PENCARRIE: 0800 252248 | PRESTIGE LEISURE: 0800 6521234 RALAWISE: 0800 212180 | RALAWISE IRELAND: 1 800 599599 Scanfor more info 02 images MAY 2024 TAILORED AND TIMELESS OUTSTANDING QUALITY SINCE 1976 ST SHOP TALK 04 Editorial 08 Print Shop Pooches # 102 George from Castle Printwear 16 Decorated product of the month 22 Readers’ choice 64 Up close & personal Ashford Blake of Beechfield Brands NEWS HUB 06 Industry news Brother brings DTG printing to embroideries, DTF steps up a size with new Ricoh printer, Mimaki extended warranty offer from Hybrid, and Polyprint unveils Filmjet DTF printer before summer launch KNOWLEDGE BASE 26 Print & Stitch 2024: Preview Emilia Hepple brings us up to date on the new exhibitors and live demos that visitors can meet and attend at this year’s roadshows 28 Fespa Global Print Expo 2024: Review In March, the Images team headed to Amsterdam in search of the latest product launches. For those who couldn’t make it, here is our gallery of highlights from this year’s event 32 Business Clinic Advice for recruiting and retaining staff, and the FSB report into AI 34 Digital helpdesk Discover what GCR is and how you can save ink on your digital prints with Bartosz Blaszczyk at ColorGate 36 Anatomy of a print Lon Winters and the team from Graphic Elephants can often be found doing live screen print demos at international, national and regional trade shows. The ‘crowd-pleasing, showstopping’ print shown here was created for the Impressions Expo in Fort Worth, Texas 46 Hot property Demand for dual-platen heat presses is soaring. Images looks at what they offer decorators over single-heads and whether you should invest in ‘doubling up’ 54 Talking trends: Collegewear Stylish activewear, ethical practices and inclusivity are what students want from apparel brands, reports Nicole Stöber of Fruit of the Loom International 58 Blend in to stand out Create stunning colour blends and gradients in your embroidered designs using standard embroidery threads by following these digitising tips from Jamie Hood of David Sharp 59 Ask Tony What should guide your flash use – temperature or time? Tony Palmer examines the arguments on both sides of the flash debate and finds that the answer to the ‘eternal struggle’ is far from cut and flash-dried! 60 Designing a loyalty loop Want to keep your customers ordering from you time and time again? Learn how to keep them happy and coming back for more with Marshall Atkinson’s infinite loop of customer satisfaction PRODUCT FOCUS 40 Heads up and foot to the floor! Headwear and footwear are excellent for add-on sales – we review this year’s musthave options, from top to bottom 50 It’s getting heated! Get up to speed on the hottest drying and curing solutions for textile and garment decoration professionals, from versatile heat presses to innovative tunnel dryers and curing units 55 Club class From student unions to clubs and societies, customised apparel is the ultimate way for those attending colleges and universities to show their allegiance and team spirit. Check out these stylish, decorator-friendly options for the coming academic year INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT 38 Name-changer We caught up with We Do Workwear’s James Smith to talk about the company’s recent rebranding and its preparations for further growth CONTENTS 30 28 66 402 60 38 50 36

© 2024 – Beechfield Brands Ltd. All Rights Reserved. BEECHFIELD.COM NEWB801 EarthAware® Organic Cotton Canvas 6 Panel Cap NEW New from EarthAware.® 04 images MAY2024 Published by: 360 Communications Ltd Images, 360 Communications Ltd, Citibase Brighton, 95 Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 4ST, UK 01273 748482 | Advertising: Editorial: Production: Subscriptions: Publisher/advertising: Jonathan Vince | Features editor: Rachael Glazier | Features writer: Mark Ludmon | Publishing assistant: Gaby Bowring | Design/Production: ATG Media | Printing: Stephens & George Ltd| Goat Mill Road,Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 3TD(issn 0966 7512) Opinions expressed by contributors in this magazine are not necessarily shared by the Publisher. Editorial contributions are invited, on the understanding that the Publisher has the right to alter or abridge all such material as he sees fit. While the greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the Publisher accepts no liability for either errors or omissions. EDITORIAL SIGNUP! Register now to receive your own FREE monthly copy of Images: UPDATE CONTACT DETAILS Moved to new premises? WFH? Update your details online: MAY2024 VOL.33 NO.5 DIGITAL / SOCIAL 1Mar-31 Mar, 2024 Reach: 4,212 A new dawn of the robots Automation has been a hot topic in the garment decoration industry for decades, with ‘robots’ regularly being touted as the answer to increased efficiency and higher profits in the future. Whether it is the automated unloading of garments from a printing press, the automated folding, bagging and packing of finished products, or the cleaning and reclaiming of screens using automatic inline systems, the appeal of replacing human operators with machines remains strong, based on the promise of lower costs (savings on staff wages), faster production, greater consistency and fewer errors, and no more ‘sick days’! However, it’s fair to say this is a promise that has, at best, been only partly realised to date. Yet it is interesting to note that two of the standout exhibits at the Fespa Global Print Expo 2024 in March were new products aimed at ushering print shops further down the automation route. Users: 639 Views: 36,139 digital edition MAY2, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Farnborough, UK MAY 16, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Manchester, UK MAY 21, 2024 Print & Stitch Newcastle, UK MAY 23, 2024 Print & Stitch Barnsley, UK JUNE 6, 2024 The Green & New Promo Show London, UK JUNE 11, 2024 The Green & New Promo Show Leeds, UK JUNE 18, 2024 Print & Stitch Croydon, UK JUNE 20, 2024 Print & Stitch Newport, UK JULY 9, 2024 Print & Stitch Leicester, UK SEPTEMBER 12, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Nottingham, UK INDUSTRY EVENTS The Columbia Transfer 6/3 carousel heat press from Acosgraf was a magnet for visitors to the show, who marvelled as the machine repeatedly and precisely placed printed transfer film onto shirts, heat pressed the transfers, and then automatically peeled the pressed film. The model on show was at late prototype stage (“95% there” and due for commercial launch in a few months’ time, according to Acosgraf) with a claimed production rate of 350 applications per hour. It won’t be for every, or even most, garment decoration businesses, but for those high-volume shops where heat pressing – rather than print speed – is now the major bottleneck, the Columbia carousel could be an automated dream come true. (See our Instagram Reel of the Columbia carousel in action – Robotics also featured on the MHM stand where Wiekon, a German mechanical engineering company, was putting the Shirt-Lupfer (officially translated as ‘shirt picker-up’) through its paces. Working in conjunction with a robotic system, the Shirt-Lupfer seamlessly disengages a printed shirt from the pallet on an MHM press before lifting and placing it precisely on the dryer belt. It sounds simple, and it looked really impressive in action. The day when print shops are manned by fleets of next-generation Terminator-style press operators may still be some way off, but after the Fespa show that day now feels just a little bit closer. What do you think of these innovations? Where is your business on the automation path? We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Jonathan Vince Reach: 6,192 Web page views: 45,011 Impressions: 3,200 Meet the new screen guy

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INDUSTRY NEWS 06 images MAY2024 Follow the links to the news stories online Ricoh sizes up with new DTF printer Ricoh has developed a 1.6m-wide direct-to-film (DTF) system complete with powder shaker and drying unit. Launched at Fespa Global Print Expo 2024 in March, the Ricoh Pro D1600 DTF system promises high-volume digital garment production. “Highly responsive to different run lengths and built on state-of-theart solutions developed in Europe, the Pro D1600 can run at speeds in excess of 20sqm/hr,” commented the manufacturer. “High-quality production is fully supported with optimised film sourced from Europe. “The Pro D1600’s specially designed inkjet print head configuration of three Ricoh print heads supports films up to 1,600mm and its newly developed DTF optimised Ricoh Pro DTF Ink ensures high-speed jetting and high white opacity,” added Ricoh. Axel Stuhlreiter, head of textile solutions at Ricoh Europe, said: “This latest addition to our portfolio opens up the production of highvolume designs that can be printed and shipped for local, on-demand application onto garments. Ideally suited to screen printers and industrial garment decorators looking to make their transition to digital or enhance their digital capabilities, the Pro D1600 is responsive and sustainably responsible.” The Ricoh Pro D1600 is available now. Turn to page 28 for our Fespa review. The new Ricoh Pro D1600 is designed for high-volume production Report forecasts DTF to grow at unprecedented rate Adoption of direct-to-film (DTF) technology is set to continue at a rate “unlike anything the decorated apparel industry has seen”, according to a new report from Keypoint Intelligence. Volumes of DTF print are estimated to rise from just 190 million square metres globally in 2022 to one billion square metres in 2027 – a compound annual growth rate of 41% a year. In 2022, DTF already accounted for about 44.5% of all unit placements such as direct-to-garment (DTG) and electrophotographic printer (EP) toner transfer. By 2027, Keypoint Intelligence’s research projects that DTF unit placements would be at 64.4% of all DTF, DTG and EP unit placements. In 2027, the retail value of DTF is projected to reach US$14 billion (£11.2 billion). The 2022-2027 Global DTF Forecast Report, written by Johnny Shell, principal analyst at Keypoint Intelligence’s Textile & Apparel Printing Advisory Service, stated: “The adoption rate of DTF is unlike anything the decorated apparel industry has seen.” Keypoint Intelligence is a global data and market intelligence provider for the digital imaging industry. The DTF market is predicted to continue rising rapidly Result releases Junior & Youth brochure Apparel manufacturer Result has unveiled its new 60-page Junior & Youth brochure. “From bestselling school favourites to sports and leisure technical additions, Result has got it covered”. Featuring the budget-friendly Core Value TX Performance Hooded Softshell Jacket in red on the front cover, the brochure is printed on FSC-certified paper. The styles are all illustrated with both lifestyle and product photography, along with the recommended decoration types, the Pantone colour references, and the sizes in age, height and chest. The company added: “Result garments are designed to be decorated with hidden accesses to allow for greater frame or platen purchase on outer fabric.” The brochure is available to download online along with indepth garment specs and printable PDF data sheets for all the newly launched styles. Thenew Junior &Youth brochure from Result

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INDUSTRY NEWS 08 images MAY2024 # 102 George Whether it’s pedigree pups or mangy mutts, decorators’ dogs are valued members of staff at embroidery and print shops from Barking to Furness. This month we have George from Castle Printwear in Neyland, Pembrokeshire Fullname: George Vaughan Breed: Chocolate labrador Age: 19months Time at company: 17months Jobtitle: Theboss Job description: Meet and greet, will always be on the counter to say hello to our customers as they come in. He’s such a happy dog – he doesn’t just wag his tail when he’s happy, his whole body does a dance. Special skill: Related to otters, he’s so at home in the water. He can’t wait until the warmer weather when he’s able to spend more time swimming. He’s also a great wood-gatherer; if he can’t find a stick, he’ll pull oneoff a tree. Favourite colour: Chocolate brown 7568 C. I call him my choccy pudding, and wish my hair looked as great as his coat! Keen swimmer George prepares for another dip PRINT SHOP POOCHES Print Shop Pooches is sponsored byMumbles, ‘the home of brandable furry friends’ Follow us on Facebook: @imagesmaguk Talks continue on Roland DG takeover bids Roland DG Corporation has extended talks over a potential takeover, with a hostile bid from Brother Industries competing against a management buy-out team. On 12 April, Roland DG issued a statement that it was continuing to have discussions with Brother Industries over its tender offer to buy all common shares for ¥5,200 (£27.31) per share. Brother unexpectedly came forward with a rival tender offer in March that was ¥165 (87p) higher than an existing offer from XYZ KK, which represents the management buyout (MBO). As Images magazine was going to press, XYZ announced it was extending the tender offer period until 26 April. The board previously advised shareholders to back the MBO but subsequently warned that this recommendation might change after discussions with Brother Industries. Both companies have their headquarters in Japan and specialise in digital print technology. School Uniform Shop supports Cambodian children More than £2,200 has been raised to buy school uniforms for Cambodian children through a partnership involving School Uniform Shop. The Hereford-based uniform retailer teamed up with The Ponheary Ly Foundation, which sponsors 2,800 students across four primary schools and five secondary schools in rural north-western Cambodia. The directs a proportion of its profits to the foundation and has also integrated a donation option in the checkout process to allow customers to add a donation to help buy a school uniform for a Cambodian child while placing orders for their own children. This joint effort has raised a total of £2,205 in one year, which has a big impact as the cost of a student’s uniform is around £5 for junior school and £6 for senior school. Roland DG Corporation’s HQ in Japan Cambodian children helped bySchool Uniform Shop and Ponheary Ly Foundation. [Photo credit: PFL Cambodia]

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INDUSTRY NEWS 10 images MAY2024 Westcoast Workwear steps up green credentials Westcoast Workwear in Merseyside has strengthened its environmental credentials by successfully completing a carbon footprint analysis with Liverpoolbased consultancy Carbon Happy World, which is a specialist in carbon auditing. Managing director Tom Mills said: “This is a huge step forward in our mission to become a greener workwear leader. Not only will this help us reduce our environmental impact but it also strengthens our offer for tender and public sector procurement opportunities with a growing focus on sustainability, like the Greener NHS Evergreen Assessment. “We’re passionate about promoting a more sustainable future for the workwear industry, and we encourage other SMEs in the industry and Sefton area to follow suit. By measuring and understanding your carbon footprint, you can make informed decisions to minimise your impact on the planet.” Free extended warrantyoffer on Mimaki kit from Hybrid Hybrid Services, exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Mimaki, is offering an extra year of warranty worth up to £3,155 on selected integrated printer/cutters and solvent printers for a limited time. It is part of its ‘Mimaki Spring Offers’ promotion which runs until 18 June 2024. Models include the popular CJV150 Series printer/cutters and the JV300-160Plus and CJV300160Plus production solvent printer and printer/cutter. Most of the Japanese brand’s sign and graphics models already benefit a two-year warranty as standard so the addition of a third year on selected products is aimed at providing “unprecedented peace of mind for businesses investing in a new machine”. Andrew Gregory, sales director at Hybrid Services, said: “With the recent challenges around finance gradually easing, this offer allows businesses that purchase one of these Mimaki printers on a three-year finance package to have built in peace of mind for the entire duration of their agreement. “Mimaki’s JV and CJV ranges are proven, reliable and hugely popular solutions, used by print companies the world over, and we’re delighted to be able to support our customers with this significant promotion.” View daily news updates at: The Mimaki CJV150-130 printer/cutter features in Hybrid Services’ spring offers Westcoast Workwear managing director Tom Mills The new Snickers ventilated shorts for the warmer weather Newsummer shorts from Snickers Snickers Workwear has launched Work Shorts, which it says will keep wearers “ventilated and comfortable all day, every day”. The new shorts combine a fourway softshell fabric with “sustainable” Sorona two-way stretch fabric, and include windproof sections plus ventilating areas for comfort and freedom of movement. “With body-mapping designs that deliver superb functionality, the shorts come in range of stylish colour ways to compliment the new Snickers Workwear 100% cotton Logo T-shirts, which will energise and brighten your workday,” added the workwear company. MAY2024 images 11 INDUSTRY NEWS NH New Polyprint DTF system promises unattended production One of the most attention-grabbing exhibits at the Fespa Global Print Expo in Amsterdam in March was the Filmjet DTF system from Polyprint. This is the fourth iteration of the company’s DTF machine, and it will be available commercially this summer once the beta testing is completed, confirmed CEO George Benglopoulos. Onedifference between this roll-fed system and the other DTF systems on the market is that there is no slack in thefilm during the powder application stage, which George says can potentially be a weak point in the process. Thefilm is taut throughout and uses an air and vacuum system to remove the powder. This system, along with a film guide to ensure thefilmstays straight, allows it to be left to run unattended. It takes 100m rolls with a width of 60cm. Other features include four 13200 print heads, auto-white circulation and CMYK ink agitation, multi-zone smart curing, and autopowder application and recycling. It is expected to be priced at €45,000 and will be available from July 2024. Turn to page 28 for our Fespa review. New guide helps manufacturers explore technology A new guide aims to inspire manufacturers to explore technologies from automation toartificial intelligence (AI) to improve efficiency. The white paper on “powering the digital transformation of SME manufacturers” has been produced by Made Smarter, the government-backed and industry-led technology adoption programme in north-west England. The free-to-download document covers existing technologies such as software, industrial IoT connectivity, automation and robotics, 3D printing and cyber security as well as emerging digital tools such as AI and digital twins – the virtual representation of a physical object or system. Donna Edwards, director of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme, said: “We are enabling people to get their hands on these technologies by connecting SME manufacturers with each other and building relationships with leading technology institutes. “This new white paper brings all those elements together into a useful and simple-to-understand guide.” Riggs Media Group These vibrant T-shirts and caps were created by Riggs Media Group in Whitburn for West Lothian Dippers. DECORATOR REPORT [L-R] Stephanie West and Tabs Khojani are from the North of England Robotics Innovation Centre, a backer of the Made Smarter white paper The new Filmjet from Polyprint, seen here at Fespa in March, can be left unattended while printing Avery Dennison calls for ‘urgent’ actionon circularity Avery Dennison has called on the clothing industry to maximise digital technology to tackle waste and improve circularity. The company, a specialist in materials science and digital identification solutions, sets out seven practical steps that companies need to take, describing digitisation as “a matter of urgency” to tackle the industry’s impact on the environment. Its report, calledThreads of Change, includes recommendations such as championing the use of textilefibres that can be easily broken down as well as new methods that make it easier to recycle textile waste. It urges garment businesses to explore innovations such as AI and smart sensors, and recommends using apparel that is designed for ease of repair and disassembly, and embedding digital IDs such as like RFID, NFC and QR codes in clothing for easy access to information on reuse and recycling.

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INDUSTRY NEWS 14 images MAY2024 Michelle Thirlby has been promoted to the role of operations director at InkTec, a manufacturer of DTF (direct-tofilm) hardware and consumables. Michelle, who joined InkTec nearly three years ago, said: “During my time at InkTec, the company has certainly developed and expanded its operations. So, my new role will be building on what has been achieved already. “In particular, I am looking forward to taking on more of a leadership role, influencing the business strategy and focusing on building the business.” Nick Hendersonhas joined promotional and branded product supplier PF Concept UK in the newly created role of UK and Ireland sales manager. He brings a wealth of sales leadership experience and a proven track record of driving revenue growth in the branded and promotional clothing industry, including 14 years’ service with garment suppliers Ralawise and PenCarrie. In his new role, Nick is responsible for leading the UK account management team, focused on developing sales revenue through the implementation of the company’s key sales initiatives and strategies. He will actively participate in all field sales activities and lead engagement and interaction with customers. Clothing group Stuncroft, whose brands include corporatewear supplier ClubClass, has appointed Michael Turner as managing director. He brings over 25 years of manufacturing experience as well as valuable insight into both the bespoke and ready-to-wear garment tailoring sectors. He has joined Stuncroft from the Scabal Group where he was managing director of Bower Roebuck, supplier of fine worsted fabrics to fabric merchants and tailors. Michael has taken over from Iain Kettleband, who has stepped down after eight years at the company. Iain is continuing as a lead delivery partner and consultant to Stuncroft for its business supplying custom-designed tailored uniforms under large-scale contracts. Nathan SwinsonBulloughhas been named as the new vice-president of trade association Fespa UK to work alongside its new president, Paul Noble. Nathan is managing director of Leedsbased wide-format print manufacturer Imageco. He has championed sustainability in the print industry, including involvement in Make it Happen’s Sustainability Bootcamp industry workshops. His appointment comes as Paul Noble steps up from vice-president to president of Fespa UK, taking over from Nicole Spencer, managing director at RMC Digital Print, a trade supplier of large-format print and signage solutions. imagesuk/fespauk-nathan The Cotton Textile Company (TCTC) has appointed Jackie Tophamas commercial director. Previously operations manager at the garment and accessories manufacturer, Jackie will be playing a pivotal role in helping the company work towards its sustainable goals and focus on the ‘triple bottom line’, ie people, planet, profit. “The move is reflective of The Cotton Textile Company’s commitment to sustainability; Jackie’s leadership will be essential in implementing sustainable business practises, ensuring compliance with all legislation and steering the company towards an important goal of achieving and maintaining B-Corp status,” said TCTC. Co-founder Richard King commented: “In a world where focus on people and planet is so important, especially within business, it is vital our organisation has someone to hold us accountable to our promises and responsibilities. Therefore, we are delighted to appoint Jackie to the executive board. Her experience and leadership skills will be a great strength to the company.” CHANGING FACES Michelle Thirlby Michael Turner Jackie Topham Nathan SwinsonBullough, vicepresident of Fespa UK Nick Henderson Kornit brings DTF to its Atlas Max customers Kornit has unveiled Max Transfer, the digital printing machine manufacturer’s direct-to-film solution. Designed for use on the Kornit Atlas Max direct-to-garment (DTG) system, the powderless system applies a DTG print to a transfer. This is then ‘gelled’ at a low temperature, before being heat pressed onto the garment. The print is then cured, resulting in a design with a soft hand-feel. “A transformative leap forward for a market in transition, the solution can produce hundreds of impressions per hour without the mess of powders. Designed for those who demand the best, theoffering delivers unparalleled hand-feel, print quality and durability while adhering to Kornit’s commitment to sustainability,” said Kornit. Turn to page 28 for our Fespa review. Kornit introduced anewDTF solution at Fespa Global Print Expo in March Follow us on LinkedIn @ImagesMagUK

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Textile and clothing industry see biggest wage increases New research has revealed that the textiles, leather and clothing industry has seen the biggest increase in wages in the UK from December 2022 to December 2023. In December 2022, average weekly earnings sat at £489.18 for the industry, which went up to £549.41 in December 2023. This is an increase of 12.31%, the highest of any industry. The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry took second place, with its wages rising from £462.40 to £514.45 over the same period. The study by Journo Research, with the help of global fintech group Plus500, analysed the latest release from the Office for National Statistics, featuring results from its Wages and Salaries Survey. INDUSTRY NEWS 16 images MAY2024 Follow us on Threads: @imagesmaguk DECORATED PRODUCT OF THE MONTH This month our attention was grabbed and our eyes were bamboozled by this excellent illusion print from Woven Inc. It was designed and ordered by the team at Trick Records for artist Patrick Topping for this year’s merchandise programme for the summer tour, with half the T-shirts in white with a black print, and the other half of the order made up of black T-shirts with a white print. “Bizarrely, this is only a single-colour print, but tweaks and blends in the artwork give this simple but effective3Deffect that’s crazy on the eyes!” explains Ian Taylor, managing director at the Tyne and Wear garment decorator. Using Wilflex Epic Rio inks from Colenso, the design was printed on an 8-colour M&R Sportsman automatic screen printing press. The client requested that Woven Inc used AS Colour’s Classic Tees, which Ian says “are awesome” to print on. According to Ian, the client was very happy with the end result, saying it was exactly what they were looking for, and that they are hoping for good sales and repeat orders throughout the summer. The illusion was printed on both white and black AS Colour tees The 3D print was achieved by applying ‘tweaks and blends’ to the artwork David Morrish wins Madeira embroidery competition with Parisian-themed design David Morrish has won this year’s embroidery competition run with thread supplier Madeira at the Creative Craft Show with a design inspired by the “essence of love” in Paris. His piece, called ‘Paris in Bloom: A Lovers Tale’, used Madeira’s Burmilana 12 wool and acrylic mix – a 12-weight thick thread suitable for large area coverage – plus its Classic 40 high shine rayon thread and Frosted Matt 40 polyester thread. David, a specialist in digital embroidery based in Huddersfield, was overall winner in the annual competition, this year titled ‘Visions of Paris’, run as part of the Creative Craft Show at NEC in Birmingham in March. The overall prize of the Perpetual Madeira Rose Bowl trophy came with a Husqvarna Sapphire 930 sewing machine worth £1,699 and a 194-spool Madeira Treasure Chest worth £485. The competition’s category for mainly machine embroidery was won by textile artist Alyssa Robinson from Leicestershire, with ‘Bird’s Eye View – Champs de Mars’. David Morrish with his winning Madeira embroidery competition design

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Wrenster Design This bold design was printed by Wrenster Design in Farnborough for Just Jiu Jitsu Team. DECORATOR REPORT INDUSTRY NEWS 18 images MAY2024 Read our full-length Decorator Reports online: Pritchards Embroidery and SBS Branding merge Garment decoration specialists Pritchards Embroidery and SBS Branding have merged to form a new company, Evolution Branding. The two companies, both based in Sussex, decided to join forces after working together for the past 10 years, uniting under directors Adam Bowdery and John Pritchard. Together, they now offer a full range of printing and branding options across workwear, corporatewear, uniforms and PPE such as hi-vis clothing as well as promotional merchandise. Pritchards Embroidery, based in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, is a family-run business that has been trading for over 30 years under John and Ray Pritchard, expanding to a lineup of eight Toyota embroidery machines plus heat presses. Its premises in Ferry Road are now the headquarters for Evolution Branding after the merger with SBS Branding, based in Hove in East Sussex. MHM unveils Shirt-Lupfer automated garment unloader MHM has unveiled a new machine that automatically removes garments from screen printing presses. Developed and produced for MHM by Wiekon, the Shirt-Lupfer, or ‘shirt picker-up’, works in conjunction with a robotic system to streamline the removal process, seamlessly integrating into the production workflow. It works by first delicately disengaging the garment from the pallet before lifting the garment up and away from the pallet and placing it on the dryer. Unveiling the Shirt-Lupfer at Fespa Global Print Expo, MHM highlighted how the innovation could “supplant manual labour at the screen-printing machine, particularly addressing the physically demanding chore of extracting the print medium”. The time taken to remove a T-shirt is eight seconds, and less than five seconds for bags. “Unlike human counterparts, the Shirt-Lupfer never succumbs to fatigue, never takes a pause, and is unfailingly punctual, guaranteeing a consistent, flawless output with every operation,” addedMHM. Turn to page 28 for our Fespa review. The Shirt-Lupfer, developed by Wiekon for MHM Evolution Branding directors John Pritchard and Adam Bowdery at their premises in West Sussex

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Fespa attracts visitors looking to invest More than 90% of visitors at this year’s Fespa trade shows in Amsterdam were looking to invest in equipment, with a total median budget of over £2.3 billion. According to the organisers’ audience data, most visitors were looking to firm up investment plans by visiting Fespa Global Print Expo and the co-located European Sign Expo, Personalisation Experience and inaugural Sportswear Pro. The events at RAI Amsterdam from 19 to 22 March attracted 12,706 unique visitors. Fespa Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo will return next year at Messe Berlin in Germany from 6 to 9 May. Turn to page 28 for our review of this year’s Fespa Global Print Expo. WeAre Embroidery This intricate logo was embroidered onto T-shirts by WeAre Embroidery in Weare, Somerset, for Beyond Skate. DECORATOR REPORT INDUSTRY NEWS 20 images MAY2024 Stay in the picture with our Instagram feed: @imagesmaguk Soyang keeps flags flying with Brook acquisition Large-format print product supplier Soyang Europe has bolstered its textiles portfolio with the acquisition of flag fabric specialist Brook International. It has bought the stock and intellectual property of West Yorkshire-based Brook International, which dates back to 1898 and specialises in traditional flag fabrics as well as digitally printed polyester flag fabrics. Brook International’s products are being integrated into the Soyang Europe business and distributed from the company’s facility in Altham, Lancashire. Chris Drury, formerly a director of Brook International, has joined the company as sales manager to ensure a smooth transition for customers. Fespa Global Print Expo at RAI Amsterdam in March 2024. [Photo credit: Visually Rich] Soyang Europe now owns Brook International’s flag fabric products New flyers for James & Nicholson and Myrtle Beach Gustav Daiber has extended its selection of flyers for garment decorators and retailers to promote the group’s brands James & Nicholson and Myrtle Beach. The new flyers are for ‘Festivals, Events & Graduation’ and ‘Leisure, Club & Hobby’ and are available in English and German for customers to download via the group’s website. Daiber has also updated its existing industry flyers for ‘Logistics & Delivery’, ‘Food & Beverages’, ‘Medical’, ‘Cities & Communities’, ‘Workwear’ and ‘Education’, both visually and in terms of content. Updates include a new layout and clearer presentation and, in some cases, new products from current collections such as the Padded Hybrid Jacket in the logistics sector and the one-size bistro aprons Apron Short and Apron Long in the catering sector. New industry flyers for James & Nicholson and Myrtle Beach from Daiber

The show team and exhibitors are delighted to invite you to your local show! We can’t wait to welcome you to see our fantastic and diverse range of promotional products and wearables. Our shows are open to directors, managers, internal sales and admin staff. Anyone involved in sourcing promotional merchandise will benefit in some way by spending quality time with suppliers committed to providing the best possible support to their distributors. •Our local events mean travel time is minimal, making it much easier for more staff to attend, without too much disruption to day to day business. •See thecurrent best-sellingand latest innovative products and services. • Have proper discussions with 27 leading suppliers in aless formal, relaxed environment. •Over £1500 worth of special offers only available by attending. • Parking is free; lunch is provided; refreshments are available throughout the day. g WIN £100 VOUCHER OF YOUR CHOICE FREE TO ENTER DRAW A winner at every show.* High Wycombe 14 May 2024 10am–4pm Adams Park Conference Centre HP12 4HJ SOUTH Rotherham 16 May 2024 10am–4pm Holiday Inn Rotherham S602XL NORTH Cardiff 21 May 2024 10am–4pm Village Hotel Cardiff CF147EF WALES Leicester 12 June 2024 10am–4pm Hilton Hotel Leicester LE191WQ MIDLANDS Crawley 9 Oct 2024 10am–4pm Holiday Inn London Gatwick-Worth RH104SS SOUTH NEWDATE! SUPPORTED BY SPONSORED BY Your Brand Ambassador •Meet 50 key suppliers •See hundreds of new products •Discover all the latest eco, green and sustainable items and ranges •Refreshments provided all day •Free parking Your Brand Ambassador HEADLINE SPONSOR PRODUCTS TOin pireYOU FROMTHEbe tTRADE SUPPLIERS Leeds 11 June 2024 10am–4pm Norman Hunter Suite Leeds United FC Elland Road Leeds LS11 0ES NORTH London 6June2024 10am–4pm Doubletree by Hilton London Elstree Barnet By-Pass Borehamwood WD65PU SOUTH Email for full details of exhibitors and all events *T’s & C’s apply, see websitefor details.

New platform for end-to-end connectivity in printing A new production print platform called GelatoConnect has been launched to allow digital printers to connect procurement, workflow and logistics. It has been developed by Gelato, a global software platform for local on-demand production, to help print companies to optimise their efficiency, quality and profitability. Gelato founder and CEO Henrik Müller-Hansen said: “Gelato envisions a future where on-demand makers lead the way in providing every consumer access to personalised goods created locally.” GelatoConnect has been tested and validated by early-access VIP partners and is currently accessible to a select group of production partners. A full-scale launch, making GelatoConnect available to all printers, is scheduled for Drupa, the printing equipment exhibition at Messe Düsseldorf from 28 May to 7 June. 22 images MAY2024 Mimaki set to release new Trapis textile print system Mimaki Europe has announced the UK commercial release of its new Trapis textile pigment transfer printing system later this year. It promises an environmentally friendly and easyto-operate solution for textile applications, saving almost 90% of wastewater compared to conventional methods. Trapis uses a two-step process: designs are printed by the inkjet printer with a dedicated ink onto transfer paper, which is then transferred to the application via a calender. Unlike analogue and digital conventional dye-printing methods, this generates almost no wastewater – only what is produced during the printer’s automatic maintenance. It can used to print onto a wide range of materials including natural fibres such as cotton and silk, as well as onto blended fabrics, using just one type of ink. The Trapis system was previewed at textile and garment exhibition Itma in Milan last year Mimaki products are distributed in the UK and Ireland by Hybrid Services. INDUSTRY NEWS Follow us on X @imagesmaguk Mitchell Tassie, head of sales at Totally Branded in Swaffham, Norfolk, says his favourite product to decorate is the Safe-Guard Recycled Ripstop Padded Safety Jacket (R500X) from Work-Guard by Result. The promotional merchandise supplier’s customers in the construction industry love the jacket as much as the Totally Branded team does, adds Mitchell. “Its Ripstop fabric is durable for those working ‘on the tools’, while promoting maximum safety at all times with its water-based ink reflective safety bands. “Despite its safety features, the jacket has been designed with comfort in mind, with its soft feel and elasticated bound hem, cuffs and hood.” The R500X is also an excellent option for decoration, adds Mitchell. “The versatility and visibility offered by this padded safety jacket makes it an ideal garment for us to either transfer or embroider for our customers in a whole range of different sectors.” Want to know what your industry colleagues really think of the garments and accessories they decorate? Each issue, one reader tells us why they rate a particular product READERS’ CHOICE The Safe-Guard Recycled Ripstop Padded Safety Jacket is ideal for both transfer print and embroidery, says Mitchell Mimaki’s new Trapis textile pigment transfer printing system GelatoConnect provides end-to-end connectivity across procurement, workflow and logistics W160 Organic Cotton InCo. Gymsac © 2024 – Beechfield Brands Ltd. All Rights Reserved. New for SS24 cotton in conversion.

Stratasys to launch 3D digital printing onto garments Stratasys, a specialist in 3D printing, is launching new technology that allows for full-colour multi-material 3D print to be applied directly onto fully assembled garments. It has developed the direct-togarment (DTG) solution for its J850 TechStyle printer, the newest offering in the Stratasys 3DFashion direct-to-textile printing system. Its DTG technology enables customisation and personalisation by applying full-colour multi-material 3D print directly onto fully assembled garments made of fabrics such as cotton, polyester, denim and linen. Stratasys, which is based in the US and Israel with three offices in the UK, demonstrated its J850 TechStyle printer and the new DTG technology at the Texprocess exhibition in Frankfurt in Germany in April. A 3D print being applied to denim on the J850 TechStyle INDUSTRY NEWS 24 images MAY2024 Find our digital editions online: Brother launches new direct-to-embroidery system Brother has developed a highresolution camera and software that allows accurate printing onto white embroidered shapes, providing a new on-demand embroidery solution for garment decorators. The direct-to-embroidery (DTE) system is used with the Brother GTXpro direct-to-garment printer. The embroidery is first carried out in white polyester thread and then pretreated for wash-resistance. It is then moved to the printer, where the DTE system aligns the embroidery with the rest of the design’s print file, using a high-resolution camera for precise application of the design. “The connected camera system recognises the position of the embroidery on the printing plate and forwards the print image to the printer in the exact position of the embroidery,” explains the manufacturer. The print is then cured. Brother adds: “The workflow is also very user-friendly, as the embroidery image does not have to be aligned in detail on the printing plate. The camera system scans the embroidery area, regardless of whether the embroidery is rotated or upside down on the plate. By scanning through the camera, the print is placed exactly on the stitch. This almost completely eliminates misprints. “The GTXpro series printers do not need to be converted for this process. Only the camera and the associated software need to be connected to the printer. In addition, the process for this innovative printing method on an embroidery is identical to the classic direct-to-garment printing.” The system is available in the UK now through MHM Direct GB. A Brother GTXpro DTG printer equipped with the new direct-toembroidery (DTE) camera system A DTG print on top of white embroidery thread 26 images MAY2024 INDUSTRY EVENT Print & Stitch 2024: Preview Emilia Hepple brings us up to date on the new exhibitors and live demos that visitors can see at this year’s Print & Stitch shows How are the Print & Stitch shows different to other trade events? Print & Stitch offers variety to a wide range of potential and existing customers. With big, recognisable brands at the show and equipment suppliers that have products suitable for new-start businesses through to advanced, large-scale production businesses, there really is something for everyone. How many exhibitors are taking part in the 2024 series of shows? We have 20 exhibitors this year: six have been with us from day dot back in 2016, eight have been with us for a few years now, three tried a few of the shows last year and have signed up for the full line-up this year, and three are brandnew. Our new exhibitors are Behrens, Kustom Kit and United Brands of Scandinavia. We are thrilled to welcome all three to the line-up this year. What key industry trends are reflected in what is being shown at the roadshows? Sustainability is a huge industry trend at the moment, with more and more businesses doing what they can to become more sustainable. Many of the garment suppliers exhibiting at this year’s shows now have eco ranges with goods made from recycled products. Which part of the show are you most looking forward to? The most exciting part of the shows is when the doors open and we welcome our visitors to the show. There is a buzz around the room as visitors spend quality time speaking to each exhibitor and build new connections with suppliers. Why should our readers visit one of your shows – how will it benefit them? Planning must be the biggest part of any business, and planning becomes easier when you have versatile options and a forecast of industry trends. Speaking to our exhibitors at the shows allows businesses to keep on top of the latest trends and technology, which they can then relay into their business to keep them one step ahead. Will there be any live demos? Equipment suppliers including Stocks Embroidery Solutions and TheMagicTouch will offer live demonstrations on the latest embroidery and printing equipment. Software suppliers including Wilcom and DecoNetwork will also be offering live demonstrations of various software packages. Accessories and garment suppliers will have a wide range of products available to sample and test on the day. What’s the best comment you’ve had about the Print & Stitch roadshows? “I just wanted to say thank you so much for organising something close to home. I was thrilled when I had the email through to say it was going to be here as so many events like this are such a travelling distance and, being a sole trader, it makes them pretty much impossible to attend. I have had the most fantastic day meeting and talking to suppliers, reps, etc, some of whom I have never met before and most I have only ever spoken to on the phone so great to finally meet up.” Marilyn Grose, Encore Saltash Emilia Hepple The Print & Stitch 2024 roadshows take place in Newcastle (21 May), Barnsley (23 May), Croydon (18 June), Newport (20 June), Leicester (9 July), Norwich (24 September), Haydock (26 September), Southampton (15 October), Watford (17 October), Exeter (5 November), and Swindon (7 November). Visitors can spend quality time talking to each exhibitor and building connections, says Emilia Sustainability is a huge industry trend at present with many Print & Stitch exhibitors offering eco ranges Checking out the latest styles from Fruit of the Loom and Russell at Print & Stitch Bristol 2023

Print & Embroidery Roadshow 16 APRIL GLASGOW DoubleTree by Hilton Strathclyde 21 MAY NEWCASTLE Delta by Marriott Gateshead 23 MAY BARNSLEY Holiday Inn Barnsley 18 JUNE CROYDON Hilton London Croydon 20 JUNE NEWPORT ICC Wales 09 JULY LEICESTER Marriott Leicester 24 SEPT NORWICH Sprowston Manor Hotel 26 SEPT HAYDOCK Haydock Park Racecourse 15 OCT SOUTHAMPTON Hilton Southampton Utilita Bowl 17 OCT WATFORD DoubleTree by Hilton Elstree 05 NOV EXETER Sandy Park Conference Centre 07 NOV SWINDON DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon Open 9am - 4pm Free parking & refreshments Register free to attend your local show Or scan the QR code above

INDUSTRY EVENT 28 images MAY2024 In March, Images headed to Amsterdam in search of the latest product launches at this year’s Fespa Global Print Expo. For those who couldn’t make it, here is our gallery of the highlights from the show... Fespa Global PrintExpo 2024: Review The Columbia 6/3 Transfer heat press carousel with automatic transfer placement and peel was especially popular with the DTF crowd. Developed and built by Portuguese company Acosgraf, the Columbia places a printed transfer precisely – and automatically – on each T-shirt, with three magnet blocks ensuring the transfers are in the correct place when picked up. After a pre- and full heat press, the transfer is then hot peeled by a mechanical arm and clamp. Still in beta, the new machine is slated to be ready for UK delivery in the next couple of months. There were many new products on the Brother stand. The standout ones for Images readers were a camera system that allows accurate DTG printing onto embroidered designs (see the news pages for more info), a desktop powderless DTF system that uses laser printing tech and promises seven A4 prints a minute (it’s worth noting this is currently a prototype and may not be available commercially), plus another powderless system, this time a 24” roll-fed system. The Filmjet DTF printer on the Polyprint stand is the company’s fourth iteration of this machine, and it is this one that looks set to be thefinal version, with a launch set for July. This roll-fed printer’s USP is that it can be left unattended while printing, freeing upstaff to do other work. According to CEO George Benglopoulos, this is thanks to there being no slack inthefilm during the powder phase. Instead, the film is under tension, while powder is removed using an air and vacuum system. Still in beta, it has a print speed of 24sqm/hr and will be priced at €45,000 (see the news pages for more details). The Quatro from M&R had its first European outing at Fespa. The 60cm DTF system uses Epson print heads and features the company’s ‘Positive Link System’ for accuratefilm tracking between the different processes. Also on the stand was the new Qwik Klean, which can clean 24 squeegees at a time. Over at the Kornit stand, KornitX manager Ian Bell was on hand to talk about the new Max Transfer, the system that allows Kornit users to create printed transfers on the Atlas Max Plus system without using powder. Also on show was the Titan dryer with its smart curing system, which has been developed following the Kornit acquisition of Tesoma in 2022. Masterpiece AI by Printbox is a software solution that allows users to put in some keywords, from which it generates a selection of images. The customer selects the one they want, as shown on a T-shirt on the screen, add text if needed, then send it straight to a DTG printer. Ideal for retail, it was an attentiongrabber at the show. Amsterdam was host to the Fespa Global Print Expo and its co-located shows this year. Imageswas proud to once again be a media partner for the event, alongside other leading industry publications from across Europe