• Home décor: one of the new opportunities in digital textile print
    Home décor: one of the new opportunities in digital textile print
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Research agency Smithers Pira says there are four major trends that are helping to grow the décor print market.

The decorative print market is growing as consumers look to enhance the aesthetics of their homes and businesses.

Decorative printing volume was almost 13.1 billion square metres in 2018, with a value of more than $26bn (US$18.9bn). New Smithers Pira research - The Future of Decorative Printing to 2023 – forecasts the market to grow five per cent annually from 2018 to 2023. This covers a range of new and traditional processes and materials. Smithers analysis segments the market for:

  • Wallpaper
  • Flooring laminates
  • Furniture, panel laminates
  • Wallcovering laminates
  • Direct printing of objects, like panels, doors and sundry objects including glass screens and switches, knobs, buttons and dials.

Inkjet is the fastest growing process, increasing from 4.1 per cent of the print value in 2013 to 13.8 per cent by 2023, trebling its value.

The four main trends driving this growth are:

  1. The encouragement to keep up with the latest fashion trends
  2. In hospitality – the impetus to create an immersive experience for the brand
  3. The increase in new homes being built
  4. Competition with traditional natural materials, like wood flooring

Fashion

The choice of materials used to decorate living spaces is largely a matter of personal taste, and the industry encourages regular updating to counteract wear and tear or in accordance with changing design and household trends. Furniture replacement and upgrading underpins demand, with less regular upgrades and refurbishment of kitchens and bathrooms creating demand. This is critical for large public buildings in hospitality, where hotels, restaurants, bars and shops will redecorate to appeal to consumers.

The ever increasing exposure to luxury homes and workspaces showcased via TV makeover programmes or celebrity photoshoots, demonstrates the latest trends in décor. Retailers will introduce new ranges and interior designers pronounce the colours, materials and styles that are en vogue. Consumers follow these sources and this drives adoption of wallcoverings, flooring and furniture, leading to demand for decorative print.

Hospitality

Decorative printing is becoming an increasingly important tool in the development of a brand. Particular businesses that capitalising on this are coffee shops, cafes, bars, pubs, hotels, entertainment venues, transport hubs.The sign on the door is no longer enough - there are recognised colour schemes and now flooring, table tops, chairs and wallcoverings may be printed to follow the corporate brand. Visual prompts help create an immersive experience for the brand and hopefully generate consumer approval and goodwill along with a pleasant, coordinated environment.

Urban homes

A key driver for décor print is the increase in homes, which is driving demand for new and replacement wallpaper, fixtures, fittings and furniture. More homes results in more people making choices and potentially redecorating.As personal incomes rise in developing areas, individuals will be able to dedicate more money to purchasing furniture. Increasing urban population is affecting the home décor market.

Due to growing urban populations, living spaces are becoming smaller and more expensive. Even though more and more buildings are being constructed, people will have to continuously take into consideration how interior design can work and look in the smallest of spaces.

Homeowners will find ways to optimise their property through smart divisions and space-saving furniture, boosting demand for decorative printing.

Natural vs printed

The cost and availability of raw materials play a vital role in the home décor market. At the premium end of the market, it is fashionable to use stone slabs for kitchen work surfaces. The premium segment lost volume from 2008 to 2012 due to the economic downturn, losing share to decorative paper and laminates which have grown strongly.

Solid wood is also widely used: in some markets it is a traditional and low-cost material. In some markets oak is widely available and medium priced; in others oak is rare and premium priced. For most applications in the home, solid natural wood is widely regarded as the highest quality choice, regardless of the price category involved.

By 2020 it is forecast that the cost of raw materials such as plastic and glass would decrease, owing to advancements in production technology of these raw materials. This creates a market opportunity for printed laminate alternatives, especially on digital systems which are increasingly better able to recreate the complexity and variability – for example a natural looking wood grain – seen in natural materials. For the home decoration market printed laminates offer several advantages, besides reduced raw material costs, including lower weight, and being easier to clean.

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