'Digital Textile Printing: The Future Is Now’
Top takeaways from AATCC and SGIA’s educational conference.
A sold-out crowd of 130 manufacturers, end users, and researchers gathered for the first “Digital Textile Printing: The Future Is Now” educational conference hosted by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and SGIA in Durham, North Carolina, December 6-7.
Big Picture’s Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Palmer was there; here are some of her top takeaways from the event:
Johnny Shell, SGIA: Digital Textile Printing Technology Overview
What’s the current state of digital textile printing? There’s growth in all vertical markets; speed is improving and cost is dropping.
What should we expect for the future? Single pass and continued adoption of pigment digital textile printing.
There’s no color matching. Talk with customers about common visual appearance.
Digital growth is driven by developments in industry purpose-built machines that are aimed at PSP needs.
Dave Brewer, Image Options: Fabric Printing: Color 101
Tricks of the trade when printing on textiles:
• Don’t over steam reactive-printed fabrics
• Do steam reactives, even if you don’t plan to wash them
• Buy a humidifier and keep the printer room at 60-percent relative humidity and 72 F
• Use the appropriate machine cleaner with your inks
Sharon Donovich, Kornit: Manufacturers Panel Discussion
Moving to digital textile printing is the only way to go because it enables new business models: faster time to market, global fulfillment network, infinite design flexibility, reduces fixed cost element, reducing inventory.
4 key common trends driving growth:
• Social media
• Personal expression
• Inner gratification
• Consumer awareness
Steve Aranoff, MCT Digital: Pitfalls and Opportunities
Digital textile printing is the fastest growing market segment for wide-format printing for industrial and commercial use.
Why automate your digital finishing process?
• Improve workflow of your best people
• Improve throughput and quality
• Quote bigger jobs
• Quote different style of job
• Create barrier to entry
• Build a pattern library and business value.
Hitoshi Ujiie, Philadelphia University: Surface Imaging: A New Trans-Disciplinary Field of Discipline
Digital textile printing is one of the most challenging technologies among the rest of the digital printing technologies. Speed is not the issue; the quality is.
Bill Finley, Meno Enterprises, and Steve Smith, DPInnovations: Delivering Print-Ready Jobs and Revenue Directly to your Digital Textile Printing Service
Web-to-print is so important to the digital textile market because it’s better for the end consumer. It’s key for growth in digitally enabled mass customization.
B2A: Business to anyone. Web-to-print allows customization of digital textile printing from big business to single users. Web-to-fabric enables the customer to order fabric-based solutions online.
Gart Davis, Spoonflower: A Vision for Digital Manufacturing
Digitally printed textiles are current relevant and immediate. They’re pivotal for immediacy, supply chain efficiency, and, ultimately, profitability.
Mark Sawchak, Expand Systems: State of Technology
32 billion yards of fabric were digitally printed in 2015.
Why is it growing? Economics, efficiency, design flexibility, and sustainability.