The Only Way Out Is Through: How the Textile Print Industry Is Moving Forward

Introducing Johnny Shell, Keypoint Intelligence’s new Director of Functional & Industrial Printing



Johnny Shell



I’m sure you’ll agree that, as the global economy struggles to emerge from a nearly two-year lockdown, standing still as the engines rev back up just isn’t an option. In my new role as Director of Functional & Industrial Printing for Keypoint Intelligence, my efforts focus on digital textile printing technologies—industry segments that are no doubt moving forward. I’ve spent much of my professional career working within the textile printing segments and have witnessed all the tremendous advancements and technological developments that have occurred. Having my finger on the pulse has allowed me to observe the complimentary advantages and competitive disruptions that digital printing has brought to the textile industry as well as the challenges that were faced.


Yet even with all those challenges, the textile printing industry has continued to move forward by moving through each of those challenges (e.g., white ink, pre-treatment/fixation, printing numerous fiber types, faster print speeds, expanded color gamuts, and software).


The growth in digital textile printing has been fueled by growth in e-commerce sales as well as technology developments aimed at improving print speeds and workflow efficiency. Brands are seeking ways to create products that speak to consumers as individuals, and they are using digital printing to customize and tailor a seemingly endless variety of products to create that connection.


Let’s face facts, the global textile market is well over one trillion in USD revenues; it’s one of the largest global markets that encompasses decorated apparel, home décor, soft signage, displays, and industrial applications like automotive upholstery. As companies continue to pivot operations in response to increased e-commerce transactions and speed to market, the ability to mass customize products is a perfect fit for digital textile printing.


Let’s not forget the environmental advantages digital textile printing technology brings. Sustainability is a key requirement from today’s consumer, and awareness for a better and greener planet is on the rise. As the textile printing industry shifts to digital printing, the entire industry is moving to reduce its environmental impact—something it hasn’t been all that good at. As the consumer becomes more conscious of their purchasing choices and the true impact that those choices have on the environment, digital printing will continue to move the entire textile industry forward.


With the accelerated growth rate of digital textile printing, moving forward means moving through the challenges of the current economic condition. Digital textile printing has huge growth potential, and I will work to provide top-level research, unparalleled market forecasts, strategic analysis, and sound advice to the clients of Keypoint Intelligence to help them move through the challenging opportunities the new normal will bring. Every journey has twists and turns, and we don’t always know what’s around the next corner. But the fact remains…forward is the only direction we are given, and the only way out is through.


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