eats the cotton away on a 50/50 shirt leaving only the polyester)
I told earlier this is an old method of fabric designing by mixing fiber & destroying other. We get mélange look on fabric when one part dye done on CVC. In the same way burn out done on CVC or PC fabric & give design on fabric by destroying cotton portion. At the burn out areas there will be 100% polyester remaining the other portion will be same as before burn out.

About 80% of the burnout shirt done for females.

Advantage & disadvantages:

Any fancy work on garments & fabric has higher wastage & process loss. Some time it may destroy total volume & bring big loss for the manufacturer. But as people of modern time want more & more exception & fancy so all the brand now look for special treatment. Burn out also similar types of fancy treatment that attract the customer more. Particularly for women’s wear this is much lucrative. Burn out makes the fabric very soft & gives a super fabric hand feel. This fabric really comfortable for the wearer.

You can also like: Printing Process of Burn out Print

Disadvantages are higher process loss, costly as well as not available print factory. All the AOP factory is not ready to do less than a certain volume. Want higher cost.

Burn out has low productivity during sewing because of its uneven surface. Operator need to take special care when sewing the garment & so productivity much slower.

Shrinkage is another big problem for burn out fabric, so must be careful & take precaution actuation to control the shrinkage level. Before bulk a small lot can be good for trial to determine shrinkage.

What type of fabric require?
Burn out possible on blended fiber only. Mostly used fabric is

a) 60% polyester 40% cotton
b) 40% polyester 60% cotton

It can be combined to

  1. Protine based fiber (silk )+ Cellulose fiber (viscose, cotton, or rayon) burn out chemical Sodium hydroxide solution
  2. Polyester + Other fiber (But not polyamide.) burn out chemical Sodium dihydrogen phosphate
  3. Polyamide(Nylon) + Other fiber (But not Polyester) . burn out chemical Aluminium sulphate
If needed the finished fabric with 120 to 130 GSM then should take knit the fabric with 160 to 170 GSM. Generally lighter fabric is good for burn out process. Single jersey is suitable for this technique.

The process loss is very high 35% to 40% so care full consumption needed before fabric booking. Usually process loss is depends on burn out design area. Less design coverage is less process loss & big design require more process loss.

Earlier burn out technique was applied on dyed fabric then it is washed only to remove destroyed fiber from fabric. But it has many problem particularly shade change after burn out. The shade before burn out & after burn out not matched. That’s why now this is done on RFD fabric. Then fabric is dyed in desired color.

How it done?

Burn out usually done on flat bed rotary machine. Print screen required to develop & then chemical applied on RFD fabric same as rotary print. The difference is after applied print color on fabric then design is visible for normal AOP but for burn out technique the design is not visible much. Only after curing process it can be visible in light brown color.

There is more important fact that an operator does during curing process. The adjustment of temperature is very important. If temperature gets high during curing process then possibility to damaging the fabric. In the same way if less heat is given then burn out may not be good. Operator fixed the temperature 160 C to 200 C depending on fabric & print type.

General Recipe:

  1. Thickening Agent
  2. Sodium Hydroxide/sodium hydrogen sulphate.
  3. Glycerin.
  4. Water.
In the above we mentioned what chemical require for what type of fabric to get burn out effect. Here Glycerin used to smooth the print & to pass through print screen. This is not all time require but operator use if thinks needed.

Is placement burn out possible?
We do placement print on chest of tee shirt or other garments. This is quite common to us but one of my customer ask for placement burn out. They want same effect as the tee shirt print. Actually this is quite unusual for us. 1st of all it needs to print on RFD cutting. Then to sew garment & garment dye or on dyed fabric placement bur out & then garments making & wash. In both process this is not production friendly. I never do it but possible.

Cost of burn out
Normally the cost of burnout print is $4.5 to $5.0/kg . If fabric quantity is big then the cost will be less. Also the print cost vary from factory to factory. Good AOP mill does not compromise in quality & so price is higher. I talked to a low standard AOP factory for burn out print they even say can do at 3.80/kgs but I doubt about quality.

Care Instruction

Care instruction
Fig: Care instruction
Wash thoroughly with warm 44 oC water


We mostly not aware when goes for making special fabric such as burn out. If special care is not taken then a merchandiser a may face many difficulties. The most important initiative is to take advise from the people who works on this kind of fabric just to determine that merchandiser is doing correct.
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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