Looking at the current growth rate of digital textile, and considering that screen printing is still the main solution for garment applications, we recognise the need to bring together manufacturers and suppliers in the printing side of textile. Digital textile printing has been around for over 20 years now but it has never played a major role in this conservative market. There is however a visible shift from analogue to digital taking place in segments such as apparel or home textiles. Various estimates expect a growth of digital textile printing between 6% and 20% in the next decade. A new association can become a global voice for that entire market and can enable growth and strengthen the industry.
Our target group includes all manufacturers of products used in textile printing workflow (digital or screen). This involves also all products and supplies that support the handling of fabrics (pre- and post-treatment). The textile printing applications can be soft signage (to a lesser degree), fashion, apparel, sports and swimwear, home textiles, technical textiles and home decor. We will focus first on suppliers of products for textile printing, and in the next step on printers, value added resellers and maybe even brands. It is important to cover the whole supply chain involved, in order to maximise the market change.
Our goal is to create a united community focused on improving and guiding changes in the textile printing industry. Change management in general will be important in the textile sector and printing will play an important part in it. The core focus and working area will be Europe, but the rest of the world will also be included in our activities. The association wants to bring together the textile printing industry, as well as all those involved in the workflow and all side processes required in combination with print.
The rapid change in ecological and social awareness impacts textile markets, from business models to production shifts, calls for optimisation of textile printing and creates opportunities. Our association wants to look at all critical factors and global trends which influence the textile market condition today and in the nearest future: “fast fashion”, “cleaner” businesses, quality and sustainability concerns, personalisation…
Moreover, the ongoing change to digital demands a higher level of education on using the new technologies: understanding colour management, specifics of inkjet and its implementation into existing business concepts.
Our engagement in textile printing
As the importance of printing grows, we currently see no textile association which would focus on that aspect. Textile printing is a market with its own dynamics. Applications such as apparel or fashion are transforming to a much shorter supply chain with shifting responsibilities. In general, the market evolves in two directions: cheap production in South-East Asia and high-end smaller series in the Western world.
The advances in digital printing technology are reaching a tipping point and therefore a dedicated association could offer guidance on several levels: technology, health, safety and legislation advice, as well as business support for diverse applications such as soft-signage, home textiles, fashion, apparel, garment, technical textiles or smart textiles.
We understand the Textile Division of ESMA as the home for the textile printing manufacturers: suppliers, printers and even brand owners.