Images_Digital_Edition_July_2019 44 images JULY 2019 PRODUCT PROFILE I t all started in the gym. Activewear that had previously been worn solely during workouts and on those early morning jogs started being worn to coffee shops as consumers realised that yoga pants and other gymwear styles were fashionable enough to be worn outside of sports and fitness activities, with the help of a little styling. This adaptation of sportswear for everyday wear, (the athleisure trend), has continued to gain in popularity. Sportswear brands are crossing over into casualwear and fashion, leading to sports apparel becoming much more fashion-sensitive in terms of colours and design. Meanwhile, all the major fashion retailers and brands have been adopting activewear in their collections, introducing apparel products that are increasingly influenced by sports in terms of style, colours, fabrics and comfort. This trend has been particularly ‘sticky’ for numerous reasons: the tastes of the millennial population, the increasing spend per capita on apparel, the In April, Kornit launched the Avalanche Poly Pro system, the first DTG system to be specifically developed for printing onto polyester fabrics. The brand’s product marketing manager for Europe, Sharon Donovich, explains how the need for the new machine evolved and what it brings to the market Industrial DTG printing on polyester continuing influence of social media and micro-influencers, people’s growing inclination towards ‘wellness’ via health and fitness, and an increasing preference for comfortable, easy-to-wear, convenient, stylish and functional clothes. Analogue solutions The most commonly used fabrics in the sportswear and athleisure markets are breathable synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. Knitted fabrics are more popular than Activewear is continuing to increase in popularity woven fabrics; Lycra, elastane and mesh fabrics are also common. Polyester is the second largest category in the overall T-shirt market. It is key in the sports segment, and is growing in athleisure and functional apparel. In 2019, the global polyester T-shirt market was valued at $29 billion, with 2 billion T-shirts being produced. The market is expected to reach revenues of $33 billion by 2025, with 2.5 billion T-shirts being created. The revenue of the global polyester T-shirt market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%. Given the popularity of polyester sports and athleisurewear, an industrial solution to printing on polyester fabrics that offers low prices, speedy delivery, design versatility, personalisation and sustainability is needed to serve this growing market. Until now, polyester has been printed predominantly by analogue solutions, and the main challenge has been to create a high quality print with no design limits on multiple polyester fabric types The new Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro