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India to see biggest impact and higher growth rate in digital textile print

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-08-21 12:00:00 – Mumbai

The textile printing industry represents 30 billion square metres of material volume on an annual basis worldwide. According to the World Textile Information Network, digital textile printing is estimated to see a 25% growth rate. On the eve of Gartex at 27 to 29 August to be held Pragati Maidan in Delhi, textiles are a very strong segment in India and they will spot some good trends at the show.

In fact, more and more shows from Fespa to Media Expo to Gartex are showcasing the strength of digital print with textiles. The reason is obvious: size plus growth.

However, as per data, after a decade of advances in digital printing technologies for textile, a miniscule percentage (1%) of India's printed textiles are produced digitally. The majority of digital printing on textiles is done today mainly on polyester fabrics using dye sublimation.

Smithers Pira estimates a total of 384 million square metres of fabric being printed digitally via dye sublimation up to Q1 2016, having grown by 18.4% in the past year 2015-16. This is set to rise to 892 million square metres in 2021.

Sam Gulve of EFI who is based in the tech company's impressive Bengaluru-centre said that the textile printing is a 7.5 billion dollar market, and is projected to grow more than 34% worldwide, providing outstanding opportunities. But he hastens to add that the actual number should be much higher and the biggest impact shall be in India and China.

Fespa's survey states that textile print growth in graphics, garment, decor and industrial markets is the big shift in the future. The initial trends were: inkjet was used for prototyping and one-offs, as the time and cost of setting up screens made inkjet a better value. With the advent of customization and more efficient production equipment, digital printing is becoming mainstream.

In India, they saw the growth of dye sublimation digital print after 2010, from a low base from 2011 onward.

And so, high profile campaigns like IPL with the IPL shirts were rendered through dye sublimation. These are printed on the Epson Surecolor SC-F6070 and SC-F 7070 with the Epson Ultrachrome DS inks. Developed over a three-year period, Epson UltraChrome DS is a specially-formulated dye-sublimation ink, producing vibrant colours, intense blacks, sharp contours, and smooth gradations. The all-new ink technology, according to Epson, exhibits excellent light and wash fastness, as well as resistance to alkaline and acid perspiration.

Epson printers did well in the last two years mainly because Mimaki was shut down in India. Now Mimaki is re-entering the Indian market - and are getting very aggressive. Mimaki has tied up with Insight Communications for TS models during the Media Expo show in Mumbai will be promoting the printers at Gartex 2016.

Ajay Aggarwal from Insight said that digital technology has changed everything it has touched, including the textile and printing markets. He adds, that the textile industry is one of the world’s largest industries, and it has come a long way. Women garments are getting more popular, and home furnishing is doing well. The sportswear fluorescent inks are very important and help to locate the colours in the dark.

Simultaneously, Epson has also strengthened its position in the industrial digital textile segment with the acquisition of Italian digital printer manufacturer Robustelli.

According to Gulve of EFI, it is easy to print digitally with low cost sublimation on polyester, but cotton and blends is also growing fast with reactive printing; this needs pre coats and washing/steaming, and one can see this mainly in organized sectors; this is growing rapidly as well.

EFI's focus has been on soft signage and furnishings for sure, they have developed fabrics locally and also import the best fabrics from George Otto, Germany, for the sign and display segment. They see double digit growth in the near future in this segment. Custom apparel like IPL and custom furnishings is growing and sees digital pigment and dye sub being an important part of this. The market for reactive inks is grown into high volumes, low margins and sees bigger players entering this segment with high speed digital equipment soon.

EFI bought Reggiani Macchine and Matan digital printers in 2015. To boost their textile print presence, EFI purchased Optitex, a 2D/3D fashion design and prototyping software developer.

At Gartex 2016, visitors will get to see a large number of manufacturers and suppliers with focus on digital textile printing.

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