Sportswear Pro 2020 to showcase latest solutions for the global sportswear manufacturing market

Showcasing the crossover between print and sportswear

A display at the Sportswear Pro 2020

With less than two months to go, a host of international exhibitors are getting ready to showcase their latest technologies in garment production, design and decoration at Sportswear Pro 2020 from 24 to 27 March 2020, IFEMA – Feria de Madrid, Spain.

The first Sportswear Pro event is geared specifically towards business decision-makers in garment production looking to streamline manufacturing processes, reduce inventory and waste, and enable on-demand and just-in-time production in response to shortening fashion cycles.

The growing line-up of exhibitors covers all aspects of production from digital printing and cutting, to embroidery and heat sealing, along with software solutions for process automation and supply chain management.

Michael Ryan, event manager for Sportswear Pro comments, “As the final countdown begins to our first show, we are getting a strong flavor of the many sportswear manufacturing innovations that will be on display for visitors in March. For this specific audience, and for visitors with an interest in garment production crossing over from the co-located FESPA Global Print Expo, these diverse exhibitors promise valuable insights into new business opportunities and enhanced production processes.”

Digital Printing

One of Sportswear Pro’s key goals is to show visitors where the crossover between print and sportswear is and how some of the trends affecting sportswear are the same ones that are impacting the wider print industry.

The synergies between print and sportswear production will be exemplified primarily by Print Make Wear, FESPA Global Print Expo’s popular fashion feature, which will link directly to Sportswear Pro and focus exclusively on customized sportswear production. Visitors will be able to get a close look at the garment production chain from initial design to final product, while also being given the opportunity to print a personalised sportswear garment on site. Kornit Digital, Roland DG and Gold Sponsor Mimaki are just a few renowned digital printing brands that will contribute towards the recreation of the live end-to-end production process for sports and athleisure garments.

Fellow Gold Sponsor HP (Hall 3- C120) will also have a presence at the event and will exhibit its digital textile printer, the HP STITCH S500. As part of HP’s effort to help customers access work in expanding sectors of the wider textile print market, the HP Stitch S500 is designed for high-production operations and delivers fast, precise color-matching, alongside efficient, simplified processes. These qualities make the HP STITCH S500 fully equipped to handle the on-demand customisation requirements of the sportswear manufacturing industry.


One of the fundamental processes in garment and sportswear manufacturing, cutting has a major presence at Sportswear Pro 2020. Based in Italy, FK Group (Hall 3-D90) has specialised in cutting since 1961 and is renowned among eminent Italian and international companies in textile production. Sportswear Pro 2020 will allow FK Group to launch its Tecno Freccia automatic cutting system to this market. With a compact and refined design that allows easy installation in any work environment, Tecno Freccia is the ideal solution for small to medium volume productions and is able to cut through a wide variety of materials.

Laser cutting

Laser cutting will also feature heavily, with innovations from several exhibitors. Seit Elettronica (Hall 3-C116) will show its Laser Bridge SL10, an advanced system for cutting and engraving that utilises galvanometric technology. It enables users to perform cuts and etchings on a wide range of fabrics and materials, integrating perfectly with embroidery machines.


ZSK Stickmaschinen GmbH (Hall 3-C101), a German market leader in industrial embroidery machines, will launch two new systems, the Racer 1 XL, featuring a large embroidery field and 24 needles, and the Racer II 4 WL, which includes 18 needles, fast colour change and head selection as a standard feature. Both systems are defined by their high speed, precision, flexible operating modes and longevity.

Tajima (Hall 3-D121) will display two new embroidery systems, the TMEZ-SC1501, an advanced single head machine featuring full touch screen and Tajima iTM Intelligent Thread Management, and TMBR-SC1801, its first 18 colour system, as well as its first pickerless trimming machine.

Heat sealing

Heat seal machines are used for the thermal transfer of labels, emblems and repair patches to garments and textiles of all kinds, with companies such as Perma Press AB, TransferPress and Seri Press Transfer Solutions all exhibiting in this area.

Swedish manufacturer Perma Press AB (Hall 3-D122) specialises in heat presses and screen and digital heat-seal transfer systems, and will exhibit its range of environmentally friendly, stretchy soft heat-seal transfers for sportswear.

MACPI (Hall 3-D100), a Milan-based manufacturer of stitch-free technologies for the garment industry, will display its user-friendly, energy-efficient 336.59T hot seal taping machine, equipped with the ‘cold chute’ feature from previous models for standard textile applications, with an added ‘hot chute’ for more challenging materials. MACPI will also exhibit its Ultrasonic Machine, a system designed for fabric cutting, welding and decoration which, used in conjunction with the 336.59T, allows fabrics to be joined without any stitching.


Design is of the main areas of focus for Sportswear Pro, and a number of companies will present their design software solutions for garment manufacturing. Meepl (Hall 3-B854), a Swiss specialist in smartphone-based 3D body scanning, leverages artificial intelligence and visual computing to enable brands and retailers to reduce return rates, digitise supply chains and deliver interactive and personalised 3D shopping experiences. Crea Solution (Hall 3-C95) will demonstrate how its integrated digital workflow solution streamlines the garment manufacturing process from initial 3D design to final fabric cutting. The Sportswear Pro visitor ticket also gives free access to FESPA Global Print Expo, including the Print Make Wear feature and content programme, and to European Sign Expo.


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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