Should textile screen printing shops be reinventing themselves?

The thumbnail version:

  • Screen printing as a garment-decorating technology is being challenged.
  • Are textile screen printing shops going to have to reinvent themselves?

The full version:

Something to seriously ponder . . .

An oil industry expert I know has been saying for some time that changing circumstances including the increasing emphasis on climate change, government regulations, public opinion and other elements is forcing the oil companies to reinvent themselves.

He predicts that companies we’ve long regarded as “oil” companies are going to have to reinvent themselves as “energy” companies. This is not hard to understand given technological advancements and the increasing demand to de-emphasize oil as the primary source of energy and to instead look to solar, wind, water, and nuclear for “cleaner” energy. In other words, the big oil companies in particular, are going to have to diversify into other energy products if they are to stay in business as big companies.

Are textile screen printing shops not in the same boat? With a growing demand for customized single prints, shorter runs, and the growing sophistication of direct-to-garment technology, is garment decoration not gradually shifting away from a reliance on screen printing? Major direct-to-garment equipment manufacturer, Kornit, is about to release 3D textile printing technology that will do high density and other special effects prints that until now could only be achieved by screen printing.

How long is it going to be before textile screen printing shops, like oil companies, are going to have to reinvent themselves? Will “garment decorating” shops offering screen printing merely as an option among other technologies become the new norm, replacing strictly textile screen printing shops?

Definitely time to ponder. Perhaps time to act and get ahead of the curve.