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Part 2: Digital printing and home textiles: Quality not speed

New inks are playing a key role for the future of digital printing for home textiles.

New inks are playing a key role for the future of digital printing for home textiles.

The majority of growth in digital printing is taking place in the areas of banners and flags as well as in the clothing sector where ever shorter fashion cycles battle with ever higher quality requirements, shorter production times and greater environmental awareness. But what about home textiles? >>>

Part 1: Digital textile printing: Quality for the masses

Full of colours and details: Digital printing for textiles makes it possible

Full of colours and details: Digital printing for textiles makes it possible

From carpets to clothing, from home textiles to banners: many modern designs would simply be impossible to realise without sophisticated textile printing techniques. Although rotary screen printing and flat screen printing have long been the dominant technologies in the market for printed textiles, there is a quiet but ever louder voice calling for a sustainable, high-quality alternative suitable for large format textiles: digital textile printing. Yet many companies are still unwilling to invest substantial sums in the installation of new digital printing machines – a mistake. After all, as became apparent at the latest Heimtextil trade fair and the parallel Digital Textile Conference, this new technology also offers previously unimagined opportunities for manufacturers of home textiles. Here is an overview. >>>

‘Green’ fabrics for commercial premises

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The new ‘Book of Green Ideas’. Photo: Trevira GmbH

Sustainability – especially ecologically valuable textiles and their production – was once again a major subject of discussion at this year’s Heimtextil. Because this was evident beforehand, Messe Frankfurt produced a new edition of the ‘Green Directory’ listing around 130 ecologically-oriented exhibitors of home and household textiles. One of them was fibre and yarn manufacturer Trevira, a pioneer in the field of sustainable textiles. >>>

On the ideas-highways through Finland

Studio Kelkka in the Trend Forum of Heimtextil 2014

Studio Kelkka in the Trend Forum of Heimtextil 2014

When asked how she finds inspiration for more and more new designs, Pinja Laine of Studio Kelkka laughs and says: “Honestly – that is very easy. As designers, we get our inspiration from everyday life, from nature, when we’re travelling, from art, from other people, from good conversation – sometimes even from a TV series or a film. The ideas flow as if on some great highway, then we turn off onto a narrower road with them and, when you’ve travelled with them a while, things go quiet and you find you’ve arrived.” Some ideas grow into major concepts and find their way onto the market whilst others don’t get further than the drawing board, or just remain as a thought. >>>

Nielsen Study: Consumers reward companies’ social commitment

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Nielsen study: The willingness of consumers to spend their money with companies who are socially committed has risen.

Social commitment is increasingly valued by consumers. Such is the conclusion reached by the Nielsen study “Consumers Who Care”. From a global perspective, consumers in India are more willing to support companies who demonstrate social commitment by buying their products than their European counterparts. All in all, the willingness of consumers to spend their money with companies who are socially committed has risen by five percent since the 2011 poll. >>>

Science can be so beautiful

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The project “Faber Futures: The Rhizosphere Pigment Lab” was presented in the Trend Forum at Heimtextil

The dyeing and colouring of materials poses one of the biggest problems in the textile industry. Poisonous dyes, which are harmful both to humans and to the environment, and enormous water consumption during the dyeing process constitute the greatest challenges. But what could an alternative to traditional methods look like? With her project “Faber Futures: Rhizosphere Pigment Lab”, Natsai Chieza is looking at problems in the textile industry with regard to the dyeing of materials. She is using biotechnology to develop dyes using bacteria on plant roots, which are then used to colour and print on textiles – with fabulously beautiful results. >>>

Living greener: New sustainable products at Heimtextil

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Max Gilgenmann talking with exhibitors during the ‘Green Tour’.

The first ‘Green Tour’ at Heimtextil provided insight into the way in which exhibitors are implementing the notion of sustainability in all product segments. Various concepts, ranging from qualities and properties of materials to social acceptability were introduced. The guided tour on the first day of the show highlighted the market-ready, sustainable new products from some of the exhibitors. Oversight and conduct of the tour has been the work of Max Gilgenmann of Consulting Service International, who is also the sustainability expert responsible for the certification of exhibitors for the Green Directory. >>>