Barcelona was the place to be in June for anyone interested in learning about printing on textiles.
More than 120,000 visitors from 147 countries traveled to Barcelona for ITMA 2019, June 20-26. The exhibition is described by ITMA Services, the show’s organizer, as the trendsetting textile and garment technology platform where the industry converges every four years to explore fresh ideas, effective solutions, and collaborative partnerships for business growth.
We had our own reason to attend. Our Carol Cannata, SVP client services and events, has been designing women’s accessories produced on EFI Reggiani textile printers. She had developed a rapport with the people at Reggiani as they guided her through the process of printing her designs on one of their devices (all via telephone) for our Annual Women Influencers Brunch. She expressed interest in meeting the people from Reggiani to learn more about printing on textiles. When we mentioned this to Frank Mallozzi, EFI’s chief revenue officer, he suggested attending ITMA 2019.
We made a family business decision and said, “Let’s go to Barcelona!”
The show was located at the Fira De Barcelona, Gran Via. The show is produced by CEMATEX (European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers). This is no small undertaking as this year’s event was hailed as the world’s largest textile machinery exposition. Of course, any producer of an event is free to claim they are the biggest and best in the world. Supporting its boast was the largest gathering of exhibitors in its history. A total of 1,717 companies from 45 countries were spread out among the various halls displaying their wares.
We spent all of our time at Hall 3 where the print manufacturers were located. We visited with EFI, HP, and Konica Minolta. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Konica Minolta had acquired a textile printing company, Verga, in 2015. The company’s newest system on display was the Nassenger SP-1, a single-pass textile printer. We also did a walk-through of the Epson and Maki exhibit. We were impressed by Epson’s SureColor SC-F6000 dye-sublimation printer. The SureColor SC-F6000 is the first dye-sublimation printer in which every component is sourced from Epson.
EFI Regianni demonstrated its newest product, BOLT. This single-pass inkjet printer is said to be the first digital textile solution capable of high-quality output at production speeds of up to 90 linear meters (295 linear feet) per minute.
Above: Examples of textile printing at the EFI exhibit at ITMA 2019.
The operative word here is digital. In the world of textile printing, analog still represents 95% of the market. The opportunity demonstrated in Hall 3 for digital textile printers is, by far, the most significant thing we learned attending this event.
HP showcased its lineup of three STITCH inkjet dye-sublimation printers, including the STITCH S300, STITCH S500, and STITCH S1000. These printers represent HP’s objective of building a comprehensive line of products that we believe will eventually cover the full gamut of the textile printing market.
We also spent a good deal of time trying to learn more about the ITMA attendees. According to the ITMA website, attendees encompassed fiber, yarn, and fabric manufacturers; garment and sports good manufacturers; home textile manufacturers; brands, retailers and department store owners; textile, fashion and textile consultants; universities, research institutes and laboratories; engineers, technical managers and production specialists; and more.
Textile Printing = Significant Growth Opportunity
Textile printing has the potential to be the most significant growth opportunity in the world of digital printing. We believe the conversion from analog to digital will find the U.S. market, second to China as the largest producers of textiles in the world. Along the way, textile printing will radically change the retail markets they serve.
Companies such as HP, EFI, and others will lead the way just as they have done with industrial printing. We certainly believe that both Canon and Ricoh will be showing their version of textile printers at ITMA Milan 2023.
The next ITMA conference will be in Milan in 2023. The plan is to alternate this event between Barcelona and Milan.
We will provide additional ITMA coverage in the September production print issue of The Cannata Report, including interviews with EFI’s Frank Mallozzi and Joan Perez Pericot, general manager, Large Format Graphics Division, HP.
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