An estimated 384 million square meters of fabric were printed digitally via dye sublimation in the year to the first quarter of 2016, having grown by just under 18.4 per cent in the past year 2015-16. This is set to rise to 892 million square meters in 2021. This was revealed by a study ‘The Future of Dye-Sublimation Printing to 2021’.
The four major end-use segments are garments, household (carpets, wall coverings and upholstery), technical and visual communications (displays and signage) and technical textiles. This last category includes automotive (seats, seat belts, seat head lining, panels, sound absorption), bags, medical and scientific textiles, sails, tents, parasols or umbrellas, accessories and sports equipment.
The garment segment is the largest end use sector, with 75 per cent of the market share by value in 2016. The other segments each take a five to ten per cent of the market. Globally digital textile printing output grew at more than 45 per cent annually between 2004 and 2009. From 2009 growth slowed somewhat because of the global economic slowdown.
At a compound annual growth rate of 18.4 per cent, dye sublimation is a fast growing market that is expected to more than double in terms of volume printed and value in the near future.