Although sublimation printing has been around for many years, the industry is still undergoing radical changes. On the positive side, digital printing technology uses more durable inks, which can help improve stability, extend print life, improve production efficiency and save overall costs.
But these changes also mean that dyeing plants will lose their competitiveness if they do not proactively adjust the way they operate.
According to United Market Research, by 2022, the global textile digital printing market is expected to reach nearly 4 million US dollars (about RMB 28 million). Although these are rough figures and vary depending on the digital textile market segment you are focusing on, the CAGR of 16% is probably not to be underestimated!
Printed fabrics are gaining popularity due to ever-changing fashion trends and longer lifespans, which in turn drives the demand for cost-effective textile printing methods, which also brings business opportunities to players in the global digital textile printing market!
Whether you are looking to enter the sublimation printing market or simply looking to improve your workflow, the information below will help you.
1. New materials
25 years ago, we could only print on polyester fabrics and blends, or on relatively smooth pre-coated materials. While dye sublimation is still a common method in digital textile printing today, it is no longer limited to polyester fabrics.
Today, there is a dizzying array of natural fibers such as silk, cotton, linen, wool, rayon and other richly textured fabrics. Canvas and mesh fabrics are also gaining popularity.
2. Inconsistent supply chains
Another big change in the printed fabric market is the supply chain. The current level of control for most textiles is not what it used to be. In fact, some manufacturers can change the background color by 5 DeltaE from the beginning to the end of the roll.
When dealing with inconsistent fabric colors, digital printers need to exercise more careful color control to ensure the final color is accurate. This requires more accurate color management tools and more frequent tolerance checks.
3 Full solution for sublimation digital printing
There are many new printing machines on the market today. Many of the textiles we see today are actually produced in small batches on industrial-scale printing machines, which is really a big change in the overall printed fabric market.
Many of the new HP and Epson printers, as well as newer printers from legacy manufacturers such as Kornit, are designed for custom one-off and low-volume production. These printers allow printers to produce small quantities on demand, reducing the need for large warehouses. To do this successfully, however, printers need to characterize both equipment and materials.
But also, after sublimation printing, the fabric cutting is also a key link that cannot be ignored.
Taking sublimation printed sports T-shirts as an example, combining sublimation printing with vision fabric laser cutting. The operation process is to design according to the customer's requirements, produce samples within 24 hours, complete the order in 3-5 days