Itma, the once-every-four-years, super-sized textile and garment technology exhibition takes place in Barcelona this month. Fritz Mayer explains Itma’s appeal to garment decorators

Itma 2019, which begins on 20 June in Barcelona, Spain, has 1,700 exhibitors, including M&R, Roq, Aeoon, Kornit, Mimaki, Epson, ZSK, Transmatic and Monti Antonio. It’s a huge, week-long show featuring the latest developments in the textile and garment industry; the organisers are expecting 120,000 visitors from 147 countries. Fritz Mayer, the president of Cematex, which owns Itma, notes its appeal to garment decorators, saying: “We are pleased that Itma 2019 has attracted many leading names in the digital printing and garment technology sectors compared with the last two editions.

“Compared with Itma 2015, this edition has seen an increase in exhibitors of printing machinery, inks and accessories. Digital printing is now flexible and simple. It also wastes far less energy and water than conventional production. The machines are able to print endless designs in continuous mode. Direct- to-garment printing is also growing in popularity. Hence, apparel manufacturers are able to carry out order-activated production, enabling mass customisation – a trend synonymous with fast fashion.

“For the embroidery sector, computerisation and other technical developments have also resulted in many advancements. At Itma, buyers will be able to experience first-hand the latest embroidery machines, some of which are capable of laying and fixing unusual materials, such as fibres, tubes and sensors on textiles. This has created more exciting products and applications.”

The printing hall is a must-visit for Images readers, he says, where the latest printing machinery, digital printers, auxiliary machinery and accessories will be showcased, as well as digital and screen printing inks. Fritz adds: “What is interesting is that garment decorators can explore an integrated array of technologies under one roof as the printing chapter is staged alongside complementary sectors such as software for design, data monitoring, processing and integrated production for garment and textile processing.”

Garment decorators can see a wide range of technologies under one roof

Around 120,000 visitors are expected at Itma 2019

Innovating the world of textiles

The theme for Itma 2019 is ‘Innovating the world of textiles’. “To support this theme, we have launched the Itma Innovation Lab, a new umbrella branding of a series of activities where participants will be able to explore and share new research developments, discuss new collaborative projects and get insights into future industry trends.

“The Lab includes well-received features from previous editions, such as the Research and Innovation Pavilion, Itma Sustainable Innovation Award and Speakers Platform. We have invited guest speakers to give presentations at the Speakers Platform, enabling greater collaboration among various industry stakeholders, and adding more vibrancy to the exhibition.”

For those who are weighing up the costs of attending Itma and what benefit it might bring their business, Fritz states: “The textile and garment industry is undergoing digital transformation. Textile and garment manufacturers, fashion and sports brands need to adapt to the new reality. Itma 2019 is a good place to start looking for the latest technical solutions to digitalisation. A range of new developments in textile and garment production technology will be unveiled for the first time by leading manufacturers.

“Sustainability is another key driver towards this rapid digitisation. Textile and garment manufacturers are often asked by customers to save valuable time, money and resources by reducing material costs and associated wastage at every point in the production cycle. Again, Itma – which is held every four years – is an excellent platform for manufacturers to stay ahead of the technology curve as a way to futureproof their business.

Itma 2019 is being held at Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain, on 20-26 June 2019. Tickets start at €55 for a one-day pass or €95 for a seven- day pass. See the Itma website for more details.