Making digital technologies accessible for textile SMEs
The rapid development of digital printing technologies has transformed textile printing and created vibrant business opportunities by leveraging many new trends and technologies on the level of software, hardware and inkjet inks. Existing and starting SME-companies explore the latest digital textile and garment printing technologies that enhance their competitiveness. However, there are still a lot of challenges to overcome to benefit fully of the many advantages inherently linked to digital technologies. Bottleneck, especially for SMEs, is actually their dependence on external commission finishers for the ready-to-print textile and for functional post treatments (read: repellency, antimicrobial…) slowing down the production chain. Moreover, this dependence inhibits their huge business potential. This lecture focuses on many actual and future developments in digital technologies and on different issues such as in-line pretreatments and digital finishing/coating which make in-house production possible. Also digital dyeing is an actual issue for many SMEs.