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The thumbnail version:

  • Are textile screen printing shops going to have to reinvent themselves?

The full version:

About a year ago I raised this question in response to a discussion I had with an oil industry expert who said that oil companies were going to have to reinvent themselves as energy companies. Climate change, regulations, and public opinion were the main drivers behind his argument.

I thought about textile screen printing shops in that context and realized that they too were beginning to experience similar circumstances. Sustainability is an obvious pressure point but what about encroachment from other businesses outside the textile industry driven by changes in technology?

Direct-to-garment digital printing is gradually gaining ground and that technology is being acquired by businesses familiar with it.  And they are using it to access the textile market. For instance, Roland DGA, traditionally a supplier of equipment to the sign industry, has a direct-to-garment textile printer. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see their sign shop customers follow them into the textile market. In fact, they are being encouraged to do so as a diversification strategy.

Kornit, an already big but still rapidly-growing manufacturer of direct-to-garment technology now has 3D textile printing equipment.  In McKinsey’s state of the fashion industry report of 2021they wrote: “In this highly tempestuous and increasingly competitive market environment, players across the board will need to reflect carefully (but swiftly) on their next moves.” Those players obviously include textile screen printers.

Do you have your finger on the pulse of the industry and how much thought have you given to how to adapt as the pulse changes?