Stitching Together a Digital World

Dan Cantrell, North Central Territory Manager, Zund America, Inc.
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Dan Cantrell, North Central Territory Manager, Zund America, Inc.

Dan Cantrell, North Central Territory Manager, Zund America, Inc.

Textile and Apparel are very interesting topics as of late. Whether it be draperies, pillows, apparel, sport uniforms, life vests, shirts, jackets, or anything else textile-related, the possibilities have become endless in the digital world. Technology has grown by leaps and bounds, become more affordable, and has allowed companies to expand as well as bring jobs back to the United States. The economy continues to grow as unemployment declines, and I am proud to say they are interlinked. Section 179 has also helped with our growth in the last few years, as companies continue to invest in their companies with new and updated technologies. Companies would much rather spend money if there is a tax benefit involved!

The digital textile market has exploded and will continue to explode as we move forward toward a new decade. With digital printing, cutting, and finishing, anything is possible in the current market. As we move forward, companies want less inventory, yet consumers want it now and they want it branded and fitted to meet their needs. As a flatbed digital cutter manufacturer, we have seen double-digit growth on the print side, which has resulted in the same growth on the cutting and finishing side. Many times, multiple cutters are necessary to support one printer due to speed and throughput from the print side, which is great for a company like Zund. Smaller apparel companies are sprouting throughout the United States especially in the sports industry.

  Digital print and cut allows for basically anything to be accomplished  

I have been able to witness some of the most fascinating custom things throughout the different markets. Being involved in youth baseball through my son, I have seen the uniforms change and evolve firsthand. Digital print and cut allows for basically anything to be accomplished. Teams are able to customize their own look and create anything they want for their teams. With dye sublimation and heat transfer, any color combination can be created as well as some awesome graphics and logos.

It is a digital world we live in and it will only continue to grow. Expected growth continues to be double digits well past 2021 which is a good thing for everyone. Another avenue that has taken off lately is the leather side of things. Small leather companies are popping up all over the country with much handwork involved. Wallets, belts, handbags, as well as accessories, have become a focus. As leather grows, the handwork will need to be taken out of the equation in order for these companies to maintain profits.

Great things are on the horizon in the textile and apparel markets. More jobs, better economy, and less waste as these so-called “micro-factories” pop up through the United States. Why carry inventory, when garments and apparel can be created as one-offs just for you, within 24-48 hours. And it is garments that fit you as they should. Form the software side of things, avatars are used to create a custom fit that everyone wants and needs. You order what you need when you need it, and it can be delivered to your doorstep within 48 hours. That is a beautiful thing!

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