Special Report

On Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12, Kornit hosted a thought-provoking open house event entitled Kornit Discover. P&P editor Melanie Attlesey attended to seek insight into the future of direct to garment printing.


arrived in Düsseldorf not knowing quite what to expect from Kornitʼs open house. The event was described as the chance to discover the future of digital textile printing through a series of talks and product launches and in my opinion it certainly lived up to the prelude. Providing the friendly welcome to the hundreds of visitors that took the time out of their busy working day to attend the open house was marketing director Oliver Luedtke. He hoped that all attendees left inspired with ideas for the future after listening to the speakers that were lined up to talk throughout the day.

Now is the time

First up to talk was Kornitʼs new CEO Ronen Samuel, who has been in the role since August 1, 2018. His talk was called ʻThe time is nowʼ, where he discussed how textile printing is changing and how Kornit is going to be at the forefront of the digital textile printing revolution. “We believe the time is now to turn textile printing digital. Kornit is going to play a huge part in this. We will lead the way in this transformation,” he said.

Ronen suggested that there is currently a perfect storm happening in the world right now and went on to describe four mega trends that are here to stay for the long-term, that will have a major influence on all of us, in particular the digital textile printing market.

The first mega trend is personal experience. The young generation like to be unique and show their own identity. They enjoy the self-expression experience.

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In recent years, brands such as Coca-Cola have understood this and have catered for this trend. This mega trend is here to stay and will only increase in importance. The second is social media; itʼs all around us and cannot be avoided. Ronen estimated that around 86% of women in the world use social media at some point to look for fashion trends. Brands understand the influence that social media has and use celebrities such as the Kardashian family and Cristiano Ronaldo to sell their products. Itʼs this source of instant gratification which is fuelling the rise in short runs and on-demand printing. If the consumer cannot get their order instantly they will go elsewhere, suggested Ronen.

The third trend is a boom in e-commerce and as Ronen said, the textile industry is the fastest growing part of this sector. Shopping online is convenient and can be done anywhere. Shoppers can compare prices and take advantage of virtual and augmented reality during their experience, and then receive their product within 24 hours. As a result of the boom in e-commerce brands have to change the way they operate and reinvent themselves. Ronen used Nike as an example in this situation. Customers can personalise their shoes or T shirts in store or order online and collect in store. This keeps the need for the retail store.

E-commerce is also shortening the fashion cycle. Take high street retailer, Zara, for example. It used to take many months for new styles to reach the shop floor, but because of the need for instant fashion, it now takes only three weeks for

new styles to go from design to shop floor. This means that Zara no longer manufactures in China and has instead brought the factories closer to where the retail stores are situated. “If you are not unique or offer personalisation which is in touch with the customer, then you will soon get left behind,” Ronen said.

The fourth mega trend is sustainability, which the younger generation is very keen on. Digital textile printers should consider this aspect when assessing their business plans. To conclude his talk, Ronen went on to discuss the future of digital textile printing. He explained that at present there are 15 billion decorated garments produced globally on an annual basis, which is expected to grow to 25 billion by 2023. Of this, only 5% are printed digitally, providing huge scope for growth. To prepare for this uptake in digital textile printing, Kornit launched two products during the open house; the Presto and Poly Pro. The Presto is described as being an advanced single- step solution for direct to fabric printing. While the Poly Pro has cracked the enigma that was printing digitally onto 100% polyester fabric. At this point in the day neither machine had been unveiled and Ronen told the audience to prepare to be blown away.

“Kornit is obsessed with customer success. By being successful together we can change the industry. There is a little saying that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. The same can be said for

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