Durst’s contribution to digital production in textile printing

Custom and eco-friendly designs on demand

Durst Alpha 330 Series 5 with pigment – one for North Carolina, USA, and the other in Berlin, Germany – to support its adoption of eco-friendly digital textile printing technology
Durst Alpha 330 Series 5 with pigment – one for North Carolina, USA, and the other in Berlin, Germany – to support its adoption of eco-friendly digital textile printing technology

Spoonflower, the US online community providing web-to-print service for home décor, uses Durst’s pigment technology on the Alpha platforms. It has chosen to invest in two more Durst Alpha 330 Series 5 with pigment – one for North Carolina, USA, and the other in Berlin, Germany – to support its adoption of eco-friendly digital textile printing technology.

Spoonflower allows individuals to design, print and sell their own custom-designed fabric, wallpaper and home decor products. The Spoonflower marketplace hosts the largest collection of independent fabric designers in the world, with over 1 million designs available to suit every taste and style. With environmentally sustainable on-demand manufacturing, no minimum order requirements and zero finished goods inventory, Spoonflower exemplifies an integrated ‘pixel to output’ approach.

Gart Davis, who co-founded Spoonflower in 2008, said, “Spoonflower is not just a service for custom fabric printing, we are a community that prizes individuality, self-expression and a human connection between designers and those who want to bring design into their homes. Pigment printing is a future technology that we use today thanks to the hard work and strong partnership with Durst. Our collaboration on home decor has been successful; the Alpha produces beautiful fabric with a precise, fine print, a broad gamut, and strong fastness properties, which is why we have invested in two more pigment Alpha 330s.”

Christoph Gamper, Durst chief executive officer and co-owner, said, “As a pioneer in the web-to-print for fabrics, sustainability and pigment sectors, our technology platforms represent the ‘new’ textile. It’s not only speed but clever solutions too. The world needs more companies that question the status quo. We’re at the forefront of the evolution that will sweep across the textile industry. This is just the beginning.”

The Alpha 330 Series 5 is the fifth generation of Durst’s Alpha printing systems. It features newly developed software to meet the increased demands of textile digital printing as well as improvements in material handling, efficiency and material diversity. The technology platform offers a sustainable, flexible and scalable solution for every application and enables waterless one-step production with Durst Advanced Digital Pigment ink. SuperMultipass provides 30% better performance than comparable systems by integrating new technologies in the printheads, inks and drying units. The Alpha Series 5 can also have a patented SwiftJet Pretreatment System positioned upstream of the Alpha printer – valuable for short-run and fast-turnaround jobs.

A family-owned company with a history stretching back more than 80 years, Durst Group’s values are focused on innovation, customer orientation, sustainability and quality. The US division of Durst, which is based in Rochester, is a full-service subsidiary and highly integrated service provider.

Backed by consultancy and seamless integration provided through Durst Professional Services, all systems can be equipped with the new Durst Workflow Print, monitoring tool Durst Analytics and Durst Smart Shop. Expansion modules are integrated with the printing system to create a complete production process ‘from pixel to output’.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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