Trends in Digital Textile Printing

Global Imaging is passionate about staying ahead of market changes in order to offer the best guidance to our partners today and for the long term. With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the most influential trends in digital textile printing we think you’ll want to know about for 2018 and beyond.

The Market Overall

  • According to InfoTrends, the worldwide market for digitally printed textiles equals 1.2 billion square meters which accounts for only 2.5% of the total printed textile market of 35 billion square meters. [1]
  • Decreasing ink costs, increased productivity, and the low cost and ready availability of financing are expected to drive growth in this area, projected at 17% through 2021, with volume more than doublingin that time period. [2]
  • As digital currently makes up only 2.5% of the $165 billion total global textile printing, there is a lot of room for growth in market share.
  • According to InfoTrends, innovation in inkjet printing technology will enable cost-effective solutions at all levels, democratizing fabric printers for small and large producers.
  • Displays and signage, the second largest segment of digitally printed textiles at 35%, is expected to see the largest absolute increase in value, from $3,286,135 in 2016 to $6,418,584 in 2021.[2]

Technology Trends: Productivity Is on the Rise

We are already seeing significant improvements drive up productivity in digital printing technology, from workflow and automation to color calibration. Sublimation use is rapidly growing and continuing innovation in dispersion inks and pigment inks will all help PSPs meet escalating demand. [2]

Reshoring Production

The traditional model of textile production, based in places with lower labor costs such as China and India, is expected to undergo a major shift. The cost-effectiveness of digital printing supports a trend to reshore production – or bring it back to developed work markets. Doing so allows for quicker turnarounds;  a tighter control of quality; and makes brand protection easier – particularly with the new generation of high-performance automated systems and web-based logistics and business models.


Experts predict a trend toward total personalization – with runs as small as one! This is a demand that can be met cost-effectively only with digital printers.

Digital textile fashionFashion Mini Seasons

The haute couture and retail fashion industries are already commissioning “mini-seasons” within the traditional 2- or 4-season calendar. We expect demand for fast-turn retail signage to increase as change outs and reorders become more frequent, which will strongly favor digital printers.

Want to know how your shop can best prepare to meet these trends? Talk to one of our expert consultants today.

[1] Digital Textile Printing: Insights into Growth Trends & Technology Developments, InfoTrends, March, 2017
[2] Smithers Pira The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2021