HP launches new dye sublimation textile printer

Gartex 2019 – Personalized and fast digital textile printing

Vitesh Sharma, head of Sign and Graphics, HP at the unveiling of HP Stitch S series during Gartex.
Vitesh Sharma, head of Sign and Graphics, HP at the unveiling of HP Stitch S series during Gartex.

HP launched a new range of dye sublimation textile printers in India for the first time at Gartex 2019 in New Delhi. From the inkjet printers in the new Stitch S series, the S500 was displayed, and while the Stitch S1000 was being talked about and available for sale, it was not put on display.

Vitesh Sharma, country manager, HP India said, “Dye-sublimation printers first print on paper, following which the print is transferred to fabric. The machines we are launching have some new twists and improvisations. The S500 is a 5-foot wide machine while the S1000 is 10-feet wide.”

Explaining the improvements in the newly launched printers, Sharma said, “A big concern for customers is the color consistency. Because of the inherent design of dye-sublimation printers, it is difficult to match the color consistency of print across different batches produced in the same machine at different locations. With time, the machine deteriorates and so does the color consistency. The new Stitch S series has an inbuilt spectrophotometer and Cloud-based profiling for color standardization. You can create one profile for a design and it will be printed with the same color consistency on all the machines no matter where they are installed provided the same profile is used. Brands like Zara have multiple manufacturing locations; by using the Stitch S series, their garments printed at different locations will have the same look and feel.”

According to Sharma, Indian textile export is expected to grow to US$ 82 billion by 2021. The overall textile market of India is US$ 150 billion a year. The textile segment contributes 7% to the country’s total output and is 2% of the Indian GDP.

Personalization for GenZ

“However, the penetration of digital textile printing is very small. Garments are still being printed conventionally. But for times to come, digital textile printing will increase. Apart from sustainability benefits, digital textile printing has other advantages including the ability to provide personalized prints. GenZ prefers uniqueness and personalization and that is not possible on traditional printing machines.

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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