[The Note] What determines your digital printing on fabric cost?

What determines your digital printing on fabric cost? Many printing companies wonder why a digital printer is significantly more expensive than a rotary printing machine. In this blog, I explain which components determine the price of a digital textile printing machine and how your company can benefit from this innovative printing equipment.

Increasingly more textile printers acknowledge the advantages that digital textile printing has to offer. Increased production speed, higher levels of quality and more flexibility, to only name a few. Nevertheless, a digital textile printing machine asks for quite a large investment.

Schermafbeelding 2018-07-05 om 10.34.57

What determines digital printing on fabric costs?

To offer users a range of advantages, digital textile printing machines are filled with innovative technology and components. These components mainly drive the digital printing on fabric cost. Below, I explain what these components are and in what way they contribute to the price of the machine:

  • Print heads
    To generate a lot of speed and to produce high-quality designs, a digital fabric printing machine uses a range of print heads to precisely jet ink onto the fabric. The hundreds of tiny nozzles in each print head make sure that the ink is jetted onto the fabric in really small droplets, resulting in an astonishing print resolution. Since print heads are expensive components, the more print heads that are incorporated in the printer, the higher your digital printing on fabric cost will be. In a rotary printer, you do not have these printheads, as basically these are the screens and these are not part of the rotary printer costs.

Learn how to create new business models through digital textile printing in  the Strategic Guide.

  • Ink technology and electronics
    For these print heads to function well, they have to be driven by the right ink supply technology and electronics. The ink supply technology and electronics ensure that these print heads produce the right resolution, that small droplets of ink are jetted onto the fabric as precisely as possible, and that the right amount and quality of ink is used to create a vibrant and intense design. The use of A-brand components for both the ink supply system and the electronics explains why digital printing on fabric costs are higher than those of a rotary printer.
  • Single- or multi-pass printing
    The digital printing on fabric cost of the machine will vary depending on the digital printing technique you choose. In a multi-pass digital printing on fabric machine, the print heads move from left to right over the substrate and therefore only a few print heads are needed to get the desired outcome. Nevertheless, the cost of the print heads for a multi-pass machine can be up to 50.000 euros.

    If you want more speed and choose a digital scanning machine because of that, more print heads are needed. A PIKE digital textile printer, for instance, uses up to 258 print heads to deliver amazing quality at unrivaled speeds. However, a large amount of print heads means the hardware costs increase largely. The digital textile printing technique you choose therefore has an important influence on the digital printing on fabric cost you have to pay.

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-17 om 14.41.21

Investing in a digital fabric printer: is it the right decision for your company?

Investing in a digital textile printing machine brings you a number of advantages that can help you get ahead of the competition. It offers you the highest printing resolution and the fastest production speeds of all printing machines currently available on the market. On top of that, with a digital printing machine, you don’t have to switch screens which means you can print non-stop.

Since a digital printer enables you to print more meters an hour, you can significantly bring down the cost per meter. To decide if investing in a digital fabric printing machine is a good decision for your company, determine how many meters of fabric you would be able to print on the machine, how high the digital printing on fabric cost per meter would be, and how you could sell the added value to your customers. Learn more about the costs and the earnings of digital textile printing in this blog.

The three core investment reasons of digital textile printing

Do you feel like a digital fabric printing machine could be of value for your company? First, you want to find out exactly how this transition could help you grow your business and get ahead of the competition.

Knowing which core advantages of digital fabric printing helped other textile printers to address new business units and assure a profitable future for their company will help you to make that decision. In an independent study of the textiles market, Gherzi, therefore, identified and analyzed the three main investment reasons for digital textile printing.

Find out what they are and if they could be of value to your company by downloading the Gherzi white paper:

New call-to-action


let's get in touch
Meeting situation_DSC04703-Edit_059

Let's talk about your challenge.

Do you have any other questions about your printing process or challenges you face?

Our experts would be happy to help!

Speak with a specialist