EFI Walks the Digital Fashion Runway - July 2015 M&A Activity
Digital printing of textiles takes center stage as EFI stakes out a leadership position with its acquisition of Reggiani Macchine, the highly specialized Italian manufacturer of textile printing equipment. In addition to the acquired company’s more traditional rotary and flatbed screen printing devices, Reggiani produces a line of industrial digital inkjet machines that are bring the digital revolution to the world of fashion and fabrics. With EFI’s expertise in front-end image processing and color management technology; can it be too long before consumers can order completely customized digitally printed wardrobes?
As EFI moved into digital textile printing equipment, others were busy in July consolidating the business of researching and supplying specialty inks designed for printing on textiles. Italy-based JK Group acquired Sawgrass Industrial, a US-based innovator of digital sublimation inks. Primary applications for the company’s products include fashion apparel, fabrics for furnishing and décor products, promotional decoration of garments, soft signage and just about any else you can think of that is made from printed textiles. Sawgrass Technologies, which had been previously split from the now divested industrial products division, will continue to operate as an independent company focused on non-industrial digital printing for the less than 42” wide format market.
These transactions follow right on the heels of Epson’s acquisition last month of For.Tex, an Italian distributor of textile printing inks and manufacturer of treatment agents used in textile printing. Epson and For.Tex have worked together for several years to develop and market Epson’s Monna Lisa industrial inkjet digital textile printer, manufactured by Italian equipment manufacturer Robustelli using Epson’s inkjet technology and print heads.
Headquartered in Novedrate, Italy, the JK Group itself is the result of a combination last year of Kiian Digital and J-Teck3, each of them leaders in inks used in digital textile printing. Both companies, as well as the companies acquired by EFI and Epson, operate within the region just south of Lake Como in Italy, noted as the heart of the Italian and European textile industry and a short drive from the runways of international fashion capital Milan.