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The evolution of the direct-to-garment (DTG) inkjet market over the last 20 years has progressed from being a questionable technology when it was first introduced to a direct competitor with screen printing in terms of speed and print durability. In our recent 2022-2027 Global DTG Forecast, we report the major metrics associated with DTG printing, including unit placements, average installed base, equipment revenue, print volume, ink volume, and ink value.
The forecast has been established by gathering placement information from key vendors, analyzing the machine capabilities used in commercial and industrial environments, as well as examining trends in the marketplace. Our team of expert data engineers and analysts continuously monitor trends and developments in the decorated apparel market to deliver accurate analysis and opinion on the direction the decorated apparel market is moving.
An estimated 11,318 placements occurred in 2022, which includes DTG devices and laser transfer (EP) printers. The industrial mid-level and industrial high-level segments show an average CAGR of nearly 4% through 2027. The impact of direct-to-film (DTF) on commercial entry-level DTG, commercial entry-level EP, and (to some extent) commercial DTG placements has caused tremendous disruption to the low-end DTG segments. We estimate a CAGR of -8.1% for placements of commercial entry-level DTG devices through 2027.
The worldwide volume of digitally printed garments (DTG/EP) reached 1.2 billion pieces in 2022, which was a 26% increase over the previous year. Industrial high-level DTG printers are estimated to have produced over 750,000 units in 2022, which is 64% of the total volume that is reported in this forecast. We expect that, by 2027, the industrial high-level DTG segment will hold over 80% of DTG print volume.
|2022 vs. 2027 print volume of digitally printed garments by DTG segment
Source: Keypoint Intelligence 2022-2027 Global DTG Forecast
Retail value is another indicator of market trends and represents the price paid by customers to the apparel decorator. Our 2022-2027 Global DTG Forecast estimates the retail value of all DTG printed garments will be nearly $15B by 2027, and industrial high-level DTG printers will hold nearly 75% of market retail value that same year with a double-digit CAGR.
See the Picture Yet?
In the few points presented above, one could conclude that the industrial DTG segments are positioned to heavily compete with screen printing in the coming years at a pace we’ve never seen before. Industrial DTG printer segments are expected to have growth through 2027, and we will continue to see advancements of DTG printers in the industrial segments that are completely in-line systems that are lightning fast and nearly fully automated. On top of that, we expect to see the average installed base of industrial segment DTG devices grow as volumes move from the commercial DTG segments, which will require a prolonged hardware retirement for these devices.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
When DTG first appeared on the market over 20 years ago, the technology was immature, unreliable, and costly. There were many doubters who said it would never take off. Today, the picture is quite different and DTG has proven to be a valuable tool for apparel decorators.
Our 2022-2027 Global DTG Forecast contains a wealth of data that goes far beyond the few data points and observations that were presented here. Subscribers to our Textile and Apparel Printing Advisory Service are invited to view the pivot table that houses all the data that can be easily sorted in a variety of configurations, as well as a PDF slide deck that includes over 30 charts for all metrics presented by technology, DTG segment, and global region.