Israeli company Digital Kornit (NasdaqGS: KRNT) is poised to become a leader in digital fashion, digital textiles, and on-demand apparel production and printing. The company has already acquired 3D printing startup Voxel8 and demonstrated a 3D printing process for clothing. Now Kornit has purchased Tesoma, a German textile drying and hardening machinery company. The company has industrial continuous dryers for UV inks, compact dryers for fabrics, as well as all kinds of dryers and ovens for non-textile products.
“Kornit writes the operating system for sustainable fashion on demand,” said Ronen Samuel, CEO of Kornit Digital. “Digitalization of the production floor is a key pillar of our strategy and the acquisition of Tesoma will allow us to continue accelerating our mission to transform this industry, with innovative and sustainable on-demand textile production solutions, never before seen. .” We’ve worked with Tesoma’s phenomenal engineering team on groundbreaking product innovations and unique integration concepts, and I’m very excited about our immediate and longer-term roadmap plans.
“We are thrilled to join the Kornit team and be an integral part of their journey to transform the fashion and textile industry,” said Andreas Irmscher, Head of Design Engineering at Tesoma. “As partners, we have worked closely with Kornit on innovative next-generation solutions and we are excited to join forces, as one team, and accelerate Kornit’s mission. to elevate the industry standard, with smart user features and Industry 4.0 connectivity. integrated that produces a superior, brilliant print every time.
This further expands Kornit Digital’s product portfolio and brings them closer to a one-stop-shop for all things textile. The company could develop smaller-scale dryers that could easily be sold to its installed base, especially if they could be used for UV prints and inks. This could expand the functionality of textile processors to larger appliqués or could enable the production of highly detailed stickers or prints for iPhone cases and the like. Industrial drying equipment doesn’t seem like the most obvious first choice for Kornit, but it could very well expand its product portfolio while providing it with exciting product cross-selling opportunities.
As we focus on polymers and metals, a similar digitization revolution is underway in textiles. Simultaneously, stickers and prints are more replacing manual screen printing processes. Print-on-demand equipment allows businesses and stores to be more versatile. Digital knitting allows for rounder and more fitted shapes, made on demand and made to measure. Overall, digital weaving and knitting machines make new shapes possible.
Textile companies going digital could be more responsive, proactive and versatile. A volatile market could be approached with a greater level of granularity by using shorter and more precise series. Indeed, Zara’s parent company, Inditex, has already done just that by going from idea to store in eight days, then quickly restocking when the products are successful. Zara achieves this by managing its own supply chain and manufacturing close to its distribution centers. Without that same type of investment, digital fashion could also make a clothing manufacturer versatile.
Just imagine importing 10 sets of different color t-shirts from Vietnam, but storing them in Germany. Put hundreds of different prints online, but only print on the garment once the customer has ordered it. This digital process would combine low cost handmade production with last minute digital printing. This would mean that you would have less fashion risk and you could update your designs that day with your latest ideas. This type of development is very close to what we do in 3D printing. At the same time, we can see that we and the digital textile world are going to collide at some point.
Everlane, all the birds and others brought woven uppers to market which created a much broader design language for shoes. Woven or knitted wool uppers also provide plenty of comfort and are inexpensive. Meanwhile, we can be used to 3D print insoles and midsoles to the exact size of the wearer. If we could pair custom woven uppers with variable-density 3D printed insoles, you’d have a truly unique shoe that was completely customized to the wearer. While I’m an admitted skeptic of 3D printing shoes, it’s a future we can all support.