Textile Digital Printing, The Two Sides of Sustainability and Future Developments

Published: 19th February 2019

An estimated £1.2 billion linear metres of fabric per year are digitally printed, yet we are still at the threshold of this market which commenced in the 1990’s. Mike Mordente from Huntsman Textile Effects guided the audience, gathered for this last talk of the 2018-19 season, through the key drivers behind the huge potential of this slow to grow technology.

Huntsman aim to provide total solutions for all substrates and their products are certified by the biggest print head manufacturers including the leaders Kyocera. Some of the key challenges for the industry remain around printing deep shades, and black and retaining consistent quality and developing chemistry to match all textile fibre types.

Environmental impact is an important driver for this business with the aim to reduce waste in inks, water, and energy whilst ensuring profitability and efficiency in business practice. Huntsman are driven by innovation and their research and development and continue to develop their chemistry to match the range of textile substrates on the market. The current digital textile industry is comprised of both Scanning Printing (print head traverses across the fabric) and Single Pass Printing which can now achieve up to 80 mtrs/min.

Mike introduced us to a wide range of the print inks Huntsman provide, and concluded this in-depth talk with the following point: ultimately there is vast potential for this industry as digital print currently makes up only 3% of printed textile production.