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Revolutionizing Swimwear Production: Estilmar’s Sustainable Success with Kornit Presto MAX

Established in 1981, Barcelona-based Grupo Moda Estilmar is a fabric decorator specializing in swimwear, activewear, and intimate apparel. The company develops three women’s swimwear collections per year, working with brands and retailers globally; more than 80% of their products are exported.

Ten years ago, Estilmar started using digital print technologies to produce their swimwear, a segment unique among textiles in that it demands more vivid colors than most apparel. These systems included acid dyeing and sublimation. Feeling the pressure to adopt more sustainable practices that require less water and energy, they looked to Kornit’s single-step, pigment-based capabilities for on-demand fulfillment, which are compatible with a diversity of materials.
“We were amazed by the technology – the fabric preparation and the richness of the color compared to other pigment equipment,” said Sergi Domenech, Owner of Grupo Moda Estilmar. “On swimwear, color is very important. They’re very bright, and the challenges of fastness, especially to light and washing, to chlorine – with Kornit, we’re able to reproduce colors very well.”
In 2018, Estilmar launched its Eco Wave sub-brand, which answered Southern Europe’s ongoing water and energy challenges with a product line that is distinctly sustainable, using recycled yarns, green energy, and waterless printing – made possible, and profitable, by technologies such as Kornit’s Presto system for digital direct-to-fabric decoration.
“Becoming sustainable was an obsession when we started this project, and with textiles being the second-most polluting industry in the world, we need to be as clean as possible,” he said. “Every decision and action we take goes in this direction, and we feel happy – not only with our sales results, but a pride in what we’re going as a company.”
Implementing Kornit’s capabilities also brought considerable speed and efficiency benefits.
“Samples can be printed in the same day,” Sergi said. “You get an idea in the morning, and you can reproduce it within the day. That is a big change versus other technologies that require many steps and machines – just a much longer process.”
Integrating Kornit Presto into Estilmar’s production operations involved top-notch support from Kornit personnel in Dusseldorf and Israel, with ongoing support from Kornit’s partner 3-Print, based locally in Spain. The company upgraded its system to Presto MAX capabilities when the latest-generation developments were made available.
According to Sergi, Kornit Presto MAX being able to deliver neon color effects for his swimwear line – matching the color capabilities of the company’s in-house acid and sublimation decoration while maintaining Kornit’s waterless print versatility advantages – was among the reasons to go all-in on the technology.
“Kornit Presto MAX has helped us move forward many years, and having one machine that can print cotton, viscose, nylon, or polyester with the same printing formula, it’s fantastic,” he said. “Many of our customers are not technical when it comes to printing, but when they see the technology that is disruptive, they really get amazed and see there is a magic behind it. We’re confident this new machine will open more doors, in other fields beyond the swimwear.”
Indeed, he finds many customers now look to have Estilmar’s swimwear designs paired with matching prints on different materials, which is accomplished without considerable setup and adjustment. Thanks to Kornit’s DuoSoft solution, the finished pieces deliver a high-quality hand-feel that ensures the swimwear feels as good as it looks.
“Our plan going forward is to continue investing in making this business as sustainable as possible, to be as vertical as possible in our production plans – and Kornit Presto MAX is a crucial part of it.”

www.kornit.com

 

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