FESPA Global Summit 2021 Review: Interior Décor Series

by FESPA | 08/03/2021
FESPA Global Summit 2021 Review: Interior Décor Series

Debbie McKeegan discusses the current trends, market analysis and case studies in Interior Décor Printing that were covered during FESPA’s Global Summit 2021. Industry experts from EFI and ATA Designs discuss the creative applications, commercial opportunities, the application of digital technology, décor market analysis, industry trends and more.

The Interior Décor sector offers a marketplace primed for digital disruption. As a sector valued at $737.20 billion (retail) it offers infinite opportunity for new entrepreneurial business and convergence. As a market, its legacy production is based on stock – but the marketplace has changed. Trade clients and retail consumers demand personalized, customized products. These market shifts and the application of digital technologies offer a new chapter for the Industry.
To explore we brought together three industry experts from across the sectors in partnership with digital technology provider EFI (more from Tomer Ohavi of EFI later). Presenting two case Studies are Ross Haxton of Glimmer and Annette Taylor Anderson of ATA Designs, each of these presentations will be published independently. The session was hosted by Debbie McKeegan - Fespa Textile Ambassador and in this one hour talk we discussed the creative applications, commercial opportunities, the application of digital technology, décor market analysis, industry trends and more…here is a summary my introduction:
Smithers research forecasts that the decor marketplace is going to grow by approximately 5% annually, moving up towards 2023. But the most important keynote here for you is that inkjet is the fastest growing process increasing by 30.8%. In the next two years, there is huge, huge growth available in this market sector. To give some insight – the sector encompasses: wallcoverings, bathroom textiles, home accessories, flooring, lighting, kitchen and dining, textiles, wood, laminate, tiles, rugs, carpets, drapes, beds, textiles, furniture. The marketplace is diverse and complicated, the opportunities are immense. And the great thing is, is that we now have a digital technology that can literally custom print onto any of those surfaces - no surface is safe from digital disruption - we can print onto almost anything. And as such, that presents the marketplace with incredible opportunities. Textiles and furniture have been the predominantly largest market sectors. In a market worth $700 billion, there is plenty of room for new entrepreneurial activities.

Caption: The Digital Wallcoverings sector was predicted by 2020 to be worth $2.9 billion, and that's just digital printing in the wallpaper market space, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 21.1% - moving out to $7.5 billion in the next four years. Credit: EFI. 

And from the digital textile perspective, last year figures are slightly reduced because of course, we had a global crisis. The pandemic knocked about $250 million off the growth figures, but it will catch up quick. It's currently $2.2 billion, moving to $8.8 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 19.1% (Allied Market Research).
So, what's driving change? We, all want something eclectic, and we all want something very, very fast. Our homes are becoming an extension of our inner selves. Our homes have become aspirational. Consumers want to have the latest highest tech and create customized interiors, personalized to match their own style. Lifestyle branding – domestic and commercial - is an exploding marketplace, whether that is for the retail brands, or for Hospitality brands, all of which enables the consumer to create their own unique look.
Sustainability within the Décor sector is becoming increasingly important. Choosing sustainable technologies, substrates (whether they're textiles or hard surfaces) is a growing requirement and must not be ignored.
Global affluence is also driving change. The growth of the world’s population will soon reach 9 billion and the next factor driving change is urbanization. 55% of the world's population now live-in urban environments, all of these factors are driving growth. But where are most of the sales being made? Asia Pacific where affluence is rising and, of course, the European marketplace, too, which is also where all the waste is created, building mountains of landfill.
As digital technology has evolved over the last five to 10 years, its application and disruptive consequences are beginning to make a green impact within the Interior Industry. Sustainable process, and the use of sustainable technologies is becoming more and more of a driver for the future. And also, as transparency within the supply chain gains prominence - clients are going to ask for environmental certification. “How was this printed?” they're going to ask – “are those inks certified?”. All of these things are becoming incredibly important and need to be part of the recipe of any successful print company.
Moving forward, when considering a move into the décor sector it’s important to study and to achieve commercial product specifications, you have to watch out for lightfastness, wash fastness, wet rub, dry rub, Martindale abrasion. In the UK’s domestic market marketplace, that's 30,000, for contract 90,000 and hard surface abrasion 50,000, it’s important to look into your own specific marketplace, wherever that is across the globe, because these specifications do change.
New disruptive technologies, wow, we have so much coming forward, to look forward to when we can finally get together at the FESPA Global Print Expo 2021 in Amsterdam in October 2021. In wallcoverings, everything's becoming much more textual. EFI - UV printing and the use of gels to build texture offers a myriad of creative opportunities. Latex inks also offer new dimensional print effects to be explored. And you see incredible 3D results with the Dimense wallcovering machines. So, lots and lots and lots of innovations going on stream for wallcoverings, whether that is a low volume, or at high speed, the same for textiles, and the same for hard surfaces. We look forward to watching how the design Industry will push the creative boundaries with all these new technologies in 2021.
Trending in materials, lots and lots of eco textiles coming through, which are of great importance.
And I do encourage you to start sourcing those now and find your key partners whilst also checking their credibility, alongside their certification. Building a strong database now using new circular bases, recycled polyester amongst others, will enable you to offer printed products that are designed to be sustainable. The ability to offer products that are designed for a circular economy is valuable research now for commercial success in the future. Biomaterials - the introduction of new polyesters and new cellulose-based fabrics that actually perform like polyesters are entering the marketplace at great speed as demand grows. Look out for those.
There's so much going on in this fast-paced digital marketplace. We are seeing a massive explosion in micro designer brands (more from ATA Designs on that later) and an accelerated huge rise in ecommerce. Lifestyle branding, supply chain management, and a huge growth as we all know, for print on demand because it's sustainable, and it reduces the need for stock.

Caption: We are seeing incredible innovations in Décor using wide format technologies. And this is where there's this huge crossover from the signage industry.

These machines are printing out to three meters or five meters and are now utilized to print vast stretch ceilings and decorative wraps for residential and commercial buildings. All of these applications are being used more and more in Hospitality and Retail interiors (more on that later from Ross Haxton of Glimma). The list goes on and on and on. The incredible creativity in our sector is now pushing through into the décor market, and in doing so, we can explore new commercial opportunities and offer new products to our clients.

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