Garment products dominate across all textile businesses, with sports apparel, textiles for garments and fast fashion topping the growth applications leader board, according to the FESPA 2018 Print Census. Digital adoption for textile is slower than in other segments and production is still dominated by analogue processes across all textile-related segments.
The 2018 Print Census was developed to arrive at a more detailed picture of the growing textile segment. Respondents include screen print businesses with a focus on textile applications, dedicated textile producers and direct-to-garment businesses.
Among printers focused on textile, 56 per cent have made digital investments, and 19 per cent plan to do so in the next two years, aiming to reap the benefits of reduced time to market, customised creative collections, prototyping, and a positive impact on environmental footprint by reducing water and energy consumption.
Production speed is an investment priority for 69 per cent of textile respondents, and 55 per cent want the ability to print directly onto untreated materials. These investments are motivated by brand owner demand for time-sensitive production that delivers supply chain improvements such as waste reduction, optimises response to seasonal peaks and enables local delivery.
Screen and textile printers expect digital’s contribution to textile printing revenues to grow by 12 per cent in the next two years.
About 83 per cent of respondents stated that they are optimistic for the future of their business, as per the FESPA report. Close to 72 per cent reported increasing demand for fast turnaround, 61 per cent saw growing requirement for short runs and 59 per cent observed rising expectations of just-in-time delivery (JIT).
In the face of volume growth, increased capacity is now a key investment priority. About 54 per cent of respondents cited this as their main motivation for capital spend. Cost reduction is a factor for 53 per cent, while diversification into new markets and product offerings remains a focus of investment for 53 per cent of those surveyed. The research also reveals increased investment focus in areas impacting customer satisfaction and consistency.
Responses show that environmental investments are heavily influenced by customer expectations regarding sustainable manufacturing and materials. Close to 76 per cent said that customer demand for environmentally responsible products is shaping business strategy, with more than one in five stating that it is a major influence. Roughly 32 per cent of those surveyed responded by using energy-efficient or environmentally certified equipment to satisfy client demand.
“Reviewing the 2018 Print Census findings, we’re delighted to again see such a buoyant global community of print businesses enjoying sustained growth and responding by expanding capacity, as well as differentiating themselves with new products and services. The findings display continued commitment among PSPs to understanding and meeting the evolving expectations of customers. Businesses are pursuing customer-centric development strategies, underpinned with planned technology and training investments.”
Over 1,405 respondents were surveyed, representing a 12 per cent increase over the last Print Census published in May 2015. Respondents were from 102 countries, giving a significantly broader geographical reach than the 2015 research (+59%), with data collected throughout 2017 at FESPA events and from association members in Europe, Eurasia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and South Africa.