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Latest Innovations in Digital Textile Printing

Feb 6th, 2019

The home decor and apparel industries are very dynamic and versatile and have undergone some significant changes over the last decade. Newfound consumer demand and pioneering technological innovations have galvanized the industry, and have promoted sustained growth, leading to both enhanced productivity and a lowered impact on the environment. In fact, the perpetual growth in the fashion industry has ushered in new standards in terms of production efficiencies as well as time to market. Moreover, revenues associated with footwear and apparel are expected to increase from 72 billion in 2016 to over 123 billion in 2022. Here, we discuss some of the latest innovations in digital textile printing and how they may impact your business.

 Latest Innovations in Digital Textile Printing

Environmental Issues and Solutions

New manufacturing methods or techniques have been recently implemented in order to try and meet the increase in consumer demand. However, more industries and regulatory bodies have placed an added emphasis on the impact that such improvements in manufacturing have on the ecosystem. As such, there has been a newfound focus on the entire manufacturing process involved in digital textile printing, from the initial production to the end of life stage.

For instance, there has been an added emphasis placed on growing cellulosic fibres as well as the fabrication of synthetics that are derived from petroleum. There have also been recent innovations in the growth of cotton, as well as recent advancements in the recycling of PET, so that it can be used as building blocks for various polyester threads.

Despite the aforementioned innovations in digital textile printing, the digital textile printing industry remains as one of the top three water consuming industries in the world. Given the billions upon billions of gallons of water that are being wasted by countries like China in their digital textile printing production every year, many brands as well as local municipalities, have placed a greater focus on reducing environmental waste.

Still, the problem is very apparent, but the recent innovations in the industry have shown promise in reducing environmental waste. For instance, the textile printing industry, for the most part, has recently shifted to digital printing, which has a marked positive impact on the environment. For instance, by making the switch to digital printing, thanks to recent innovations, there is roughly a 90% savings in terms of water consumption when compared to rotary screen printing. Also, by printing digital fabrics, less energy is expended for drying, and a significant reduction in ink laydown is also achieved by making the transition to digital textile printing in 2019.

Digitally Printed Fabrics and Technological Innovations

The switch to digitally printed fabrics has had a significant impact on the industry, particularly in the sporting goods and fast fashion niches. There have also been recent innovations in VAT dye inks and pigment that will drive new capabilities that will more than double the value of these segments in the next 2 to 3 years. There are also some recent technological innovations that businesses should focus on, as they may have an impact on their reach as well as their production and profitability. For instance, there have been recent technological innovations in sewing and cutting, digital priming, planning and design tools, and PLMs. Moreover, more and more online retailers have entered the market, which means there will be a marked increase in mass customization in the industry.

Product Lifecycle Management

Mass customization, as mentioned, is rapidly driving new technological innovations in the digital textile printing industry. The goal of these new modern day advances is to streamline multiple production processes while also yielding results that are trackable, repeatable, and informed. The end result is that there is a synergy or integration between all the systems of production in the factory.

As such, brands will have complete control over all aspects or elements of production. To further illustrate, a typical modern day product lifecycle management solution will consist of a tie-in for state of the art graphic design software, merchandise planning, compliance tools, a report generator, critical path management, a partner collaborator, asset and image management, task management, and trim and material development.

Innovations in Digital Printing

Today, digital printers cover a wide array of different device and functions. They are able to produce a myriad of different fabrics, including both synthetic fibres as well as natural fibres. What’s more, today’s digital printing solutions allow businesses to print virtually anything, from full, high volume production to strike-offs. Hybrid systems are also available for purchase, that are able to use digital printing and rotary screen printing in line with each other. In fact, such systems allow for the printing of unique colourways, by using analog technology to create backgrounds for fabrics. Varied elemental details can then be supplemented via digital technology.

Thanks to in the digital textile printing industry fabric producers are able to meet or even exceed the demands of their clientele for both very high and very short volume print runs. However, while the recent advancements in the industry have been impressive, they are still not perfect. For instance, many of the systems today still require humans to inspect for print artifacts and colour consistency issues. However, in the not too distant future, increased automation and precision will become the gold standard, as the digital printing industry continues to innovate at a breakneck pace.


The Club Ink Difference

If you would like to learn more about the latest innovations in digital textile printing then please visit our website. We specialize in large format textiles and printing and currently offer fully customized signs, banners, posters, textiles, decals, and displays. If you would like to learn more about our custom digital printing services and top of the line digital printing technologies then please give us a call at 416-694-1996.

We will be more than happy to provide you with a consultation and estimate so that you can openly discuss your unique business needs without concern. At Club Ink, our strong commitment to client satisfaction above the bottom line has allowed us to become the superlative digital textile solutions company in Ontario for the last 30 years.

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