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Digital textile technology marks presence at Heimtextil
Jan '14
Aditya Chandavarkar
Aditya Chandavarkar
At the recently held Heimtextil exhibition at Frankfurt the international emphasis was evident in its exhibitor and visitor numbers. The event hosted 2658 exhibitors from 62 countries, which were joined by approximately 66,000 visitors over the four days – 66% of which came from countries other than Germany. 
The most represented international visitor nations included Italy, China, Turkey, the UK, the USA, France, India, Spain, the Russian Federation and Poland. With 80% of exhibitors and 94% of visitors claiming to have achieved their goals during the show, it is evident that the exhibition is a good platform for doing business.
With the newly emerging trends for industrial scale digital printing of home textiles, Heimtextil saw presence of leading digital textile printing technology, software and design providers exhibiting in the Design & Technics Hall. 
Mr Aditya Chandavarkar, Founder, Inkjet Forum India who was a part of the invited speaker panel provided an Indian perspective on the potential for digitally printed home textiles and interior furnishing products. 
He said, “The Indian digital textile printing landscape is changing fast with the total printed output of 43 million meters worth $200 mn. Digital printing for home textiles is in its very early stages worldwide with many companies taking first steps. This application area makes up 10 – 15% of the total digital textile printed output in India with a total volume of 5 million m/year.”
He added, “Digital Textile printing is well accepted in the apparel and fashion business and has been largely successful with the growth of the fast fashion trend in the apparel & fashion industry. The majority of the home textile industry has stayed away from large investments in digital textile printing.
"The two main reasons include the lack of a stable high speed digital printing system for pigment printing on cottons and the investment cost and reliability of wider width equipment setup for bed linen & curtains.”
The commercialisation of pigment ink for high speed industrial printers is being addressed with OEMs at various stages of the development & testing process. SPG Prints, Netherlands showcased their pigment ink technology at Heimtextil.
The pigment ink was seen running on a La Mecchanica Leopard 8 printer. Jos Notermans, Business Unit Manager Digital Textiles, SPG Prints, comments on the company’s pigment ink technology: “We are happy with the current results and the market will see us commercially launching the inks in 6 – 8 months”. 

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