Double-Digit Growth Forecast for Digital Textile Print Market
A recent study forecasts 17.5% growth from 2016 to 2021 making digital textile printing one of the fastest growing and most exciting market opportunities in the visual communications industry according to the latest market data from Smithers Pira.
The study, “The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2021,” values this global market at €1.17 billion in 2016 with growth forecast at an annual average of 12.3% for 2016-2021. This will see the market more than double in value over five years, reaching €2.42 billion in 2021.
This will drive an an increase in the volume of fabric printed with inkjet equipment — from 870 million sqm in 2016 to 1.95 billion sqm in 2021 — a 17.5% CAGR. This is backed up by data on the rising global ink consumption and pricings, and a survey of textile printing equipment.
We can see this growth through merger and acquisition activity in the past two years, with conglomerates from Japan and the U.S. creating groups of companies. For instance, we have seen EFI acquire Optitex (3D design software for the textile industry), Rialco Limited (suppliers of dye powders and color products for digital print and industrial manufacturing), and Reggiani Macchine (textile printers). In July 2015, Sawgrass Industrial, the business division of the Sawgrass group, joined JK Group, which includes the brands Kiian Digital and J-Teck3. Three months later, Dover Corp. scooped up JK Group. Additionally, old family textile printing businesses have been purchased and are being incorporated into these larger businesses combining expertise inks and machines.
In 2016 for textiles the market share for digital processes is 2.8% of overall volume. But digital’s share is set to boom in a segment where the mean growth is just 3%. As this develops, major print companies are taking an interest in the textile segment, fostering the development of new business models, printheads, inks, media, and high-throughput machinery.
The greatest acceleration will be in clothing, which has the key sub-segments of fashion, haute couture and sportswear. Household textiles—part of the industrial print market—are predicted to grow at the next fastest rate. Displays and signage are growing somewhat more slowly but will maintain double-digit annual growth through 2021. Technical textiles will lose ground slightly.
Quick turnaround is an increasing priority as the fashion segment embraces multiple mini-seasons and print-on-demand delivery models. This suits inkjet production with its reduced set up times. This is also being supported by the growing availability of Web-to-print platforms. These portals are also enabling “value web” approaches — generating direct online sales of digitally printed clothing and household décor, too.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.