What is Digital Textile Printing Inks

Global digital textile printing inks market was valued at $698 million in 2016, and is expected to reach $2,114 million by 2023, registering a CAGR of 17.2% from 2017 to 2023. Digital textile printing inks are used on small garments such as promotional wear, t-shirts, and jackets. They are also used on large format rolls of textile. The digital printing inks market has witnessed significant growth owing to increase in demand for advertisements and corporate branding such as flags, retail graphics, and banners.

Digital Textile Printing Inks

The growth in urbanization coupled with increase in demand for corporate branding and advertisement has propelled the market for digital textile inks. The sublimation ink segment has witnessed major demand owing to increase in demand for dye-sublimation printer in computer printing applications. Furthermore, the demand for pigment-based inks is anticipated to witness growth owing to its excellent archival print life coupled with color stability. Based on application, the display segment has witnessed major growth in 2016 owing to increase in demand for touch panels and special effects applications. However, clothing and household segments are expected to create lucrative growth opportunities for digital printing inks market owing to increase in textile and household decorative applications.

The global digital textile printing inks market is segmented based on ink type, application, and geography. Based on ink type the report includes reactive, acid, direct disperse, sublimation, pigments, and others. Based on application, the market is bifurcated into clothing/garments, household, technical textile, display, and others. Geographically, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

The household segment offers maximum market potential in the digital textile printing inks market, owing to increase in demand for textile printing especially in China and India. Moreover, increase in the number of textile printing methods and rise in per capita disposable incomes consumers further boosts the growth for this segment. Advancements in technology and increase in introduction of efficient heavy quality inks is further anticipated to drive the overall growth. The household segment is expected to register a CAGR of 18.5% during the forecast period.

Digital Textile Printing Inks Market Key Segments By Ink Type : Reactive, Acid, Direct Disperse, Sublimation, Pigment Others...

Reasons for Digital Textile Printing?

Short run printing advantage:

Digital textile printing efficiently produces designs at run lengths as low as one yard of fabric without the need for screen changes.

Lower water and power consumption:

Digital textile printing eliminates the substantial amount of water and electrical energy one requires for rotary screen preparation, printing and cleanup. Even greater water and power savings can be achieved with disperse/sublimation and pigment digital textile inks, which only require a heat-fixation step for post treatment.

Less chemical waste:

Digital textile printing results in significantly less ink usage and waste relative to screen-printing. Taking into account the additional chemistry and chemical waste from screen production, printing digitally offers a greener advantage for printing.

Large repeat sizes:

Digital textile printers can print large designs (e.g. cartoon characters on sheets and blankets) on roll fabric without the usual rotary screen-printing limitation in pattern repeat size.

Less printed inventory needed:

Digital textile printing permits the option to print a design at will. This means that manufacturers with an integrated digital printing system in their production chain can keep a stock of unprinted textiles on hand to print as required. This reduces the need for pre-printed inventory of fabric that may or may not be used.

Sampling and production done on same printer:

By being able to print samples (strike-offs) on the same printer one uses for production, digital textile print shops can present their customers with proof samples of designs that will exactly match the final printed material.

Reduced production space requirements:

By not having to prepare and store customer screens for future use, the production footprint for digital printing is a fraction of the size one requires for a rotary screen print facility.

Variety of creative design choices for printing:

Digital textile printing provides the option to print photographic/continuous tone images, spot color pattern designs or a combination of both. This expands the creative printing alternatives for fashion and interior designers.

Low capital investment:

The relatively low capital investment to setup a digital textile print shop, especially compared to rotary screen-printing production, makes it possible to start small and expand as business grows.

Print flexibility:

Printing houses utilizing both digital and screen technologies can choose to print a small quantity of designs with different color combinations (colorways) first with their digital textile printing solutions for test the market. They can later opt to print higher volumes of the most desired color designs using rotary screen technology.

Salient features

Exceptional sharpness of the prints.

High color saturation and color-fixing rate.

Excellent image definition post processing.

Retains whiteness and handle of the original fabric.

Textile Digital Printing Revolution

In the textile industry, the majority of textile printing is done in traditional analogue method but there is a growing interest for digital printing on textiles. While textile is still about clothing and home-use textiles, the textile industry as a whole is one of the largest printing industries in the world with great diversity. Textile printing is also used in industrial textiles which include hundreds of types of textiles for many industries such as automotive, upholstery, outdoor gear, protective clothing, agro-textiles used in agriculture and even engineering textiles used for various technical purposes.

The advantages for digital textile printing is immense and can have a great impact on the textile market as a whole. Today, a major drawback for mass textile printing is the design. Digital printing enables higher color definition with short designing time which is not possible with traditional printing. Furthermore, printing can be done in short runs at low investment cost both in capital equipment and in materials; fabrics and inks.

Another advantage of textile digital printing, which is receiving higher profile attention among manufacturers, consumers and environmentalists is the substantial lower cost of production in terms of electricity and water consumption of over 30% savings on electricity costs and almost 95% in terms of water consumption.

The inks used for printing on textiles are divided into two types: dye or pigmented and all are based on water as its main carrier. With dye inks there needs to be a distinct affinity between the fabric type and the ink that is used for the print, because different inks do not adhere to specific fabric types. Cotton and silk fabrics require reactive dye inks while silk and nylon require acid dye ink. Polyester requires disperse dyes such as used in sublimation printing.

The textile industry would be another of many industries that the digital printing revolution has infused with new opportunities.