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What You Missed at Digital Textile Printing 2021

Color management, textiles, sustainability, and designing for the future.

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I‘M DELIGHTED TO share my experience at last year’s Digital Textile Printing 2021 conference in Durham, North Carolina, hosted by Printing United Alliance and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). If you’re in the digital printing industry as a manufacturer or part of the supply chain, this event is a must-attend. The entire digital supply chain attends and they’re representatives speak and explain what’s possible in our industry. The program is comprised of printer and equipment manufacturers, textile fabrics producers, dye and chemical suppliers, the profiling and color management group, and everyone else that makes up the digital community.

As a manufacturer, there are many great minds at the show to learn from and listen to. Being able to do this in a learning environment without someone trying to sell you something is very valuable. This year’s program included everything from new digital printing machines, to digitally printed textiles, and new digital coatings and finishing. I loved hearing from designers and manufacturers that produce our digital apparel, home decor products, and signage.

The panel discussions were my favorite part of the conference because of how interactive the panelists were. I especially enjoyed the color management session with Bruce Ridge, Roy Bohnen, Dan Gillespie, and Jim Raffel. Because color management is always changing due to new equipment, it was great to learn from a panel of true color experts. The Digital Textile Printing Advisory Committee panel discussed designing for the future. I liked hearing from the young designers and getting their take on digital textiles. Gart Davis, a co-founder Spoonflower, led a talk titled “Digital Fashion: Bridging Creativity, Technology, and Sustainability.” It was so cool and from the heart. It really made you think.

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It’s been a real challenge as COVID is still here, but all precautions were done to keep us safe. I know we would have had an even more robust conference if it weren’t for the virus, but I was so happy to see and talk to my colleagues in-person after almost two years. As always, I came away with new knowledge I learned from the event. The panel discussions are always so full of great topics, and this year was no exception with panels on color management, textiles, sustainability, and designing for the future.

I hope to be with you all this December in Durham, North Carolina. Digital printing is changing every day, and new ways of digital printing can change the way things are being done. There are sustainable options that can change our carbon footprints, and we should always know the latest technology. Digital printing will help stop the climate problem we are all faced with, and I’m proud to be part of the solution to change things digitally.

Photo credit: Devin Steele, eTextileCommunications.com

President of Digital Bias Consulting.

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