More than 900 million square feet of digitally printed textiles rolled off of 2300 dedicated digital presses in 2005, according to estimates published by research and consultancy firm I.T. Strategies. Of that printed material, I.T. says 75%, a bit less than 700 million square feet, was related to signage. The remaining 25% (233 million square feet) was printed for other applications, such as apparel and interior furnishings.
I.T. Strategies predicts that the quantity of digitally printed textiles will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 19% by 2010 to more than two billion square feet printed on more than 5000 dedicated digital systems. Patti Williams, consulting partner at I.T. Strategies, says, “The market for soft signage has been around for more than seven years and is fairly well understood. Newer and less understood is the market for digitally printed textiles for non-signage applications.”
Wall coverings, upholstery, window treatments, bedding, clothing, bags, tents, and boating and automotive products are some examples of decorated textiles. I.T. expects these and other products to contribute to the overall growth of digitally printed textiles over the next few years and predicts that non-signage applications will grow by 1% to more than 555 million square feet by 2010.
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