The growth in urbanization and increase in demand for corporate branding and advertisement has catapult the market for digital textile inks. The sublimation ink segment has witnessed major demand owing to increase in demand for dye-sublimation printer in computer printing applications. Furthermore, the demand for pigment-based inks is anticipated to witness growth owing to its excellent archival print life and color stability. Based on application, the display segment witnessed major growth in 2016 owing to increase in demand for screen and pad applications.

Clothing/garments and household segments are expected to create lucrative growth opportunities for digital printing inks market owing to increase in textile and household decorative applications. Rise in concerns related to health hazards associated with the toxicity of inks is projected to affect the overall market growth in the developed and the developing countries, but investments in R&D activities to produce novel textile printing inks are expected to provide opportunities for growth in the future.


  • The reactive type of inks has occupied more than one-fourth of the market in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.0% from 2017 to 2023.
  • The pigment type of inks is projected to grow at a CAGR of 18.8% during the forecast period.
  • In Europe, the direct disperse type of inks are expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.2% from 2017 to 2023.
  • In Asia-Pacific, the application of digital textile printing inks market in household segment is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 20.7% during the forecast period.


Pigment inks

As of today, digital textile printing with dye based inks ask for an industrial environment with highly sophisticated pre- and after-treatment equipment. This fact limits the spread of machines towards garmenting mills, brands, designers, retail or other parties.

In traditional printing pigment based printing paste is the solution found for the requirments‘simple process’, ‘low cost’ and ‘acceptable quality’. In digital printing pigment inks cannot fulfill any of these 3 criteria so far. In order to find a solution to meet those goals, the industry should search for another chemistry / solution than pigments. The industry wants to have asolution for these issues, but nobody has ever seen it.

Several market players are working hard on bringing pigment based inks to the market. However, there is no solution so far available, which allows a high quality textile printing without any pre- and after treatment. Market prices of pigment based inks are still veryexpensive compared to dye based inks, further the all in one ink solution is not yet available.

How to take up the call whether to investment in DTP

When selecting a digital textile printing technique, there are a few questions you have to ask yourself. The first question should be: how much volume do you want to print with the new printing technique? If you’re printing between 0.5 to 1.5 million meters per year; multi-pass printing would fits your production process. Do you want to print between 4 and 20 million meters per year? Then single-pass printing helps you to reach the desired speed for producing large quantities of textiles.

A second important decision factor is the amount of money you want to invest in a new printing technique. Since single-pass printing requires a substantial investment.

The last decision factor is flexibility. Do your customers require you to be very flexible in the type of fabrics to be printed? If the customer wants to change the fabrics then, multi-pass printing can be a suitable technique for you. Single-pass printing, on the other hand, enables you to print large quantities of a virtually unlimited amount of designs on a limited amount of different fabrics.


While investing on technology like digital printing for printing high volumes of printed fabric is still easy it is always better to calculate the operating cost/running cost of the machine before taking the final step. This is important as once you buy the machine there is no turning back. So it is rather important to calculate ROI on the basis of your print run, demand and other variables like electricity consumption, ink cost, operator cost, maintenance cost(after 1 year), installation, importing and buying cost, selling cost of fabric, wastages, consumption of water, loan interest and on the basis of that you can calculate the per square meter cost of printed fabric. This way you be able to analyse in how many months you will get ROI and reach breakeven or profitability in business. The calculations are more important if you are going in for big investment like single pass machines or high speed machines.

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