Digital textile printing at Gartex 2019

Garment and textile industry gets together

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Digital

Gartex Texprocess, an exhibition for garment and textile machinery, fabric accessories and allied industries, was organized by MEX Exhibitions and Messe Frankfurt from 10 to 12 August 2019 at Pragati Maidan, Delhi. Spread across the halls 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 12 A, the event brought together approximately 200 Indian and international textile technology providers under one roof and was divided into various segments, such as digital textile printing, laundry show, denim show, embroidery show and fabric show.

Of all the focus segments, the digital textile printing segment saw significant footfall. More than 25% of the exhibitors at the event comprised digital textile printing machinery providers. Apart from creating new business opportunities, the event provided participants and visitors with strong networking opportunities. The manufacturers and providers were seen engrossed in conversations with old and new customers and their industry peers.

In particular, the direct-to-garment and fabric printing technology attracted significant attention with vibrant print demonstrations of machines by Kornit Digital, Apsom, Mimaki, Negi, Colorjet and Colorix on their respective Indian distributors’ stands. The die sublimation textile printing demonstrations by providers including HP, Epson, Atexo, Konica Minolta, Mouvent, MS, Reggiani, Mimaki, and Smartjet left passerbys spellbound.

The exhibitors such as Arrow, Negi and JN Arora reported that it wasn’t their first time participating at Gartex and the show is known to be a success every year. The show was just warming up on the first day but they were expecting serious inquiries by the second day. Additionally, the event proved to be a great platform to interact and catch up with the entire value chain.

Talking about the Indian digital textile printing sector, Vitesh K Sharma, country manager for HP India said, “The Indian textile industry contributes 2% to the country’s GDP and in that the penetration of digital textile printing is very small. The way the garments are being printed today is still very traditional. But we anticipate that in future, digital textile printing will definitely grow.”

Ashish Arora, marketing director, JN Arora said, “The digital textile printing will definitely grow and we are offering new products to the industry. These are interesting times for us; the customers are demanding both screen printing and digital printing technologies.”

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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