<img alt="" src="https://secure.insightful-enterprise-intelligence.com/784283.png" style="display:none;">
Johnny Shell

A Closer Look at Single-Pass Textile Printing

The latest findings from Keypoint Intelligence’s Market Insights

Sep 21, 2023 8:53:24 AM


Sign up for The Key Point of View, our weekly newsletter of blogs and podcasts!


The first single-pass digital inkjet printer specifically designed to print textile fabrics came to market in 2012. The MS Lario, launched by MS Printing Solutions SRL (now owned by Dover Corporation), set the stage for a new era of textile printing technology. Running at previously unparalleled speeds for high-volume textile production, the Lario changed the paradigm of digital textile printing forever. It challenged the dominance of rotary screen printing by reaching productions speeds never achieved by any digital inkjet textile printer. This ground-breaking development was followed by single-pass printers from other major digital printer manufacturers like Konica Minolta (Nassenger SP-1), SPGPrints (PIKE), and EFI Reggiani (Bolt).


A little over a decade has passed since single-pass inkjet came onto the textile scene, so we recently conducted some research to get a better understanding on where the technology stands, what will the next iteration of single-pass printers look like, and what the future holds for this technology. Our upcoming market insight report will include present-day industry challenges and trends that are rapidly changing the market landscape. It will also examine issues such as waste and pollution generated by traditional manufacturing processes, supply chain instability, as well as providing an overview of traditional analog printing techniques and new digital printing technologies. We included an in-depth review of leading single-pass textile printer models and provide analysis of the disconnect between the high-volumes of printed textiles and the reluctance by printers to adopt single-pass devices, and end user perspectives on the reluctant adoption and what is needed to move to the next phase of single-pass printers.


The textile printing market continues to see rapid growth and rising consumer demand for larger volumes of customized clothing that is pushing the textile industry to rethink its supply chain and manufacturing methods. Online retail has placed customization of apparel and textile fabrics in the hands of the individual consumer. Based on our 2021-2026 Worldwide Digital Textile Forecast, we project the annual volume of digitally printed textiles will be over 8 billion sqm by 2027 with a projected retail value of nearly $48.5B—so it’s clear that volume is coming, yet single-pass textile printing has not gained penetration as was first hoped.



Despite the many attractive single-pass textile printers offered by vendors, adoption has been slow. We wanted to explore this further with some of the leading OEMs in the single-pass space who conveyed some opinions as to why this is the case:

  • Learning Curve: Operating and optimizing a single-pass inkjet printer may require a learning curve for operators due to its advanced technology and settings.
  • Color Gamut: While these machines provide excellent color reproduction, some multi-pass inkjet systems may offer a broader color gamut due to multiple passes.
  • Maintenance: Proper maintenance and periodic printhead cleaning are crucial for optimal performance, as with any digital inkjet printer.
  • Operating Conditions: It is imperative that the operating environment be kept within the manufacturer’s recommended temperature and relative humidity ranges.
  • Operator Monitoring & Interaction: Given the speed and volume of printed textiles that can be produced, constant monitoring of print results and machine performance is required. If a problem arises, the printer should be stopped before excessive fabric yardage is wasted.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

The day for single-pass textile printing may have yet to arrive. As printer simplicity improves, automated monitoring and self-correction technologies advance, inks progress, and the printer’s footprint becomes smaller, the merger with the increasing demand for sustainable, on-demand textiles and clothing might synchronize perfectly with single-pass technologies. We are already seeing new single-pass printers being announced that appear to improve upon the complexity and automated features while maintaining speeds. Only time will tell where single-pass devices will fall in the spectrum of digital textile printers as scanning head printers continue to improve print speeds at a less expensive price point.


Log in to the InfoCenter to view research on digital textiles, sustainability, and single-pass technology in addition to market forecasts, show recaps, and market updates from our Textile & Apparel Printing Advisory Service. If you’re not a subscriber, contact us for more info by clicking here.