Ahead of New York Fashion Week, Epson revealed its ambition in the industry with the launch of a microsite devoted to digital textile printing information and resources for fashion designers and other industry stakeholders.
The microsite, “Epson Brings Technology & Fashion Together,” lays out the reasons designers might want to consider digital textile printing over other options. For one, digital printing accelerates the timeline versus screen printing on comparable fabrics, yielding a finished fabric in days rather than weeks or months, and delivery times in line with today’s demands.
Given the outsize success of fast-fashion leaders like Mango and Zara, many apparel enterprises are striving to mimic those brands’ legendary speed to market. Digital printing could be a key factor in helping apparel retailers accelerate product delivery.
“With no limits on how small, or large your production goals are, Epson Digital Fabric Printing provides the best way to optimize your inventory–ensuring only the styles and sizes that sell, to be on the racks at any given time,” the microsite notes.
Overall, the digital textile printing market is poised for strong growth in the near future, and expected to expand by 17.5% from 2016 to 2021 to reach a value of $2.66 billion, according to Smithers Pira’s “The Future of Digital Textile Printing to 2021” report.
Epson’s digital printing technology can accommodate a wide variety of natural fabrics, from silk to cotton to linen—debunking the notion that digitally printed fabrics must be polyester.
In fact, Candice Cuoco, a Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising graduate and former “Project Runway” and “Project Runway All-Stars” contestant, showed off a digitally printed velvet garment at Epson’s Digital Couture Project fashion presentation on Feb. 6, in New York City.
[Read more about Epson’s Digital Couture project: This is How Much Digital Printing is Transforming Fashion]
Keeping sustainability top of mind, the microsite reminds designers that printing fabrics digitally also offers environmental benefits. Not only can digital textiles reduce water consumption by as much as 90 percent compared with traditional printing methods, but they also use less electricity during production—up to 30 percent less.
Because digital textile printing generally operates on a print-what’s-needed basis, many designers will find that this approach reduces fabric waste, which has been among the most significant detriments of the fashion industry, while improving cost effectiveness. What’s more, designers who opt for digital printing can bypass many of the substantial initial setup fees involved with launching a fashion business.
“Digital printing technology has changed every industry it’s touched, and now it’s revolutionizing the fashion industry by offering fashion designers amazing new ways to produce their designs on a range of fabrics,” said Mark Radogna, group manager of professional imaging at Epson America, Inc.