Keep an eye open . . .

There is something that any forward-looking textile print shop owner should be aware of. It’s about bridging the distinction between textile-only shops and sign-only (digital and graphics) shops.

Until recently there has mostly been a fairly clear distinction between these two types of print shops, except possibly in smaller or rural communities. The smaller rural shop tends to do a bit of everything because the demand isn’t big enough in any one particular activity; they’ll do Tees, signs, and just about any other type of printing you might need.

However, now there are suggestions in sign industry literature that sign shops are eyeing expansion into textile printing. Consider that in a recent article, Roland’s product manager for textiles (known primarily as a sign industry equipment manufacturer) was quoted as saying: “What I hear all the time is ‘I know I have to get into fabric printing’ because it will help them with short runs or expanding into other markets.”  He was discussing multi-purpose machines being developed to print on various surfaces, including textiles.

Who knows how or even how quickly this might unfold?

A good strategy for a textile shop owner might be to keep an eye open for the other industry planning to eat your lunch.