Will digital fabric printing be popular in the future? What changes are on the way? What changes are possible? How will this market segment evolve?

Fabric printing is expected to grow significantly in the future. According to the latest report, The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2023, the market value is expected to increase to 4.9 billion euros in 2023. Despite the fact that digital textile printing only accounts for 5% of global printed fabric production, Smithers Pira believes that there is still a significant portion of the market that can be targeted. It is expected that within the next 10 to 15 years, this figure will rise from 5% to 50%.

Digital fabric printing is classified according to the type of dye used. Japanese water-based inks are used in pigment printing. Pigment printing allows for the use of virtually any substrate, including cotton, viscose, silk, wool, and fabric blends. Chemical dyes are absorbed into the fabric during reactive or acid dye printing. Printing on cellulose fibers, silk, and even wool is possible with this method. During the heating phase, dye-sublimation inks transition from a solid to a gaseous state (bypassing the liquid state) and bond with the synthetic fibers of the material.

Fabric printing and advertising

The report anticipates significant growth in textile printing for home decor applications as well as soft banners for outdoor use. With the increasing availability of UV-resistant inks, banners and flags can be created. Prints will have all of the benefits of great tonal gradation and a wide color range, as well as being fadeproof even in direct sunlight.

Printer manufacturers are also interested in digital fabric printing. Extending the available print surfaces appears to be the right move in terms of acquiring new sources of income. HP introduced its first dye-sublimation printers in April. SAi, whose main focus is all-in-one design and print software, plans to expand Flexi so that existing print shops can easily expand to dye-sublimation and pigment printing on textiles without having to switch software.

Fabric printing in the textile industry

The impact of advances in fabric printing on the textile industry cannot be overstated. Fabric printing benefits the fashion industry by providing innovative solutions that fashion designers and clothing brands eagerly incorporate into their business models. The ability to sell customized goods is undoubtedly the most significant benefit for apparel manufacturers. Individuality is allowed because there are no minimum orders. 

Because small orders are highly cost-effective in pigment printing, print-on-demand brands are expanding. The ability to purchase a customized product is thought to extend the lifecycle of garments, reducing the amount of textile waste that ends up in a landfill. Less waste will, hopefully, reduce the textile industry’s overall contribution to environmental pollution.

Concerned about the environment?

The future of fabric printing will see four major advancements. Printing will be faster, less labor-intensive, less time-consuming, and less water-intensive. Sustainability, which is gaining popularity year after year, will chart the course for all businesses, large and small. Brands are more aware than ever of eco-friendly practices that can be implemented, such as lowering CO2 emissions and waste generation. Excess dye and chemicals must be disposed of in analogue printing, such as screen printing. These substances are harmful to the environment, and washing screens between prints wastes water and energy. However, such practices are unavoidable in this printing method.

Sustainable Fabric

Timely completion

Digital printing is the most profitable method of providing services to clients. By utilizing the services of an online textile print house, you can create samples and prototypes more quickly and affordably, allowing your client to receive the final product in less time and for less money. 

Digital pigment ink printing not only produces high-quality prints but also employs OEKO-TEX-certified cotton fabrics.

The future of fabric printing is difficult to forecast. It is probably because the future is already here – we can see all of the benefits it provides are used on a daily basis in the fashion and textile industries. Some solutions that were only available to the largest textile manufacturers a few years ago are now available to everyone. 

However, we can already predict that pigment ink printing will be the future of fabric printing. Pigment ink printing is by far the most environmentally friendly of the current print methods. Pigment ink printing also has the widest range of substrates available for printing. In just 5 business days, you can have your desired pattern printed and delivered to your door.

Learn more about the impact of organic fabrics on the fashion business.