(Image courtesy of Texintel.)
(N.B. This article was generated by AI, but edited by a human.)
This article originally appeared on Pixel to Parcel
ITMA 2023, held recently in Milan, showcased an unparalleled metamorphosis for the textile industry. After a hiatus of almost four years, the industry gathered with eyes wide open to discuss, experience, and implement the many innovations that our industry so desperately needs to adopt if we are to move to a regenerative, environmental footing.
The Textile Industry Must Face up to a New Legislative Landscape
Product certification and transparency will inform the consumer and in turn rewire the supply chain.
Driving this digital transformation is the need for systemic change across the supply chain. So much has changed across all tiers of manufacturing: the appetite and the requirement for sustainable sourcing now impacts fiber, materials, chemistry, the product design and manufacturing process, workflow automation, and product fulfillment—and all stakeholders are affected. This key market shift is not to be ignored.
The requirement for sustainable manufacturing processes and the imminent impact of regulation and certification across the industry is accelerating change.
The facts speak for themselves, and very soon manufacturers will have to calculate and report their environmental impact. Those that ignore the benefits of digital textile production will ultimately lose market share because their environmental impact will be too expensive for their clients’ portfolios.
The Environmental Impact of the Textile Industry Is Real—There Is No Dress Rehearsal; The Future Is NOW.
Simplicity was the key word at ITMA 2023, with technology that is autonomous, efficient, environmentally secure, built for purpose, and programmed for intelligent manufacturing. Across the equipment field, the art of digital print has been fine-tuned. Digital no longer attempts to mirror analog because inkjet has replaced analog. With speeds of 100 sq. m/min. now possible, digital is head-to-head with traditional print methods.
Digital inkjet offers a resource-efficient solution, removing water and waste from the system while adding new functionality in an incredibly small footprint. Single-step process is trending, and pigment ink has evolved to become a new hybrid capable of producing stunning print quality and a soft, delicate handle on the finest silks.
Adaptive print is also evolving and made an impact in Milan. Machinery is now available that can jet resin—gold or silver and XDi expandable inks to create beautiful surface effects with the finest details as seen in the beautiful couture garments created by Tatiana Pogrebnyak at ITMA using Kornit Digital XDi Presto technology.
Web 4.0 Is Here to Stay and AI Is Making an Impact
Intelligent automation may seem to have silently edged into our industry; and yet AI has been around for years, unleashing its power on each and every process, singular transaction, or event. AI is now firmly in the public realm, and it’s beginning to make a positive impact on manufacturing machinery for digital textile production.
ITMA showcased many new technical advances for digital textile printing and behind each was AI (to varying degrees), moving to eventually offer the ability to control and measure the entire process of production. It can intelligently and automatically fine tune each jetted ink drop, faulty printhead, and ink formulation to ensure the efficient use of design, materials, and product application, while conserving natural resources and energy usage.
Harnessing and measuring all of these production variables can now be achieved (seamlessly) to generate holistic, accurate, transparent data that will be the new gold standard of printed production, saving resources, energy, and manpower with every ink droplet and every meter of digital textile print.
Collaboration and a Triumph of Creativity and Technology at ITMA 2023
Tatiana Pogrebnyak, is a fashion designer based in Israel, creating unique, bespoke garments for an international VIP client base. In a recent collaboration with Kornit Digital, Tatiana harnessed her creativity and Kornit’s innovative technology to create a ground-breaking fashion collection for ITMA 2023: on-demand couture, luxury garments, and customized apparel beautifully printed using XDi dimensional surface technology onto fine fabrics, then crafted into an exquisite collection of garments. The results speak for themselves.
Tatiana explained her vision:
“I wanted to prove that we can bring together all aspects of regenerative design like upcycling and recycling using dead stock fabrics. I explored Kornit’s XDi technology (which is amazing) and printed onto challenging fabrics like wool and silk using remnants. On-demand printing technology allows me to develop a design and just go and print it—and get amazing results on the spot.
“What really blows my mind is it’s just one machine that can do everything, with no minimum [quantity]. It’s really amazing,” Tatiana concluded.
Tatiana’s recent collaboration with Kornit Digital further endorses the power of collaboration. Her creative curiosity and pragmatic approach combined with Kornit’s innovative technology pushes the boundaries of design and print towards a new landscape: a regenerative, circular manufacturing environment where everybody wins—people and planet.
Great Minds Working Together To Bring About Systemic Change
Milan was swamped by 111,000 visitors spanning many generations, markets, and manufacturing sectors. ITMA’s energy was palpable as was the appetite for material change and innovation.
The digitization of our industry is well underway and is accelerating at an unprecedented pace. While the pandemic challenged the world in so many ways, it also highlighted the negative impact that each and every industry makes on our planet. And in doing so, it united and focused all generations on sustainability and the global collaboration required to achieve monumental change.
ITMA brought the global textile community to one center with one goal: regenerative reform.