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The COLORFUL “idea” was born during a Global Imaging and Graphic Association meeting in Porto, Portugal in spring 2012.

Four of the already significant textile printing members from Germany, Denmark, Holland and Portugal wanted to make an increased investment in faster printers because of what they saw as the rapidly growing European demand for printed  fabric graphics.

So the idea was born then and there to combine investment capital and found a new company.


To maximise its offer the company was formed with specific rules:

1. It had to be in a country with a proven printed textile manufacturing history and a modern outlook on production.

2. It had to be a production only company, no sales department and no clients other than the founding members.

3. Most importantly, the company should be set up to be the leanest facility possible:

  • It had to invest in the worlds best available automatisation
  • Production had to geared to be truly on an industrial scale.
  • Quality management of finished goods should be fully compliant.
  • Easy logistics to the rest of the world, by air, sea and road were a significant objective.

4. The company should be located in preferably a European country, after all, the highest volumes are already going into European retailers.


Quickly, and following diligent research, Portugal became the country of choice.

To find the right city was equally not a difficult decision, the Portugese government was accommodating to the idea. Porto has a deep water container port, an international airport and easy access to the main highways of Europe, the major European freight handlers DHL, TNT, UPS, FEDEX. DPD have depots in the city. Qualified and experienced textile printing staff were abundant.

So early in 2013 a suitable building of 2500 m2 was obtained on a major industrial estate north of the city within touching distance of the airport.


Investment in a Reggiani Renoir Plus 340/16/16 that can print 700 m2 a hour at 600 dpi was funded. A Monti Antonio 3600 calendaring machine and a Zund G3 3XL-3200 I-cut computerised cutter completed the dream team of complementary machinery. The targeted employment of an experienced German factory director was given a clean slate to assemble it like a Swiss watch.

COLORFUL today prints with water based dye sublimation inks onto the worlds best Georg + Otto Friedrich GmbH 220gsm fabrics and is easily capable of producing 3 million m2 a year.

With the ability to ensure quick turnarounds and the potential of a perfect logistic system, overnight COLORFUL became a major force in the fabric printing market.

Today in 2015, COLORFUL is the biggest tension fabric printing centre in Europe.