Fairs and Exhibitions - FESPA to host digital textile conference in Milan, Italy - Programme developed with FESPA Italia and leading Italian fashion and textile associations.
The one-day conference builds on the success of a series of FESPA-led Digital Textile Conferences. The September 2016 conference programme will provide print service providers with insights into the diverse market segments of digital textile printing, feedback from printers who have successfully entered the sector and technical guidance on how to address the opportunity, including updates on the latest technology developments in machinery, software, inks and textiles.
The conference programme will be delivered in English and Italian. Confirmed speakers and panellists so far include Enrico Barboglio (FESPA Italia); Duncan MacOwan (FESPA); Ron Gilboa (InfoTrends); Fulvio Alvisi (AIDT); Andrea Ferrero (Miroglio Textiles); Lorenzo Zottar (The Color Soup); Gianluca Brenna (Stamperia di Lipomo); Dario Garnero (Stamperia Serica Italiana) and Andrea Barbiani (MS Italy). The event will be moderated by respected Italian industry journalist Paola Bonfanti. The September 2016 Digital Textile Conference is co-located with FESPA Italia Day, the event for members of FESPA's Italian association, enabling members to efficiently combine participation in both events.
The FESPA Print Census, results of which were published in May 2015, clearly indicated textile as the dominant growth application for the community, with 81% of printers at that time seeing growth in this segment, the highest of any growth application. Digital technology was identified as the key enabler, with over 50% of respondents expecting digitally produced garments to become an important alternative to traditional screen printing in the next two years. Textile printers featured prominently in investment plans, with 21% of respondents specifically focussing spend in this area, supported by 12% planning to acquire thermal transfer equipment. Decorative and industrial textile applications also featured heavily, with 78% of those surveyed reporting growth in textiles for decor applications. Textile substrates were continuing to make inroads in the signage and graphics space, with 67% observing sustained growth in soft signage.
FESPA has collated further feedback from its community since the March 2016 FESPA Digital exhibition in Amsterdam, which incorporated FESPA Textile. Responses indicate that digital textile printing is now of immediate interest to nearly two-thirds of wide format printers, with 40% already printing on textile, and a further 20% actively interested in entering the sector. Fashion and garment printing was indicated as the primary area of interest, followed by interior decor and soft signage.
FESPA CEO Neil Felton comments: "Today, digital accounts for only a small proportion of all textile printing, but this is forecast to grow substantially in the years ahead, with estimates suggesting that digital could account for 5% of textile printing by 2020, up from 2% today."
The choice of Milan as the location of the next FESPA Digital Textile Conference reflects the significance of Italy, and the Como region in particular, as a centre of European textile manufacturing and decorating excellence, accounting for 55% of the European digital textile market and producing more than 180 million square meters of digitally printed textiles in 2015. Registration for the Digital Textile Conference is open to any printer.