An industry insider at worldwide digital imaging and document solutions consultancy InfoTrends says that textiles printing will be the 'next big thing' in the wide and large format printing sector.
Barney Cox, a senior consultant at InfoTrends, makes the prediction in light of his work on a new report studying the trends of printers moving from screen printing to digital for textiles, writes printweek.com.
Early information gathered from the upcoming 'Transforming Textiles' report suggests that this trend is occurring as old-school printers attempt to diversify their traditional print offerings.
However, Cox warned that the print textiles industry is a very diverse and complicated market. While one print business might be printing customised T-shirts, another might be printing cushions - but this doesn't make it an easy task, nor one that uses the same print technologies throughout.
"While the core technologies used, be they printheads, inks, software or substrates, may be similar, the requirements of the different markets are very diverse," Cox explains. "Don't think that having the right machine means you will be printing billboards at breakfast time, dresses at dinner time and ties before tea."
Although getting into the print textile market isn't that hard, according to HP Designjet printers' country manager Phil Oakley.
He explained that HP customers are often amazed at the kinds of things they can do with what looks like ordinary HP large format printers.
"I expect that customers will be very surprised at the variety of different applications the latex printers can do," Oakley says. "We have seen applications where people have done interior design products on the Designjet."
The full 'Transforming Textiles Printing' report will be published at the end of the year, says infotrends.com.