Recently, Imaterial was interviewed by the Federation of European Screen Printers Associations otherwise known as FESPA.
In the interview, we spoke about our textile printing business and how our combined skills and knowledge of both screen printing and digital textile printing has helped our customer Chapman Collection create their designer brand.
We were asked an array of questions about our business and the textile printing industry.
We’ll sum them up for you, but please do head over to read the full interview here.
Tell us about your business, when was it founded and what services do you provide?
Imaterial was founded in 1986 by Remo and Marcia Gorlei. Our services include rotary printing, hand screen printing & digital roll to roll printing. We specialise in seamless pattern printing for the fashion & home decor industries.
How has the Textile market in South Africa evolved over the last 10 years?
Although the textile industry was once one of Cape Town’s biggest employers, it has shrunk over the last few years and it is only a small fraction of what it used to be. Imaterial is last rotary-screen printing factory in South Africa.
How many meters are printed each year across analogue digital and has that volume grown or reduced?
Where digital printing has increased, large rotary-screen printing numbers have dropped.
As a business built on analogue technologies when did you begin the journey towards digital and why?
Our digital printing journey began in 2006 when we purchased our first of two DuPont digital machines.
Do you also use digital for bulk production?
In the early 2000s digital printing technology was not capable of large runs, however, we now have two bulk digital printing machines.
What are the challenges when working remotely and directly with designers and how do you overcome them?
With a vast background in analogue printing and training in digital, our team can assess a client’s needs and advise from the word go.
How important is sustainability within the South African marketplace and are customers becoming more aware of sustainable certification?
Sustainability is extremely important in SA.
Imaterial use water-pigments and natural fabrics. This will keep evolving as customers continue to grow their own eco-friendly textile ranges.
Have you seen a growth in close proximity production during the pandemic and if so, do you think the switch will be permanent?
Fortunately, in Cape Town, there is a huge push to support local. Most of our clients come from close proximity which has enabled us to survive the pandemic.
What’s your vision for the future, do you see an increase in the requirement for digital printing within the South African marketplace and if so, how do you plan to expand?
At Present, our machinery and team are meeting orders with huge success. We are always looking for new ways to improve our service offering and are currently researching some interesting machinery additions.
Looking back on this year, we have learnt many lessons and the real power of determination.
We are grateful to each one of our staff members. Thank you for all of your hard work.
To our valued clients, thank you for your support throughout the year. We are eternally grateful for your service and loyalty.
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