The global dye sublimation market is expected to register a CAGR of 16.8% during the forecast period. Dye-sublimation printing is being increasingly adopted due to its high-quality photographic results. This process utilizes thermal transfer to shift different amounts of colored dye pigments from a carrier film to the PVC printing surface, to which the dyes bond chemically.
- Dye-sublimation printing is quickly gaining traction among promotional product printers due to its diverse application on many products. This printing applies to fabric and rigid materials. Companies are also adopting this type of printing for banners and ceramic tiles. It yields permanent color embedded in the substrate or cloth rather than printed on the surface. Dye-sublimated fabric does not fade or crack even after washing several times, and images do-not chip, peel, or scratch.
- In recent years, the demand for dye-sublimation printers has observed significant growth; printer vendors have begun producing high-speed, high-volume systems for industrial facilities-the revelations in design, better printheads, and other components further augment the demand. The new printheads offer faster print speed and an automatic circulation system, thus, reducing printhead nozzle clog, which is one of the common reasons behind the downtime.
- The garment industry commands a significant market share with the increasing vendor propensity toward adopting dye-sublimation printing solutions. Some critical factors for adopting digital printing include greater design flexibility than screen printing. Many designers, such as Mary Katrantzou and Alexander McQueen, prefer digital printing for small prints because it is cost-efficient.
- Furthermore, several emerging players and start-ups can be identified to gain significant funding, which is further supporting the growth of the studied market. For instance, in January 2022, HugePOD, a company offering print-on-demand apparel design and manufacturing, announced a significant funding milestone, raising USD 40 million in a Series B round. The company uses dye-sublimation printing on apparel.
- However, factors such as the slow pace of operation of dye sublimation printers as compared to the inkjet printers and the higher number of steps involved in dye sublimation, causing the price to be a bit higher than other processes, are challenging the growth of the studied market.
- With the global outbreak of COVID-19, the global textile industry is facing the brunt of a worldwide market slump. The demand for textiles has reached a standstill as the major markets are under lockdown globally. Businesses, such as apparel stores and malls, were ordered to shut down, and it is expected that they may not be opened at total capacity until widespread vaccination is complete. However, The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the growth of the e-commerce industry, with online purchases increasing, driving the demand for fashion and clothing. Moreover, the increasing demand for new trends and comfortable, decorative apparel and reduction in travel restrictions is expected to drive the industry's growth during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Household Segment is Expected to Drive the Market
- The scope of the applications of dye-sublimation covered under the study includes curtains, carpets, wall coverings, upholstery, etc., used for household purposes. Residential constructions account for a substantial market share in this segmental market and are expected to drive significant growth for the market studied during the forecast period.
- Various factors driving the demand for the applications mentioned include the rapid rise in urbanization and increased disposable income. This has been responsible for a historic transformation of human social roots by predominantly replacing the rural culture on a global scale. According to MasterCard, the year-on-year growth (2021 on 2020 change) in apparel sales in the United States was about 47.3% in November 2021. Such trends are expected to contribute to the growth of the studied market in the household segment.
- Furthermore, the increasing penetration of the e-commerce industry is expected to drive the market's growth as it plays a dominant role in communication between companies and consumers. The platform helps customers provide up-to-date information about the business and its products.
- Considering the growing demand, several vendors are expanding their portfolio to include new printers and printing solutions. For instance, in April 2022, Epson, a leading provider of dye sublimation printers, expanded its 76-inch, industrial-grade textile printer range to include the SC-F10000H.
- Moreover, dye-sublimation printing, such as curtain manufacturing, is preferred in household textiles. Printers used for these are expected to witness increased demand owing to the usage of printed fabrics in the home textiles segment. The need for such materials is expanding globally.
- However, the demand for wall covering products has steadily declined over the last few years. This is primarily attributed to the difficulty involved in removing an existing wallpaper. This tedious task requires the right tools, such as stripping tools and chemicals. However, such an act could damage the integrity and appeal of the wall.
Asia-Pacific Region to Witness Highest Growth
- The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing robust growth in the dye sublimation printing market due to its growing textile industry. Factors such as shortening lifespan and faster adaptability of fashion designs, development of new technologies, and growth of the e-commerce industry further aid the market growth.
- According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, in December 2021, China produced approximately 3.92 billion meters of clothing fabric. The monthly textile production volume was consistently above three billion meters since late 2020.
- According to the IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation), the Indian textile sector is one of the oldest industries in the economy and is expected to reach USD 209 billion by 2029. The trend of digital printing is catching up in the region, as customers are looking for short runs and faster turnaround times. Increasing demand from various end-user customers, such as textiles, may further improve the power of digital printing to provide innovative results.
- Dye-sublimation printing gained attention in India after the campaign that IPL started in the past decade when Epson first offered IPL t-shirts through its Surecolor SC-F6070 and SC-F 7070 (dye sublimation printers). With more such events gaining popularity, the studied market is expected to receive further growth opportunities during the forecast period.
- Various companies are focusing on developing sustainable advanced printers to cater to the increasing demand in the region. For instance, in August 2021, ColorJet India Launched SubliXpress Plus For Dye-Sublimation Printing for the textile printing front. It features eight staggered Kyocera printheads that can print variable drop sizes of 5, 7, and 12pL as demanded to produce exceptionally sharp lines and create smooth gradients in color tones. It is a high-volume printer and features zero water-consuming printing technology suitable for fabrics made with recycled polyester-knit and woven materials.
The dye sublimation printing market is moving toward a fragmented market as market leaders are banking on diverse product portfolios and product development to gain an edge. The number of local players is also increasing, creating an intense rivalry in the market. Key players are SEIKO EPSON Corporation, Roland DGA Corporation, Sawgrass Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, etc.
- May 2022 - Epson launched its first-ever A4 dye sublimation printer, the SureColor F-130, a compact digital textile printer developed especially for small businesses. The printer forms part of the company's comprehensive end-to-end printing solution, including Epson's Genuine UltraChrome DS Inks, printer driver, and transfer paper. The newly launched product also supports the Epson Cloud Solution PORT platform so users can track usage and keep tabs on the costs.
- November 2021 - MUTOH America, a provider of wide-format inkjet printers, inks, and cutters and inks, launched its new XpertJet 1642WR Pro dye-sublimation printer. To achieve best-in-class dot placement accuracy at improved production print speeds, this mid-level entry point printer features new extra-wide MUTOH AccuFine dual print heads and is ideal for soft signage, home decor, sports apparel, and fashion applications.
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