Epson anticipates that the textile sector with continue to grow in 2018 in both dye sublimation and direct to garment technology.
Global digital textile printing figures point the way to very positive growth. Allied Market Research valued the sector a $1,245m (£945m) in 2015 but anticipates that rising to $3,943m (£2,994m) by 2022, a CAGR of 17.9%. Another market research company Technavio’s prediction of an 18% CAGR between 2017 and 2021 is remarkably similar.
Dye sublimation technology has grown in tandem with improvements in polyester-based materials, many emulating natural fibres. When young designers like Richard Quinn are adopting this technology for stand out textiles and pace-setting fashions and commercial printers are producing everything on them, from top brands to uniforms and schoolwear, you can see the versatility of the technology.
Allied Market Research says over a quarter of the global digital textile printing is polyester-based.
Epson’s newly launched SureColor SC-F9300 builds on the success of the SC-F9200. The latest model uses new Precision Dot technology and UltraChrome DS inks to bring even faster (up to 108.2sq m/hr) and better image quality results (720×1,440 dpi) for clothing, textiles and soft signage as well as other printed merchandise. With dye sublimation technology users print onto paper and then heat transfer the image and the ink is absorbed into the material. It is much easier to control the print quality than going direct to textile and there is less risk of issues such as material shrinkage.
With Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certification and withstanding Japan’s AZO test for household products, users can be confident that clothing and textiles produced on the printer using UltraChrome DS inks are completely safe to wear for adults and children.
Phil McMullin, sales manager, Professional Printing Solutions at Epson UK says: “It’s a challenge to top a product that is already incredibly reliable, very fast and produces extremely high-quality prints. It’s faster, with improved handling of even very thin substrates, and all but eradicating cockling and other common feeding problems. Epson offers a complete solution – printer, inks, substrates, software and support – so everything is designed to work perfectly together. Combine that with straightforward setup and operation, and it’s the ideal solution for print companies looking to move into dye sublimation, or those who want to update an earlier model.
“It is exactly right for both printwear and promotional products. Using Chromaluxe to provide a polyester-based coating, users can create a wide variety of products (ceramics, case covers, fobs and much more) as well as textiles using the same printer.”
Epson believes that prospects for DTG in 2018 are equally strong. The retail sector is in an interesting phase as consumers want both to shop in store and buy online. Shops need pulling power so something unusual and creative is ideal but the online design/web to print business is also increasing across all sectors and works for garments as much as paper-based products. In both instances having the ability to invite customers to create something bespoke and unique can have huge appeal. Personalised or short run apparel is ideal for school or college teams, as giftware or simply stand-out fashion.
The SureColor SC-F2000 DTG printers can produce a wide range of cotton based products including T shirts, hoodies, bags, leggings and many more.
It offers black, cyan, magenta and also white which allows users to print on to coloured material as well as white garments. With an automatic head wiping system and low daily maintenance, it is a very easy machine to run and maintain.
Phil continues: “Print Service Providers can become the guardians of the brand on behalf of their customers. It’s an incredibly valuable asset and recognising that will enable PSPs to diversify and offer an even wider range of products moving forward.
“In textiles and fashion, they can also help create and develop brands or at least help the upcoming designers to realise their dreams, turning concepts into reality. Quality and service never go out of fashion and PSPs must be outstanding to stand out from the crowd. That is the key to success in 2018.”