Textile printing has become an increasingly important part of the wide format sector but there are a number of factors to consider.
There’s no question that textile printing has grown considerably over the past couple of years but the term covers several different areas, from display signage through to furnishings and garments. There's little in common between these areas, other than their use of dye sublimation inkjet technology. Most of the growth in textiles is down to the fashion industry having adopted digital technology to print garments, plus a burgeoning home furnishings market. These typically involve industrial printers serving a mass consumer market.
The garment market, and to a less extent the decoration and furnishings sector, work with a range of substrates from cotton to silk, which require specialist inks suitable to these materials, often with both pre-treatment and plenty of washing after printing. Several vendors have developed highly automated industrial machines capable of carrying out those different steps more or less in-line.