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Roll-to-roll and direct-to-garment digital printers may help drive the revenues of manufacturers of hardware, media, and ink for those technologies to $6 billion by 2010. This forecast was issued by I.T. Strategies, Hanover, MA. The company also projects that the worldwide retail value of printed output from inkjet-based textile printers will grow to more than $18 billion by 2010.

Sales of hardware, media, and ink accounted for $1.9 billion for manufacturers in the market for digital textile printing during 2005, according to I.T. Revenue growth expected by 2010 marks a compound annual growth rate of 26%. Of the 2005 revenues, I.T. says 90% of the money was generated by roll-to-roll printing. The firm believes that flatbed inkjets for decorating finished garments will account for more than 40% of revenue in 2010.

“The growth of direct-to-garment inkjet printers is based on the fact that there is already an existing market for printing on T-shirts. Lots of consumers already buy T-shirts. These direct-to-garment printers will be purchased by current garment decorators such as screen printers and embroiderers,” says Patti Williams, consulting partner at I.T. Strategies. “However, they are already and will continue to be purchased by companies new to garment decorating such as Internet-based retailers like CaféPress and Zazzle, event printers who will take them to gatherings such as state fairs and sporting events, and photographers who will see an additional income stream by offering their images on garments.”

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