Page 48 - Print 21 Magazine May-June 2019
P. 48

Digital Textiles
Digitally printed textiles
to double by 2023, will reach €4.9bn
Digital inkjet textile printing presents a key growth segment in printing, according to the latest research from Smithers Pira.
Data from a new Smithers Pira report – The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2023 – shows that
in 2018 global value in this market reached €2.83bn. This
equates to 2.17 billion square metres of fabrics printed on
inkjet machinery.
The good news is the market
will almost double by 2023, up to €4.9bn – representative of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 per cent. This contrasts to a rate of 16 per
cent for the five years 2013- 2017, but is symptomatic of
any nascent, high-growth markets unable to sustain
ultra high early growth from a low base indefinitely.
Textile printing is a mature global market, but digital
textile printing still forms less than five per cent of
this global industry, leaving significant market share that can be targeted. Inkjet printing
remains more expensive than
conventional print technologies except for short production volumes.
For the print service provider (PSP), there are multiple advantages of using inkjet. These include ease of customisation, reduced cost for short production runs and much faster turnarounds. These benefits are increasingly being understood by designers, print service providers and end-users.
These capacities have been embraced most readily in the clothing and signage segments. Market trends are supporting further moves in this direction with better e-commerce sites, including direct-to-consumer platforms. More print service providers are entering textile work as ink sets, coating
technology, and substrate handling improve – for example, fabric suppliers are offering more digital- ready fabric substrates, to meet burgeoning demand.
The Smithers Pira study sub- divides the digital textile market into four end-use sectors and 24 end-use applications. All will see positive double-digit annual growth by volume up to 2023.
Clothing – including swimwear, sportswear, and haute couture garments – is the largest application sector for inkjet printing, accounting for three quarters
of value in the market in 2018; €2.13bn. It will maintain this position through to 2023.
Expansion in digital textile printing for home decor (household) products, such as carpets, bed
linen, and curtains, will be particularly strong. This sector is benefiting from a move to embrace more freedom in interior design applications. A number of interior design companies have opened up this market with internet apps that allow amateur and professional designers to customise and mock-up their own products, such as window treatments and upholstery.
Outdoor applications
In display work on soft signage further expansion is also forecast. This will be strongest in outdoor applications as more UV-resistant ink sets become available for work such as flags and banners.
Technical textiles – which includes protective clothing, medical textiles, and automotive fabrics – is a less dynamic market and one where design innovation often plays a secondary role to performance.
This is the slowest growing digital textile end-use sector, but this is relative, with annual increases in value still forecast at nine per cent for the next five years.
48  Print21 MAY/JUNE 2019

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