Leveraging inkjet technology into the textile industry is presenting an increasingly compelling opportunity for mainstream print equipment and consumable suppliers, according to the latest research from Smithers Pira.
As this happens it is creating new value-adding business opportunities for fabric printers and material suppliers, as the capabilities of the latest generation of digital textile presses dovetails with evolving priorities for end users, like fashion designers.
Exclusive data from the new Smithers report The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2021 shows that in 2016 only 2.9% of the overall market volume for printed textiles – 30 billion metres square – is produced on inkjet equipment.
Digital print’s share has been increasing rapidly across this decade however, with total volume rising from 461 million metres square in 2012 to 870 million metres square in 2016. This will push through the 1 billion mark in 2017, and in 2021 will constitute 1.95 billion metres square of fabric – more than four times the volume in 2012.
This rapid expansion is translating into rising revenues – from €592 million in 2012 to €1.17 billion in 2016. Smithers extensive research and analysis forecasts that this will grow at a year-on-year rate of 15.7% for the next five years, reaching €2.42 billion in 2021.
This is in contrast to the average growth for all printed textiles – which remains principally on screen presses – of around 3%.
As in other print segments digital’s potential is founded on its ability to produce single, short and custom runs more economically and with a much faster turnaround than conventional screen printers.
These advantages are important in signage – where digital print’s penetration is deepest – and fashion. Haute couture and high street fashion demand for digital print was worth €190 million in 2016 and will exceed €420 million in 2021.