Large Format Textile printing

A Survey that explains much

Well it's a survey again.

From Amsterdam I wish you all a great Textile time.
I hope you have made some new a great promises to yourself.

I image they should be in this row, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop flying, stop eating meat, stop yelling at your dog, stop, stop & stop.    Funny enough we are always thinking of how to stop bad habits in the new year.

I would like to start new habits,  let’s start producing for better prices & margins, start interacting with your customers and staff, start becoming more active in private and professional areas, start being honest to your fellow workers and just start doing more different things.

What are we producing: As expected we are still producing a lot of roll-to-roll fabrics for fashion but look at sportswear, it’s with winterwear almost more than fashion. 
(Please note that this survey was for Western Europe only)  

Screen print is still a big part in the garment industry but the upcoming of the direct to garment devices is also getting a big share Companies like Epson, Ricoh and Kornit Digiral have been placing garment printing devices in Europe since the last few years and are getting the traction they deserve. The printing of carpets was my big surprise of the survey. There is a demand for sure, unfortunately I don’t know if these are promotional carpets or the household carpets.  
The question on inks was no surprise at all, 87% of all respondents where using dye sublimation inks in some way or another.

37.5% of the users are using Pigment inks and there is still a big group users printing with reactive and acid inks. 

That the trend is pointing to dye sublimation, that is a fact. I did not ask about ink pricing as there are some many local differences, not only in ink quality but also in pricing. Pricing based on volume, location and source all could make it non transparent. 

But I do see a trend that inks are becoming more expensive again and that qualities are also going up.

What are we producing

Asking, where would they buy there next printer from was very interesting Japan, USA and Italy are the favorite countries. India & China where not even mentioned. This is very strange, as the Chinese companies Atexco & Homer and the Indian company ColorJet produce more printers than the others combined. As 75% of all the respondents have 2 or more printers, 12.5% had more than 5 printers installed there must be a notion that there is more than Italian or Japanese machines.

Quality is still the main factor for printing digital, speed comes second but Durability and service that has a high ranking. In my opinion is that the respondents value the service offering and what to make sure all works well. Reliability and professionalism are key today.  

Hybrid printers (paper/direct & 2 ink types) are becoming also more popular if you ask the survey respondents. Including a rip is less important, due to the fact that most production houses that did the survey already have a rip. Newcomers and starters would need a rip and would like to have it in the box.   When we asked what is your current printing speed for the  roll-to-roll devices you have in your production today, we came out to  about 60sqm or 40 linear meter per hour as an average.

So overall we see a trend of having a better, faster printer with good manufacture or dealer service organization in the dye sublimation printing arena.

This is going to be the focal point.  Although most of the respondents did not believe they needed to expand their production. With all the events and sporting events, I believe we will see some growth in the printing of sqm’s but maybe the saturation of printers in western Europe is big enough to pick up the slack.  

Wishing you all a happy new year and a lot of printing.