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Digital Textile Printing 2022 Event Recap

Sustainability, print-on-demand, and how to work with designers were hot topics of the two-day conference.




The seventh annual Digital Textile Printing conference was co-sponsored by Printing United Alliance and AATCC in Durham, North Carolina, December 7-8. The event included an educational program led by industry experts, as well as networking receptions, lunches, and an exhibitor space to explore new technology and products. “It’s an interesting opportunity to network with people who are doing the same thing as you,” said Dee Dee Davis of Décor Print.

Reducing waste was the unspoken theme of the two-day conference, as digital and on-demand printing provides a greener solution to the global textile pollution issue. “Sustainability is on everyone’s minds,” said Kathryn Sanders of Western Sensibility. “We all want to be better. So, what can we do as an industry?”

If you missed the event, read below for standout tips from the expert speakers. 

Business Growth – Victor Pena – OmniPrint International

  • Baby boomers are leaving the industry and their kids don’t want to take over the business. Consider what this means for you.
  • Focus on your mission statement, core set of values, and an attractive opportunity to make money when hiring and retaining employees.
  • Print-on-demand is the future: sell it first, then print, then ship.
  • More acquisitions will be happening in 2023. Can you acquire technology and experience to grow your brand?

Textile Industry Update: 2022 and Beyond – Johnny Shell, Keypoint Intelligence 

  • The global textile and garment industry is currently a $3000-trillion market.
  • Textiles are the world’s second-largest polluter behind energy.
  • Forty percent of US apparel products are imported from China, 85 percent of clothing ends up in a landfill or incinerator, and 93 billion cubic meters of water are used annually.
  • The average consumer out of eight billion people globally keeps their clothing for half as long than they did 20 years ago.
  • On-demand manufacturing and developing a product with the end of life in mind are solutions. There’s an environmental benefit with digital printing.
  • Buy multiple machines for DTG pod manufacturing. Ten DTG machines can print 420 to 480 pieces per hour vs one (65 to 75 pieces).
  • The global ecommerce market will reach $5.5 trillion by the end of this year.

On Demand Direct Print – Steven Amitai, Greentex America 

  • Design, develop, sell, and make is the sustainability solution. 
  • Offshore is always going to be cheaper, but we need to provide value, efficiency, and customization locally 
  • DTF will take over single platen DTG. DTF can print on any fiber. There’s a big growth area in garment decoration and novelties.


Pro Tips:
If you’re not on social media with your business today, you’re missing the boat. The new consumer generation lives and breathes social media. Virtually represent the shirt or fabric on social media, then when the orders come in, you can on-demand manufacture it. – Johnny Shell, Keypoint Intelligence 

Pantone guides are just that: guides. – Jim Raffel, ColorCasters 

The cost of automation is dropping. – Frank Henderson, Henderson Sewing 

Consider LED lighting. It greatly reduces energy consumption, there’s a long service life, and no consumables. – James Summers, JUST Normlicht




Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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