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Textile Printing’s Transformation

(May 2013) posted on Fri May 03, 2013

Nine things you must know about the textile market and its opportunities.

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By InfoTrends

Many stakeholders across the textile supply chain are evaluating the use of digital textile printing systems as a way to mitigate risk, increase production and fulfillment cycle times, lower costs, and become more environmentally considerate. These changes are transforming the textile-printing industry and driving demand for new digital textile-printing systems.

Although the digital textile-printing market is very small in comparison to the entire textile industry, it’s growing at a rapid rate. Some of the key trends that are driving this growth include:

• The increasing demand for faster cycle times and fashion seasons from major brands and retailers;

• A growing demand for textile-based products that meet regulatory and corporate preferences for environmental properties;

• Emergence of higher-quality, higher-speed inkjet printheads;

• Availability of moderately priced solutions that enable new market entrants; and

• Open-system inkjet printheads that allow for multiple ink suppliers, resulting in lower ink prices.

The information that follows is adapted from InfoTrends’ new report, “Transforming Textile Printing,” a comprehensive look at the textile-printing market, how digital is becoming a part of the industry, and how print providers can integrate their specific skills and technologies into this market. For more details on the report, contact InfoTrends directly (

The Size of the Market
The printed textile market is estimated to be valued at $165 billion on a worldwide basis. The vast majority of that printed textile market is based on screen printing and gravure printing. Digital print technology is growing because it offers many advantages for textile production, clearly matching the new and increasing demands of textile buyers, but it still represents less than 1.5 percent of printed textile volume.

Digital printing of textiles worldwide is expected to drive a market for related digital hardware and ink from $484 million in 2011 to more than $2 billion in 2016, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for that interval of 33.3 percent.

Digital’s Advantages
Digital printing of textiles helps address the wishes of retailers and their textile-manufacturing partners for short, timely runs of products at reasonable prices. Digital printing has other advantages for producers of textiles compared to conventional print processes:

• It requires a minimum of “make-ready,” and no use of the hard-copy master, such as screens for screen printing.