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www.images-magazine.com 02 images FEBRUARY 2024 SHOP TALK 04 Editorial 08 Print Shop Pooches # 99 Bubba and Ronnie from Bargoed Branding 14 Decorated product of the month 18 Readers’ choice 76 Up close & personal Mike White of Kustom Kit NEWS HUB 06 Industry news Amaya to distribute Sabur DTF machines, Epson unveils the compact SC-F1000 DTG printer, and Result launches recycled fleece blanket KNOWLEDGE BASE 28 Business Clinic How to reward and motivate employees without increasing wages, and cracking crime with the FSB 32 Digital helpdesk Vincent Hughes of Fiery demonstrates the importance of RIP software in DTF and DTG production 34 Anatomy of a print We break down the superbly CONTENTS 54 36 60 38 63 34 65 detailed print by Robert Hewitt and Shaun Anderson of Red Oak Wear for Blackened Heart Apparel 42 Printwear & Promotion Live! and Sign & Digital UK 2024: Preview Event director Tony Gardner gives the lowdown on what to expect from the two industry shows 44 P&P Live! 2024: Exhibitor spotlight Buckle up for the traditional ‘Images walk round’ of the Printwear & Promotion Live! show, which this year runs alongside the newly colocated Sign & Digital UK exhibition 52 Stylish safety Maria Palmer of Wilcom details how to combine the Contour Effect with reflective thread to create illuminating designs for low-light conditions 58 The only way is up Take your screen prints to new heights with highdefinition and textured inks. Paul Woodward shows what you can achieve with five different speciality inks from MagnaColours 60 The big squeegee debate Tony Palmer attempts to answer that age-old question: “What is the best squeegee profile for screen printing?” 62 A helping hand Through his Water Based Wizard ink consultancy and recently launched staff bank service, Alex Simons could well become your print shop’s new best friend 63 Shine on! Jamie Hood of embroidery digitiser David Sharp brings some romantic shine to your Valentine designs 64 Talking Trends: Polos Sustainability and performance will be key for polos this year, reports Sarah Lie Theigler, technical designer at Tee Jays 72 It’s good to share Marshall Atkinson examines why exchanging ideas and thoughts with others can benefit your business PRODUCT FOCUS 54 The big screen It’s time to press ahead with our annual review of the latest screen printing machinery, equipment and consumables from the industry’s top manufacturers and suppliers 65 We’ve got it collared! The versatile polo shirt is the perfect all-rounder for all ages, and decoratorfriendly too! We review the current styles from industry-leading brands 70 Wool, I never! Knitwear is an ideal layering option for your customers – check out our cosy selection of jumpers, cardigans, beanies and more for the latest options INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT 38 Screen spirit Glen Caskie of Obscure Clothing talks about his passion for screen printing, his quest to achieve the perfect print, and the true cost of high energy prices
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www.images-magazine.com 04 images FEBRUARY 2024 Published by: 360 Communications Ltd Images, 360 Communications Ltd, Citibase Brighton, 95 Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 4ST, UK 01273 748482 | www.images-magazine.com Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: email@example.com Productcion: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: email@example.com Publisher/advertising: Jonathan Vince | firstname.lastname@example.org Features editor: Rachael Glazier | email@example.com Features writer: Mark Ludmon | firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing assistant: Gaby Bowring | email@example.com Design/Production: ATG Media | firstname.lastname@example.org 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 SIGN UP! Register now to receive your own FREE monthly copy of Images: imagesmag.uk/sign-up UPDATE CONTACT DETAILS Moved to new premises? WFH? Update your details online: imagesmag.uk/subs-update FEBRUARY 2024 VOL.33 NO.2 DIGITAL / SOCIAL 1 Dec-31 Dec, 2023 Website users: 32,186 Impressions: 2,214 Reach: 3,250 Reach: 2,319 The screen scene T his issue is always one of our favourites as we have the chance to go to town on our screen printing content and celebrate the wealth of talent in this sector of the industry. Speaking of talent, we visited Glen Caskie, founder and owner of Obscure Clothing, at the company’s print shop in Rawtenstall, north of Manchester, where we found a printer who is committed to producing perfectly printed apparel. Among the many topics that Glen talks about in ‘Screen spirit’ (page 38) is the continued impact of energy prices on print shop economics. As he points out, Obscure’s monthly electricity bill has increased by almost as much as an extra member of staff’s wages. That’s a huge amount of additional expense for any small business to carry. How are energy prices affecting your business? Have you come up with any genius ideas to manage the bills and keep hold of more of the cash that’s coming through your shop? If so, please share. Why share? Marshall Atkinson has the answers; in ‘It’s good to share’ (page 72) he explains how and why getting into the habit Users: 419 Views: 22,719 digital edition FEBRUARY 25-27, 2024 Printwear & Promotion Live! Birmingham, UK printwearandpromotionlive.co.uk FEBRUARY 25-27, 2024 Sign & Digital UK Birmingham, UK signuk.com MARCH 6, 2024 The Big Promotional Trade Show Glasgow, UK thebigpromotionaltradeshow.co.uk MARCH 19-22, 2024 Fespa Global Print Expo 2024 Amsterdam, The Netherlands fespaglobalprintexpo.com MARCH 20, 2024 The Big Promotional Trade Show Dublin, Republic of Ireland thebigpromotionaltradeshow.co.uk APRIL 16, 2024 Print & Stitch Glasgow/Strathclyde, UK printandstitch.org APRIL 18, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Cheltenham, UK promobranding.events APRIL 18, 2024 The Big Promotional Trade Show London, UK thebigpromotionaltradeshow.co.uk APRIL 24, 2024 The Big Promotional Trade Show Manchester, UK thebigpromotionaltradeshow.co.uk MAY 2, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Farnborough, UK promobranding.events INDUSTRY EVENTS of exchanging ideas with others can be of real benefit to your own business. Back to screen printing, then: Tony Palmer explains how to choose the right squeegee for the job (‘The big squeegee debate’, page 60), Paul Woodward of ink manufacturer MagnaColours shows you how speciality inks can take your prints to new heights (‘The only way is up’, page 58), and Alex Simons of Water Based Wizard talks about why he set up his screen printing consultancy and new staff bank service for print shops (‘A helping hand’, page 62). We also review the latest screen printing equipment – everything from presses to inks and pre-press equipment (‘The big screen’, page 54) – and break down a stunning T-shirt print by Robert Hewitt and Shaun Anderson of Red Oak Wear (‘Anatomy of a print’, page 35). On top of all that, we have embroidery advice from Wilcom (page 52) and David Sharp (page 63), advice on RIPs for digital printing from Fiery’s Vincent Hughes (page 32), plus a Printwear & Promotion Live! showfloor walk-through (page 42) to help you plan your visit to this year’s event. Jonathan Vince
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 06 images FEBRUARY 2024 One+All Zipped Hoodies now available from stock Schoolwear manufacturer One+All has announced that its popular Zipped Hoodie is now available in navy and royal shades from stock. Part of the Woodbank range, the hoodie is available in sizes 2/3 years to small for next day delivery in the two colours. It also comes in six additional colours as a made-to-order garment. The style has raglan sleeves as well as elasticated cuffs and hems. For extra durability, the neck, cuffs and hems are twin-needle stitched, the back neck seams are covered, and the cotton-rich 300gsm fabric is “soft and comfortable to wear”. The hoodies can also be printed and embroidered in-house by One+All. imagesmag.uk/One-All-zip-stock Follow the links to the news stories online www.images-magazine.com Epson launches entry-level DTG printer capable of printing on dark fabrics Epson has unveiled what it says is “the market’s first entry-level DTG (direct-togarment) printer that can print directly onto dark, as well as light, fabrics” thanks to the inclusion of white ink. The SC-F1000 DTG printer promises to be of interest to those smaller businesses and retailers that require a “cost-effective solution with the flexibility to print on a wide range of fabric types”, the manufacturer said. By offering white ink, the SC-F1000 allows users to DTG print onto dark and light fabrics, as well as direct-to-film (DTF). It combines Epson’s PrecisionCore Micro TFP print head technology with NVT (nozzle verification technology), and uses Epson’s UltraChrome DG2 inks. Other features include a “simple and intuitive” touchscreen, auto-cleaning, USB and wifi connectivity options, and the use of UltraChrome DG2 ink pouches. Tom Owers, business manager for commercial and industrial at Epson UK, added: “We look forward to showcasing the SC-F1000 at Printwear & Promotion Live! together with our partner Xpres at their stand.” imagesmag.uk/Epson-SC-F1000 The Zipped Hoodie is available in navy and royal for next day delivery The compact SC-F1000 is ideal for retail environments and small workshops Snickers launches ‘first’ built-in, certified kneepads Snickers Workwear has announced the introduction of what it calls “the world’s first built-in, certified kneepads”. The AllroundWork, Stretch Trousers with Capsulized Kneepads and Holster Pockets promises low-profile, comfortable impact protection. “Designed and engineered in partnership with YBC, the Capsulized kneepad components comprise six protection layers that work with each other to dissipate the energy created by the impact of working on your knees or through bumps in the workplace,” Snickers explained. “They deliver effective durability combined with penetration protection, as well as additional impact absorption, pressure release and enhanced comfort. And, as is typical of all Snickers Workwear clothing, these stretch Work Trousers with the lightweight Capsulized kneepads will provide in-place ergonomic protection all day, every day.” imagesmag.uk/Snickers-cap-pads The new Snickers AllroundWork, Stretch Trousers with Capsulized kneepads Vince Tyra starts Gildan role early Vince Tyra began his new role as president and CEO of Gildan Activewear on 15 January, nearly a month before his original start date, following a request from the Gildan board to engage early with key stakeholders and “bring needed stability and leadership to the company”. imagesmag.uk/Gildan-Tyra-start
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 08 images FEBRUARY 2024 # 99 Bubba and Ronnie 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 Bubba and Ronnie from Bargoed Branding in Aberbargoed in Mid Glamorgan Full names: Bubba and Ronnie James Breed: Rhodesian ridgeback Ages: Both turned two on 30 September 2023. Time at company: Since the end of May 2023. Job titles: Bubba – customer services, Ronnie – packaging. Job descriptions: Bubba is very vocal in her appreciation of customers arriving and turns on the cuteness shortly after announcement for her sales. Ronnie is chief unpacker, he meets Joe from DPD at the door then he helps with all things cardboard. Special skills: Bubba’s special skills include instant calm therapy in frustrating moments, cuddles and sleep. Ronnie’s special skills are cardboard box collapsing, ball squeaking, random chaos and a lot of love. Favourite colours: Bubba loves a velvety purple Pantone 1633; Ronnie is a bundle of ginger happiness with Pantone 1765. www.bargoedbranding.co.uk PRINT SHOP POOCHES Follow us on Facebook: @imagesmaguk Bubba (left) and Ronnie in a rare moment of quiet with owner Darren SPW introduces innovative screenmaking machine Screen Print World (SPW) has been appointed as exclusive UK distributor of D2M-RS1, a new ‘direct-to-mesh’ screen-making technology. The stencil-making process centres around a printable emulsion which is applied directly to the screen mesh in a negative form. “It basically replaces emulsion precoating and therefore the need for film positives or CTS equipment,” explained the distributor. For more details, turn to the Screen Printing Showcase, page 54. imagesmag.uk/SPW-D2M The D2M-RS1 is now available from exclusive UK distributor SPW Hobkirk announces new Ricoma ‘touch and swipe’ function Ricoma’s latest embroidery machines now include Swipe Technology. Billed by UK distributor Hobkirk as a “brand new feature for the embroidery industry”, it allows Ricoma embroidery machine users to touch and swipe rather than press buttons for “seamless” machine operation functionality. Similar to the swipe feature used on smartphones and tablets, it is included on the latest 10S embroidery machine models in the Ricoma range. According to Hobkirk, this means “no more pressing buttons, just touch and swipe for seamless machine operation functionality”. Other features of the “tech-crammed” 10” touchscreen include a 100 million-stitch memory; automatic software updates by wifi; a search bar to sort and locate designs; and quick and easy thread colour-matching. Users also have the ability to combine multiple designs and text on screen without a need for design software, as well as being able to duplicate, resize, flip, organise and rename designs. The new screen and functions are now available on the following Ricoma models: EM1010-10S (1 head, 10 colour), 1501-TC-10S (1 head, 15 colour), SWD-1501-10S (1 head, 15 colour, XL sewing area), MT1502-10S (2 head, 15 colour), MT1503-10S (3 head, 15 colour), and MT1504-10S (4 head, 15 colour). All the above models are available from Hobkirk, based in Lancashire, and include UK mainland delivery, installation, training and a two-year parts and labour warranty. imagesmag.uk/Ricoma-Swipe Ricoma’s 10S models now feature the new Swipe Technology
UC410 CUFFED BEANIE THE NEW ADDITION Black Bottle Green Charcoal Navy Deep Royal Free Next Day Pre 12 Delivery On All Orders Above £150 Ex VAT P: 020 8452 6500 E: email@example.com
INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 10 images FEBRUARY 2024 Vastex announces new DTF powder-tofilm system Machine manufacturer Vastex International has developed a powderto-film unit that it says uniformly coats direct-to-film (DTF) films with adhesive powder, “improving DTF printing performance and operator safety” . The PTF-100 comprises a steel case on a stand, with a clear polycarbonate door set at an angle and two cartridges, each of which can hold around 1.4 kg of adhesive powder. The operator puts the wet DTF-printed film print side up on the application tray. Once the polycarbonate door is closed, the operator can adjust the angle of the powder deflector and the amount of powder to be released. “The top cartridge releases adhesive powder which rains down on the film, ensuring complete and even coverage,” explained the company. “When empty, the upper cartridge can be switched quickly and cleanly with the lower cartridge containing all excess powder, reducing exposure while eliminating waste and allowing continuous production until refilling is needed.” imagesmag.uk/Vastex-DTF First phase of Workwear Uniform Group’s £15m warehouse system now operational Workwear Uniform Group (WWUGL) has announced that the first phase of its £15 million AutoStore system is now complete. The fully automated warehouse and distribution system promises to transform the picking and dispatch speeds, and “significantly reduce” carbon emissions at WWGUL’s Oldbury headquarters in the West Midlands. According to the company, the extensive goods-to-person automation project maximises space and streamlines storage – the 40 x 95m grid can store nearly 130,000 bins – with 60 robots working from nine picking stations, improving inventory and shipment accuracy. The group, which specialises in workwear, PPE and corporate uniforms, has a £100 million annual turnover, which it is hoping to double over the next five years. imagesmag.uk/WWUGL-first-phase ITC teams up to help small businesses access new markets Six sustainability organisations from the garment and textile sector are partnering with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to make it easier for small businesses to sell in new markets. The tie-up with the ITC, which is the small business agency of the United Nations (UN), will allow the sharing of the sustainability credentials of small businesses worldwide through the UN Certified Business Registry. The aim is to make it easier for small businesses to sell in to new markets; currently, separate sustainability standards keep separate public registries of certified businesses. The six organisations are Better Cotton, Global Organic Textile Standard (Gots), Oeko-Tex, Textile Exchange, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (Wrap) and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). imagesmag.uk/ITC-6 SP Workwear Guaranteed to raise a smile, this vibrant logo was embroidered onto Pro RTX and Regatta garments by SP Workwear in Maidenhead for Scallywags Family Fun. imagesmag.uk/SP-Scally DECORATOR REPORT Read our full-length Decorator Reports online: www.images-magazine.com The new powder-tofilm unit from Vastex for DTF printing Claudia Kersten, managing director of Gots, one of the six textile and garment organisations partnering with ITC The new £15m fully automated warehousing and distribution product handling system at WWGUL
DTG& ONE PRINTER,TWO DIFFERENT PRINTING METHODS. Buy our all-rounders now and become part of the Brother family: DTF With the attachment developed by Brother, you can easily convert our GTXpro or GTXpro Bulk DTG printer into a DTF printer. Meet us live 19-22 March 2024 RAI Amsterdam Hall 12 Booth D10
HYBRID DTG & DTF PRINTING SC-F2200 PRINTER The SureColor F2200 is built to deliver exceptional DTG and DTF prints for every type of business. Fast, flexible, and highly functional, the latest addition to the SC-F series is the perfect all-in-one solution for any start-up or medium-volume business, offering reliability, efficiency, and cost savings across the board.
BENEFITS ● Larger print designs on T-shirts, Hoodies & Sweatshirts ● Superior retail level finish with A softer feel ● create Designs with gradients & fades towards artwork edge ● ‘Print on demand’ t-shirt production BENEFITS ● Decorate on a wide range of fabrics including: cotton, nylon, polyester, 50/50 blends & treated leather ● Produce grouped, multiple small designs such as chest pocket logos with no weeding required ● Build stocks of repeat jobs & store ready made transfers ahead of time ● No need to pre-treat fabrics BOOK YOUR DEMO TODAY AND discover how Xpres can optimise your dtg and DTF production 01332 85 50 85 www.xpres.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Using the latest advancements in DTG and DTF technology, the SC-F2200 brings together the best of both worlds. FROM AS LOW AS £8,995EXVAT INC WARRANTY, INKS &SOFTWARE
INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 14 images FEBRUARY 2024 Briggs welcomes Reebok to its range Briggs Industrial Footwear has announced it is now distributing Reebox products. “Reebok are an iconic brand in the world of fashion and fitness footwear but now you can buy their safety footwear in the UK too,” said the protective footwear supplier. The new styles are available to those providing PPE from the Briggs Safetywear warehouse in Leicester. Styles include all composite trainers, shoes and boots in men’s and women’s sizes from S1P through to S3 waterproof. imagesmag.uk/Briggs-Reebok DECORATED PRODUCT OF THE MONTH Reebok safety footwear is now available in the UK from Briggs Safetywear School Leavers Company donates £1k to winning school St Thomas More Catholic School has been presented with a £1,000 cheque after winning a competition arranged by School Leavers Company. The garment decoration company entered all customers who ordered leavers hoodies for classes of 2023 into the draw, with the West Midlands-based school being selected as the winner. Head teacher Mrs S Bowen said: “Here at St Thomas More we are a tight-knit community and believe in supporting each other wherever possible. Our inschool Hardship Fund is designed to support those in need with school-related costs. With the current cost of living crisis, we need these funds more than ever and I was therefore very pleased to learn of the £1,000 donation from our leavers hoodies’ supplier.” imagesmag.uk/SLC-St-Thomas [L-R] Rachel Whitehead, manager, School Leavers Company, Mr K Dawson of St Thomas More Catholic School, and Angus Mitchell, managing director of School Leavers Company Follow us on LinkedIn @ImagesMagUK This one-of-a-kind hoodie with its distressed hood, appliqué embroidery and close attention to detail is a walking advert for Suliman Khan’s garment decoration skills. A partner in the Cardiff-based Ice Cream Embroidery, Suliman made this piece for himself, as he explains. “When it comes to making custom pieces, the customer usually gives me a guideline to work off. Once I am given a brief idea of what the customer wants, I usually collaborate my own vision with the customer’s. However, this specific hoodie was intended to showcase our capabilities as a manufacturer and to inspire customers’ designs moving forward.” The main feature of the piece is the embroidered double-layer appliqué patches – Suliman recycled some old off-cuts by dyeing and washing them, before applying them using his Barudan embroidery machine. He then bleached and distressed the hoodie using a blade and a Dremel, revealing the French terry inner layer, and cropped the bottom of the hoodie for an open hem style. He then put it through the wash “for a better finish on the appliqués”. The hoodie itself is one of Ice Cream Embroidery’s own – the company has its own blanks manufactured to its own specifications so as to differentiate itself from its competitors. www.instagram.com/ icecreamembroidery The hoodie uses a variety of decoration techniques
THE NEW 440GSM OODIE THE NEW440 HO PENCARRIE: 0800 252248 | PRESTIGE LEISURE: 0800 6521234 RALAWISE: 0800 212180 | RALAWISE IRELAND: 1 800 599599 WWW.AWDISBRANDS.COM JH120 SIGNATURE HEAVYWEIGHT HOODIE Scanfor more info Deep Black Natural Stone Heather Grey New French Navy Solid Charcoal This unisex hoodie delivers maximum style with minimal effort. Craftedfroma heavyweight premium cotton-rich fabric, it boasts an oversized, boxy fit that stays true to size. Complete with a spacious pouch pocket, ribbed cuffs, and hem, this hoodie ensures warmth and comfort, making it a must-have for your everyday essentials.
INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 16 images FEBRUARY 2024 Tim Bernaerdt has been promoted to director at Enfocus, which provides automation and PDF tools for the print industry. Having recently celebrated his tenth anniversary at Enfocus, Tim began as channel account manager in 2013 and was most recently head of customer success. “I’m excited and honoured to lead the Enfocus business,” commented Tim. “With Enfocus in great shape today, I look forward to continuing our success story and bringing Enfocus to the future.” Enfocus recently launched Enfocus Review solution, an online proofing system, and Enfocus Cloud, a cloudbased solution that stores workflows online in case of hardware failure. imagesmag.uk/Tim-Bernaerdt Lucia Eklöf has joined Coloreel as vice president of customer success. She has been appointed to lead international expansion, noted the company, which is known for its instant thread-colouring units. Lucia joins from Coats, a thread manufacturer, where she was responsible for a large portfolio of Scandinavian apparel and footwear brands and their global operations. Lucia will work closely with Coloreel’s distributors, customers, and certified digitisers to help them maximise the benefits of Coloreel’s solutions. imagesmag.uk/Lucia-Eklof Sue Fells has been appointed by Doves Print & Embroidery as its national sales manager. She has worked in the garment decoration industry for more than 25 years, including as business development manager for distributors BTC Activewear and Pencarrie. “I’m excited and honoured to have been approached by Ronny Dowek, director at Doves, to work with him in achieving new successes in 2024,” she explained. “I am looking forward to getting out and about, meeting with both new and old customers.” Sue will work closely with the team of account managers at Doves, as well as the print and embroidery teams. imagesmag.uk/Sue-Fells Corra Anderson has taken on the role of marketing assistant with Prestige Leisure. In her new job, she will be supporting the wider marketing team when making decisions across a wide range of areas, including customer engagement, media content and market research. “She has come into the team with a fresh set of eyes, where she has given new opinions and advice,” the distributor noted. “Corra will be taking on important tasks which will be vital in the running of the marketing department.” Previously a university student, Corra is “looking forward to working closely with the team at Prestige Leisure and to be a part of the evolution and progression of the business.” imagesmag.uk/Corra-Anderson Sue Fells Tim Bernaerdt Lucia Eklöf CHANGING FACES Corra Anderson Gor Factory and PF Concept join forces Gor Factory has entered into a “strategic partnership for printed clothing” with promotional products supplier PF Concept. According to the companies, Gor Factory, which is the manufacturer of the Roly apparel brand, will provide the PF Concept warehouses with “deep inventory” for a wide selection of T-shirts, polos, hoodies, bodywarmers and jackets. “Roly’s unmatched sourcing capabilities and purchasing power will ensure that this collection is positioned at the best prices in the market.” PF Concept, which acquired the UK print-on-demand company T Shirt & Sons in 2021 and is headquartered in The Netherlands, with a warehouse and printing facility in Poland, is promising customers a print turnaround from one day after order confirmation. Gor Factory will continue to supply the market directly for blank clothing. imagesmag.uk/PF-Gor Humane Made Studio Humane Made Studio in Paignton, Devon, embroidered this mouth-watering logo onto Beechfield beanies for Tam’s Kitchen. imagesmag.uk/Humanemade-TK DECORATOR REPORT Gor Factory and PF Concept have teamed up in Europe Follow us on Threads: @imagesmaguk
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 18 images FEBRUARY 2024 Sam Wareing, managing director of Bubble Customised Clothing in Warrington, Cheshire, reveals that his favourite product to decorate is the Men’s Coolplus Polo Shirt (H475) from Henbury. A wide range of clients use this polo shirt, from office staff through to construction workers, explains Sam. “We consistently get great feedback from customers as to its longevity and durability, and we have great success in upselling it to customers, rather than an entry-level polo shirt.” Available in up to 26 colours, the H475 is made from a moisturewicking, micro-fine piqué fabric. It’s a great option for both print and embroidery, adds Sam. “The 100% polyester fabric also means it’s great as a cheaper alternative to branded golf shirts!” imagesmag.uk/Feb24-RC www.bubblecustomised.co.uk 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 The H475 is ideal for decoration with both print and embroidery, says Sam READERS’ CHOICE New exhibitors announced for SDUK The organisers of Sign & Digital UK (SDUK) 2024 have revealed visitors will be able to see a number of first-time exhibitors at the show. Taking place at the end of February at the Birmingham NEC, the signage and digital printing show will include UK Feather Flags. The company will showcase a range of innovative products, including a new line of Eco fabric exhibition display solutions. Also new to the show is BestSub, which will be showing its latest engraving machine, craft heat presses, Otter direct-to-film (DTF) system, and a comprehensive selection of craft supplies, materials, and tools. SDUK, which is co-located with Printwear & Promotion Live!, is taking place on 25-27 February 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham. Turn to page 42 for our preview of the two shows. imagesmag.uk/SDUK2024-new Sign & Digital UK 2024 takes place in Birmingham later this month M&R DTF system heading to UK M&R’s first direct-to-film (DTF) system is set to launch in Europe and the UK in the first quarter of 2024. The Quatro, which was launched in the US at the end of 2023, features four Epson I3200 A1 print heads and promises “vibrant, high-quality prints with excellent colour accuracy and sharp details”. The 60cm printer includes an on-board bulk powder adhesive reservoir for continuous operation; two basemounted trays to capture excess powder adhesive for reuse; an integrated exhaust filtration system; continuous temperature monitoring; and M&R’s ‘Positive Link System’ to ensure accurate film tracking between the Quatro printer, powder applicator and dryer. The US manufacturer has also announced the expansion of an existing relationship with Nazdar Ink Technologies to include an ink set for the Quatro. imagesmag.uk/M&R-Quatro View daily news updates at: www.images-magazine.com The new Quatro direct-to-film transfer printing system from M&R DP&P rebrands to We do Workwear! Direct Print & Promotions has rebranded its branding and trading name to We do Workwear! The company, which has been operating for nearly a decade, has also changed its web address to www.wedoworkwear.com. Director James Smith explained the rebrand came about because the business has evolved over the years. “We felt the name didn’t say much about what ‘we do’ anymore,” he said. The branding had become outdated, he explained, and now the company has found its niche, the new name helps with that focus. “It’s still the same great team, providing the same great service!” added James. imagesmag.uk/WDW-rebrand
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 20 images FEBRUARY 2024 Amaya to distribute Sabur DTF machines Sabur has announced that Amaya Sales UK is now distributing its range of direct-to-film (DTF) systems. “We’re excited to work with Amaya,” said Dean Sanger, Sabur’s CEO. “We’ve dealt with Amaya on other projects over the years and we’re looking forward to working together with them to grow the sales and promote the advantages of our DTF equipment.” Julian Wright, director at Amaya, added: “As a company we have been closely monitoring the growth in the DTF sector and, while we already offer a hybrid DTG/DTF system, we felt the need to be patient before committing on a dedicated DTF solution. “At Amaya we are dedicated to offering the best solutions to market, but this needs to be coupled with unmatched back-up and support. This is the reason we chose to work alongside Sabur. They have a rich history in going the extra mile where customer satisfaction is concerned and have a strong reputation for supplying and supporting the very best products and consumables.” The new partnership coincides with the launch of Sabur’s latest DTF model, the Sabtex SD-30. Billed as a “next generation” DTF printer, the entrylevel 30cm-wide printer and coating system has a maximum speed of 4sqm/hr, upgraded pinch rollers for consistent printing quality, and a compact footprint. imagesmag.uk/sabur-amaya IPIA returns to Downing Street to advocate for industry Charles Roger of the Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA) was invited back to 10 Downing Street for a Business Leaders Reception by the chancellor Jeremy Hunt at the end of last year. It’s the second time the IPIA has been invited to this event, along with two formal meetings with special advisors to the prime minister. The event on 20 December aimed to bring together representatives from key sectors of the UK economy and foster collaboration. After Jeremy Hunt had addressed the reception, Charles met with him to discuss the projected impact of the policies announced in the Autumn Statement. The IPIA reported that Charles also impressed on the chancellor “the critical importance for print to be included in manufacturing support initiatives, such as the Energy-intensive Industries Scheme”. imagesmag.uk/ IPIA-Downing-St Charles Rogers of the IPIA at Number 10 Downing Street Stay in the picture with our Instagram feed: @imagesmaguk Resolute launches Metallic DTF films Resolute has introduced a new line of DTF films that aim to bring a shimmer to prints. The Metallic DTF range promise “a true mirrored effect, rivalling traditional metallic vinyl”, the machine and consumables manufacturer explained, adding: “Unleash your creativity with shimmering designs in a spectrum of shades.” The new Metallic DTF films are available in rolls of 60cm width by 25m, on a standard 75mm core. imagesmag.uk/DTF-shimmer The new Metallic DTF film from Resolute The Sabur Sabtex SD-30 DTF Printer is available now from Amaya
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 22 images FEBRUARY 2024 Result releases new recycled fleece blanket New from Result Genuine Recycled is the Recycled Fleece Blanket (R939X). This pill-resistant, heavyweight, recycled fleece blanket is “extremely warm”, said the brand. Machine washable and quick drying, the large, 700gsm blanket measures 175 x 140cm. It is available in grey, and is finished with an attractive edge stitch. Result added: “With its luxury feel and soft touch, it is perfect for cosy nights in front of the fire or for emergency use in the car.” The Recycled Fleece Blanket is in stock now. imagesmag.uk/R939X Christmas appeal for textile workers’ kids surpasses expectations More than £19,000 has been raised by the Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT). The campaign was launched at the beginning of December 2023 by the charity with the aim of raising £5,000 for winter essentials for the children of UK fashion and textile workers [imagesmag. uk/FTCT-winter-essentials]. “The funds raised will be sent out to financially vulnerable children whose parents work in fashion and textiles,” wrote the FTCT on LinkedIn. “Children who otherwise would miss out on a warm winter duvet, a cosy new coat, or a hot cooked meal from a working oven.” The charity thanked all of those who donated to the fund and added: “The funds raised are going to make a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children in the coming months.” You can read about some of the children helped by the FTCT at imagesmag.uk/FTCT-Blog. imagesmag.uk/Xmas-FTCT-total The winter essentials appeal from the FTCT has raised £19,000 More than 400 exhibitors sign up for Fespa 2024 in Amsterdam The organisers of Fespa Global Print Expo 2024 have announced that more than 425 companies have already signed up to participate in the trade exhibition this spring, with early bird discounted entry tickets now available to Images readers. Taking place in Amsterdam from 19 to 22 March 2024, the show will include print equipment suppliers such as Brother, Dekken, MHM, Mimaki, Roland, Epson, Mutoh and Roq. Other confirmed exhibitors include Caldera, Dae Ha, EFI, and Fiery, with three co-located shows also open to visitors: the inaugural Sportswear Pro, European Sign Expo 2024, and Personalisation Experience. Entry to all four exhibition areas is free for members of a Fespa national association or Fespa Direct. For non-members, tickets are usually €80, but Images readers can take advantage of an early bird discount: to save €30 on tickets, simply use the promo code FESM423 when purchasing tickets before 19 February 2024. To book a ticket, go to www.fespaglobalprintexpo. com/2024-registration. imagesmag.uk/fespa-400 Fespa 2024 is taking place in Amsterdam in March this year Follow us on X @imagesmaguk Roland DG unveils direct-to-film printer Roland DG has launched a direct-tofilm (DTF) printer. The BY-20 uses a water-based system to create DTF transfers, ready for applying onto a wide range of substrates, including cotton, polyester, denim and nylon. “This compact machine combines excellent print quality and productivity to produce highly designed apparel goods beautifully and quickly,” Roland DG commented. Priced “to make it easy for firsttime users”, it comes with software FlexiDesigner VersaStudio Edition, which can be used for everything from design creation to output, as well as the cloud-based support service, Roland DG Connect. imagesmag.uk/BY-20-DTF The new BY-20 DTF printer from Roland DG The heavyweight and warm Recycled Fleece Blanket
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 24 images FEBRUARY 2024 Re-engineered cotton increases print quality of Gildan tee Gildan says its Ultra Cotton 2000 T-shirt now feels softer on the skin and has improved printability qualities thanks to a new cotton technology. The apparel manufacturer has reengineered the US cotton used to make the tee from the yarn through to the finishing process to create a better feel and printability. “Our 2000 T-shirt is already a smart choice, thanks to its heavyweight fabric, classic fit, and affordable price point. An industry legend that is tried and true, and now we’ve turned it into something even better,” said Emma Budzisz, vice-president of marketing at Gildan Activewear SRL. “With this update, Gildan will become an even smarter choice for decorators and customers alike.” The updated T-shirt, and the rest of the 2000 family, made its official debut in January at the Impressions Expo Long Beach in California, US. The new ‘soft cotton’ technology will be extended to Gildan’s 5000, the 8000 and 18000 family of styles later this year, reported the manufacturer. imagesmag.uk/Gildan-cotton-tech Gildan makes the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 11th year Apparel manufacturer Gildan Activewear has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for its “on-going efforts towards ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance] initiatives”. This is the 11th year in a row that the company has been included in the index, with Gildan achieving the fifth highest corporate sustainability assessment score in the textiles, apparel, and luxury goods category (190 companies were assessed in this sector). “Gildan’s continued inclusion on the DJSI underscores our commitment to sustainability and highlights the ongoing efforts of our employees across our business,” says Peter Iliopoulos, senior vice-president of taxation, sustainability, and governmental affairs at Gildan. imagesmag.uk/Gildan-DJ-11th Gildan’s ESG initiatives have been recognised for the 11th year running Fiery boosts its offering Fiery has launched a new website, user community and learning platform. Customer and partners can find product information, downloads, free trials and learning courses at Fiery.com, which the software developer says will “empower the print community to achieve unparalleled levels of digital printing excellence”. Visitors can access the redesigned Fiery Communities portal from the website and interact with peers, ask questions, connect with Fiery experts worldwide, and find technical resources and support. In addition, there is Fiery Learning, an ondemand learning platform offering a wide range of video content. [See this issue’s Digital helpdesk on page 32 for advice from Fiery’s Vincent Hughes on the importance of RIP software in DTF and DTG production.] imagesmag.uk/Fiery-Learning Fiery has updated its website and user community and launched a learning platform The updated Gildan Ultra Cotton 2000 promises improved printability Find our digital editions online: imagesmag.uk/digital-issues
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 26 images FEBRUARY 2024 Colourbyte appointed as reseller for Mutoh printers Colourbyte Europe has added the Mutoh eco-solvent sign and display printers to its portfolio. Mutoh’s XpertJet 1341SR Pro 54” machine and the ValueJet 628 24” printers are now available from the company, which is an existing Graphtec GB reseller. Lawrence Hebron, UK product manager (Mutoh) for Graphtec GB, commented: “This is an important appointment for us. Colourbyte has been a valued reseller of Graphtec GB for many years, and we are delighted that they are extending their product portfolio with us. The Mutoh printers fulfil Colourbyte’s desire to provide an eco-solvent range of printers that are ideally suited to their customers’ need for quality output, reduced cost per print and a space-saving solution.” imagesmag.uk/Colourbyte-Mutoh [L-R] Lawrence Hebron of Graphtec GB with Tim Stockley, managing director of Colourbyte Jo Morris, head of insight at Novuna Business Finance, says it is positive that such a large proportion of small businesses are focusing on new growth initiatives New polos from Stedman for 2024 Stedman has launched Lux Polo shirts for the new year. Available for both men and women, the polos come in six ‘promotional’ colours and are made from a “high-quality, soft, and durable single piqué”, the manufacturer reported. “The rib collar and rib cuffs add a touch of refinement to the design, elevating this polo shirt to a must-have wardrobe staple.” The new styles are available in sizes S-5XL for men and XS-3XL for women. In addition, Stedman has added a new colour, natural, to its Classic-T T-shirts for men, women and children, while the Classic-T for children has also had slate grey, Bordeaux and bottle green added to its colour roster. imagesmag.uk/Stedman-Lux The new Lux Polo from Stedman Four out of five owners plan to develop their businesses in 2024 Research by Novuna Business Finance reveals that 81% of business owners are planning to develop their companies this year. “With around nine in ten small businesses saying that they still feel the pressures from the cost-of-living crisis, there is an emphasis on increasing business income and sales this year across all sectors,” stated the financial services company. More than eight in ten small businesses in the manufacturing sector are looking to strengthen their enterprise this year, with one in five planning to diversify by offering new service lines or products to their consumers. A further 14% are planning to expand into new geographical markets. imagesmag.uk/Novuna-81-develop Watch our latest videos on Vimeo: @imagesmaguk
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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT www.images-magazine.com 28 images FEBRUARY 2024 How can I reward and motivate my employees without increasing their wage? Whilst he was leader of the Labour party, Tony Blair made the distinction between five-second conversations and fiveminute conversations. The former looked at quick wins and punchy statements, like “Drive the private sector out of the NHS!”. The latter looked at the issue through an inquisitive lens, asking questions that rooted it in the context of what was and wasn’t achievable: “Would you prefer to wait longer for your operation, or have it done now in a private hospital but paid for by the NHS?” In business, we also suffer from fivesecond conversations about motivating and rewarding employees. Managers often find themselves seeking quick wins that, once enacted, can have little to no long-term value. Let’s have a five-minute conversation on this instead. Nine ways to reward and motivate employees With costs rising, many businesses simply can’t afford to offer huge pay increases in the current cost of living crisis. But there are many ways that we can still recognise and reward our workforce that don’t require any additional financial output. What follows are my key tips that have directly or indirectly driven up employees’ standard of living at zero or little cost across many sectors. ■ Be more ambitious Don’t accept mere consultation or involvement of your employees. Instead, aim for an engaged workforce which is also enabled to drive improvements in the business. This will quickly drive productivity. ■ Create opportunities to bring outside skills in We all live a life outside the four walls of the workplace. Discover the skills and experience employees demonstrate outside work and provide similar fulfilment and job-enrichment in work. Ask yourself: what percentage of those skills do we give our people the opportunity to use at work? ■ Focus on what employees can do well if trained The systematic removal of artificial barriers to entry has resulted in widespread increase in promotions for employees previously excluded from management and technical roles. ■ Minimise childcare costs by facilitating shift changes Where appropriate, facilitate changes in shifts to minimise childcare costs. This has enabled couples to reduce or eliminate these costs. Given the post-tax increase in disposable income this created, it has a much greater impact on standard of living than multiple years of pay rises. ■ Apply high-quality improvement science Known variously as Lean, Operational Excellence, Agile, and Six Sigma, applying improvement science re-energises how your employees approach their day-to-day. Often major improvements cost very little or make immediate savings provided improvement science is applied well. ■ Address span-of-control issues This has created new non-management leadership roles, making career progression possible for employees who previously saw their working life as a series of jobs rather than a structured career. This is immediately authentic for employees, as they see their peers becoming facilitators and taking up peerleadership roles. ■ Train employees to be leaders Offer opportunities for your employees to gain skills like problem-solving, recognition, coaching and constructive feedback that will help them throughout their career. In my experience, doing this increases both the quality and quantity of improvement conversations and driven innovation. In turn this ensures employees are no longer taken for granted but become skilled problem-solvers coached to higher and higher levels of performance. Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company Q&A Frank Devine is a culture change specialist, educator, founder of Accelerated Improvement, and author of Rapid Mass Engagement: Driving Continuous Improvement through Employee Culture Creation. www.acceleratedimprovement.co.uk ■ Train your leaders to be leaders Look at leadership development specifically designed for busy leaders operating at stress. Ensure it maximises both improvement science and employee engagement and enablement. ■ Share the productivity gains Promote your progress from implementing the changes above with employees via gain-sharing and other tax-efficient mechanisms. Five key takeaways for busy leaders For any manager, regardless of the size of your team, deciding how to reward and motivate your employees takes work. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding what works for your culture and for your people requires you, as a leader, to be strategic. Here are my key takeaways to consider. ■ See the world with recognition glasses on! Look for employees and recruits with the traits and values that drive a high-performance yet continually improving culture. Reward them with appreciation, encouragement, opportunities, and technical training. ■ Reject the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’. ■ Learn when and how to have fiveminute+ conversations. ■ Ensure your organisation has an opportunity-oriented improvement culture, ideally owned by its own employees as demonstrated in rapid mass engagement (RME). ■ Add systematic but non-hierarchical coaching and problem-solving at all levels. The resultant boost to innovation and productivity will work to improve employees’ standard of living in a way that is efficient, sustainable, and costeffective… exactly what we need in a cost of living crisis!