China’s digital printing sector gains ground


By Jens Kastner 14 May 2021

China’s expanding digital textile printing sector has significant growth ahead of it. The country is the largest digital textile printing market globally and increased its output share from 16% in 2019 to 19% in 2020, according to WTiN Digital Textiles.

Chinese textile printing companies are increasingly turning to digital print technologies, responding to toughening environmental protection requirements, labour cost increases and changes in market demand.

Digital inkjet printing equipment often utilises automated management and control processes, reducing labour costs. The resulting acceleration of the digital transformation of the Chinese printing and dyeing industry has intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic in China, especially in the first half of 2020, when most Chinese finishers could not start work as scheduled or had insufficient staff to resume work. According to the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute, in Shenzhen, many companies realised that a skilled worker could operate multiple digital printing equipment at the same time, which was very helpful amid a shortage of personnel during the pandemic.

WTiN Digital Textiles has talked to a range of China’s digital textile printers, who gave first-hand accounts of the situation and their outlook. The interviews were conducted as the Chinese digital printing sector readies for the major ITMA Asia + CITME 2020 exhibition that will run in Shanghai, China, on 12-16 June, 2021. Organised by the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX – Le Comité Européen des Constructeurs de Machines Textiles), it is designed to be a showcase of cutting-edge solutions for textile manufacturers. While it will be staged in real life, rather than virtually, because of Covid-19 restrictions, foreign companies will usually present using local Chinese staff rather than sending staff from overseas.

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