Specialty Fabrics Review March 2021 - 49

[ MARKETS ] INDUSTRY IN FOCUS

 PWG created this
artwork using dyesublimation and silicone
edge graphics, with LED
perimeter backlighting.
Photo: PWG.

Opportunities in
fabric graphics
The economic slowdown
affected demand, but hopes
are strong for recovery.

by Jonathan Sweet

T

HE MARKET FOR FABRIC GRAPHICS CONTINUES
to evolve, with new challenges presented by everything
from COVID-19 to the changing workplace. Innovative
companies, though, can find opportunities as they work to position
themselves for the post-pandemic rebound.
There's no question the economic downturn caused by the
pandemic affected almost everyone working in the industry,
says Geoff Kilmer, president of Charlottesville, Va.-based PWG
(PhotoWorksGroup Inc.). The 35-year-old company specializes in
environmental graphics and dye-sublimation fabric graphics.
" The airport industry, which is a strong market for fabric graphics,
is virtually shut down since the pandemic erupted, " he says. " I don't
expect it to be back until the flying public returns to higher levels. "
However, longer-term projects, such as those in the museum
market, have thus far stayed strong, he adds.
From its base in the Netherlands, Printable Industrial Canvas
is seeing similar trends, according to product sales manager
Steven Huisman.
" In the transport sector, projects are short term. We immediately
noticed the dip in this sector caused by the pandemic, " he says.
" On the other hand, we also produce for markets with longer-term
projects, which fortunately have continued. And [we] notice that
clients are also creative themselves and look for new opportunities
to survive during the pandemic. We have had the chance to
contribute to this at some occasions. "
The company prints truck tarpaulins, mostly for the European
transport industry, but its printed textiles are also used worldwide
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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2021

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