As previously published in Printweek, a new research suggests that the digital textile print market is set for “double-digit growth” for the next five years. The print market researcher Smithers Pira forecasted an annual average growth market from sales of £1bn to £2bn by 2021. Signage is the largest of the four ‘segments’ addressed in the report, while “more inkjet companies are now seeing opportunities in entering the digital textile industry”.
From a production perspective, among the main reasons companies are turning to textile is the reduced setup times. Equally important are a faster order response and the ability to produce small, customized runs. This is particularly useful as “the industry is shifting towards multiple mini-seasons within one traditional season”.
One reason signage companies are turning to textiles is the cost savings on the transport: from the one hand, the cost of shipping and handling varies tremendously between the textile and the vinyl, given into account that the textile is much lighter in weight. On the other hand, when you fold the textile product you reduce its volume, hence the final product will become easier to handle. As a result, the shipping process will incur lower transportation costs for the last mile. Because of the textile resistance, folding would not cause risks of damage and crease. This is especially important when hanging large signs that would be heavy if printed on vinyl.
Then there is the cost saving on the media: in Europe, the price for the polyester media is typically much lower than the cost of the vinyl. Therefore, the margin opportunity is greater and there is more room for price negotiations and higher customer retention.
Another favourable aspect for textiles is environmental concerns: textile media, in addition to the printing process and the inks are of a non-toxic nature. While being eco-friendly, textiles are more sustainable due to their durability. Accordingly, textiles are practical to move around and to re-install multiple times. For outdoor signage, textiles such as polyester do perfectly well in extreme weather, unlike PVC that can snap in cold weather and stretch in hot temperatures.
Probably the only area where vinyl acts as a better qualified product is vehicle wrapping.
Talking about versatility, textiles are also trending for fashion and furniture. At the same time, the textiles media compatibility with various printing technologies such as dye sublimation, latex and UV makes it all the more accessible for multiple businesses.
Are you interested in knowing more about how textiles can make a big difference to your business? Our team is happy to give you more information and help you diversify your operations. The bigger the scope of your offerings the more opportunities and brand awareness for your business.