ImagesMagUK_July_2022

JULY 2022

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www.images-magazine.com 02 images JULY 2022 SHOP TALK 04 Editorial 08 Print Shop Pooches #80 Teddy from Blue Piranha 16 Readers‘ choice 20 Decorated product of the month 64 Up close & personal Courtney Jacob of HG Kippax & Sons NEWS HUB 06 Industry news Exile launches Spyder III CTS system, M&R adds Copperhead Intel press, DigitalHeat FX DTF printers now available from YES, and Adelco launches new ProCure and Dual dryers KNOWLEDGE BASE 26 The Business Clinic How to conduct staff appraisals, plus why word of mouth is old news 28 Digital helpdesk Powderless printing is the latest development in the direct-to-film sector. Colin Marsh of Resolute DTG guides you through this new technology 30 Anatomy of a print Separations expert Tomasz Sykutera from Dragonfly Colors describes how this photorealistic design was prepared and printed 34 Fespa Global Print Expo 2022 Fespa Global Print Expo returned from 31 May-3 June, with product launches and demos of the latest equipment and supplies across eight halls of Messe Berlin. Images was there to find out what’s new 44 A striking mix Emily Crane of Xpres explains how garment decorators can combine direct-to-film printing with special effect heat transfer vinyl to produce electrifying designs 54 100 things I wish I knew a long time ago Marshall Atkinson recounts the list of things he wishes he had known when he was a younger garment decorator 56 Ask Tony Lawrence Chapman of Countryside Art asks Tony: “Do you have any ideas on how to reduce my print shop’s energy usage?“ 58 Throwing in a towel Towels aren‘t just for bathrooms and summer holidays – the fluffy fabric can also be used to great effect with appliqué, as Dominic Bunce of digitiser David Sharp demonstrates 59 Mixed media made simple Top advice from Erich Campbell to help embroiderers navigate the world of mixed media decorations with ease PRODUCT FOCUS 38 Performance ready Whether they’re off to the gym or relaxing after a workout, there’s plenty of winning athleisure and performancewear options for your customers. We review some of the latest brandable styles 46 So sublime From apparel and personalised merchandise to décor and soft signage, dye sublimation is a great option for decorators wanting bold, highly detailed prints. We review the most up-to-date machinery and equipment from leading suppliers 49 Telling it like it is: sublimation printers Daniel Allen of Supersport shares how his sublimation printer is working out 50 Kitting out the kids! From babies to teens, personalised kidswear is as popular as ever — we round up the latest decoratorfriendly styles INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT 32 Back up to speed Lisa and Adrian Birch are graduates of the school of hard knocks. They explain how SpeedStitch has bounced back from successive setbacks and is now powering ahead CONTENTS JULY 2022 36 38 64 38 30 58 44 32

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www.images-magazine.com 04 images JULY 2022 Published by: 360 Communications Ltd images magazine, 360 Communications Ltd, 58a Livingstone Road, Hove, BN3 3WL, UK 01273 748482 | www.images-magazine.com Advertising: [email protected] Editorial: [email protected] Subscriptions: [email protected] | Images is available free of charge to UK subscribers Subscribe online: imagesmag.uk/subscribe | Update your subscription/contact details online: imagesmag.uk/subs-update Publisher/advertising: Jonathan Vince | [email protected] Features editor: Rachael Glazier | [email protected] News editor: Mark Ludmon | [email protected] Publishing assistant: Gaby Bowring | [email protected] Design/Production: ATG Media | [email protected] 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. JULY 2022 | VOL.31 NO.7 EDITORIAL Last month, all roads led to Berlin as the first proper Fespa Global Print Expo since the onset of the pandemic rolled into town (we’re classing last year’s outing in Amsterdam as a warm-up for this year’s big event). We braved the chaos at the airports to bring you the main stories from the show. Our takeaway: as a barometer of the current state of the industry, the event suggested that there is fair weather on the horizon, notwithstanding a period of ‘unsettled weather’ that we’ll need to navigate first. The most positive aspect of the show was the new product development on display. After a relatively quiet couple of years, the manufacturers and suppliers have fired up their NPD teams with a vengeance. In this month’s ‘Industry News’ you can read all about M&R’s new Copperhead Intel press; Kornit’s plans for its new Apollo “full-scale automated New horizons 1992-2022 production line for DTG”; Exile’s long-awaited Spyder III computer-to-screen system; Adelco’s new textile dryers; Polyprint’s new TexJet NG series of DTG printers (see the new models for yourself at Amaya Sales UK’s DTG Breakthrough Day at its Notts showroom - July 12-13); and Epson’s new portable SD-10 spectrophotometer. Other new products that turned our head included Mimaki’s impressive TS3301600 sublimation printer, the Aeoon Maikura DTG printer and Brother’s Myze technology platform. The buzz surrounding DTF printing continues unabated and will only be amplified by the advent of new powderless DTF printing processes. In this month’s ‘Digital helpdesk’ (page 28), Colin Marsh of DTF specialist Resolute walks you through the new technology and explains its advantages. Sticking with DTF, Xpres’s Emily Crane provides a step-by-step guide on how to combine DTF with special effects HTV films to electrifying effect (‘A striking mix’, page 44). With regard to the aforementioned ‘unsettled weather’, there is no denying that the recent surge in energy prices and inflation is affecting garment decoration businesses. The good news - Tony Palmer is on hand with some practical tips on how to reduce energy costs in your print shop (page 56), while Lisa and Adrian Birch of SpeedStitch share their inspirational account of how they have overcome a series of major challenges to emerge even stronger, with a business that’s powered up and set for further growth and success (‘Back up to speed’, page 32). Jonathan Vince We braved the chaos at European airports to report on the new product development that defined the Fespa Global Print Expo 2022 in Berlin REGISTER Subscribe now to receive your own free monthly copy of Images: imagesmag.uk/subscribe UPDATE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS Working from home? Moved to new premises? Update your details online: imagesmag.uk/subs-update 1992-2022 Our client really enjoyed being featured in Images and it was great coverage for the company. We used it on social media which gained followers we normally wouldn’t get. The articles are always relevant to multiple industries, always a good read, nice format and easy on the eye on PC, tablet or phone. Marion Mort, Choice Workwear Wales

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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 06 images JULY 2022 Follow the links to the full news stories online www.images-magazine.com Kornit plans new DTG system for mass production Kornit Digital is to extend its offering in on-demand digital technology further into industrial-scale printing of clothing with the launch next year of Apollo. Speaking at Fespa Global Print Expo 2022 in Berlin, Kornit’s chief marketing officer Omer Kulka described the Kornit Apollo system as a “full-scale automated production line for direct-to-garment”. He said it was a “next-generation platform” for mass production that would tap into the growth in on-demand sustainable garment printing. “It’s a completely new horizon for where digital is going.” The DTG system will feature Kornit’s Max technology, which was introduced last year. No further details are yet available; the Apollo is due to be launched in mid 2023. imagesmag.uk/kornit-apollo Exile launches Spyder III computer-to-screen system Exile Technologies has launched the newest addition to its Spyder computer-to-screen systems, the Spyder III, in the UK and the rest of Europe. It prints at double the resolution of its predecessor, the Spyder II, providing sharper detail, finer halftones and smoother gradients. Despite the higher quality, it prints at an even higher speed, says Exile. Incorporating the latest phasechange print head technology, the Spyder III’s industrial print head has more than three times the number of jets than older models, with improved throughput and quality. The new Spyder III was presented by Exile Technologies at Fespa Global Print Expo in Berlin. The European launch, originally due to take place in 2020, was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. imagesmag.uk/spyderIII-fespa The Spyder III was officially launched at Fespa Global Print Expo Computer-generated image of the yet-to-be-launched Kornit Apollo

INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 08 images JULY 2022 PRINT SHOP POOCHES Teddy takes a quick break from looking out for the postman #80 Teddy 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 Teddy from Blue Piranha in Southampton Full name: Teddy Railton Breed: Pomeranian Age: Four years old, although he is nearly five as his birthday is on 29th September. Time at company: Since he was 16 weeks old. Job title: Mental health first aider/ company guard dog Job description: Making sure that everyone in the office is happy and protected from the postman. Special skills: Seems to have an in-built knowledge of when other members of staff need cheering up and a cuddle. Favourite colour: Navy Blue 654 is Teddy’s favourite colour as it reminds him of Blue Piranha. www.bluepiranha.co.uk Follow us on Twitter @imagesmaguk DigitalHeat FX DTF printers arrive in UK with YES YES Group is to supply ColDesi’s range of DigitalHeat FX directto-film (DTF) transfer printers exclusively in the UK. The company will offer two solutions in the DigitalHeat FX range: the twohead DTF-24H2 and the fourhead DTF24H4. The two-head DTF-24H2 can print up to 100 full size (10” by 10”) prints per hour – equivalent to up to 55 linear feet (16.8 metres) per hour. It produces a 600mm-wide roll of transfers that can be stored and used as needed. ColDesi’s four-head DigitalHeat FX DTF-24H4 allows for printing sheets of 600mm wide by 100 metres long but “a whole lot faster”. With four heads, it can print up to 300 full-size sheets per hour – equivalent to 145 linear feet (44 metres) per hour. imagesmag.uk/coldesi-dtf ColDesi's DigitalHeat FX DTF-24H2 printer, now available from YES Group in the UK Call for action on sustainable clothing at Kornit Fashion Week Speaking at Kornit Fashion Week in London in May, supply chain expert Bill McRaith called for government support for the garment industry to become more sustainable in its production and bring jobs to the UK. The former chief supply chain officer at fashion group PVH, whose brands include Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, pointed out that, in the past, “the technology didn’t exist, the ecosystem did not exist, people had moved offshore” but now on-demand DTG technology meant the industry could tackle the excess waste of 20% in garment production and other challenges such as the increasing use of air freight. He said that research had shown that bringing back just 10% of garment manufacturing to the UK through processes such as digital garment printing would create 56,000 jobs in the UK. imagesmag.uk/kornit-action Kornit CEO Ronen Samuel pictured at Kornit Fashion Week London

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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 10 images JULY 2022 Check out our full-length Decorator Reports: www.images-magazine.com Stitch & Go Wales This fantastic workwear was printed and embroidered by Stitch & Go Wales in Llanelli for The Shine Shed. imagesmag.uk/Stitch-Go-Shine-Shed Pantone adds new colours inspired by metaverse Pantone has introduced six new colours, inspired by nature and “biomimicry”, as part of a new venture taking clothing design into the “metaverse”. The new shades are cosmic blue (Pantone 2728 C), playful pink coral (709 C), faded lilac (2107 C), grounding burnt orange (pureed pumpkin 171449), dramatic charcoal black (ebony 19-4104) and quiet creamy beige (French oak 13-0400). They were developed in partnership with Spatial Labs to tie in with the announcement of a “wearable hardware product” called LNQ. This supports moves to allow garments to exist in the digital world, through technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as the physical world. It taps into web 3.0 technology that enables users to change how they are represented in the digital world, such as metaverse avatars. imagesmag.uk/pantone-meta Dae Ha embarks on expansion in mainland Europe Heat transfer vinyl specialist Dae Ha is expanding into mainland Europe and is looking for new distributors to replicate the success of its UK business. Dae Ha Europe – a joint venture between the South Korean manufacturer and the team at Dae Ha UK – is in talks with a number of companies to develop the brand and supply decorators in their own territories. Michael Overy – executive director of Dae Ha UK and director of business development for Dae Ha Europe – believes there is a significant opportunity for distributors. He said: “We believe we can offer companies something different from what they have been using for years and years with a large range of products offering consistency, high quality and a good price.” imagesmag.uk/daeha-europe PenCarrie staff raise cash for Ukrainian aid Staff at garment supplier PenCarrie have raised thousands of pounds for the British Red Cross after organising an It’s a Knockout event. More than 60 of its employees took part in the quirky knockabout tournament – inspired by the iconic TV series – featuring huge tubes, chariots, a castle wall, wonder wheels and ‘the mangle’. Along with a bake sale, a raffle, food sales and an entry fee for each team taking part, a total of £1,307 was raised at the event, with PenCarrie matching the total to make £2,614 raised for the British Red Cross. imagesmag.uk/pencarrie-knockout Dae Ha Europe’s stand at Fespa PenCarrie staff compete in It’s a Knockout The six new colours developed by Pantone Color Institute with Spatial Labs PenCarrie staff compete in It’s a Knockout

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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 12 images JULY 2022 Follow us on Facebook: @imagesmaguk The new Adelco Dual Smart at Fespa Global Print Expo in Berlin Science-based body validates Mantis World eco pledge Clothing brand Mantis World has had its pledge to reduce carbon emissions validated by an internationally recognised scientific partnership, the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). The company has committed to a 50% reduction in its scope 1 and 2 emissions – those from sources that it owns or controls directly, and those caused indirectly when the energy it purchases and uses is produced – by 2030. It has also committed to begin recording and reducing scope 3 emissions – those that it is indirectly responsible for and has no control over in its supply chain – before 2030. Prama Bhardwaj, CEO and founder of Mantis World, said: “To have our carbon reduction target validated by SBTi – the leading and most robust framework for all industries – shows Mantis World’s determination and commitment to leading the fight against climate change.” imagesmag.uk/mantis-science Mantis World styles with “in conversion to organic cotton” include Babybugz’s BZ64 Baby Essential Sweatshirt Adelco launches new Pro-Cure and Dual conveyor dryers Adelco unveiled two new conveyor dryers at Fespa Global Print Expo in Berlin, promising machines with new “groundbreaking features and advantages”. It presented the Adelco Pro-Cure Smart, described as its new flagship textile conveyor dryer, and the Adelco Dual Smart, an updated version of its high-production Dual dryer, last month. They will be launched into the market later this year. The new Pro-Cure Smart maintains all the popular and cutting-edge features of the original Pro-Cure – the range is fully modular and available in five belt widths and many oven lengths – but has more features as standard. The new Adelco Dual Smart conveyor textile dryer – “two dryers, one footprint” – comes with “valuable and ingenious features that will increase print quality for all textile ink systems and fabrics including transfers”, and is said to reduce energy usage and downtime. imagesmag.uk/adelco-smart

INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 16 images JULY 2022 Check out our Instagram Stories for the latest industry news @imagesmaguk 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 Elizabeth Elmer of AVM Workwear in Bishops Stortford says her favourite garment to decorate is the Premium Cotton T-Shirt (GD008) from Gildan. The team loves this T-shirt as it’s suitable for a range of different workplaces, explains Elizabeth. “It’s available in a variety of colours, and is a great canvas for both embroidery and print. “Our customers love this garment too, due to its comfort, great price and adaptability to many workplaces.” Elizabeth’s top tip for decorating the GD008 is to use contrasting colours to make your customers’ logos stand out. “Choosing a black T-shirt and having your logo embroidered or printed in a bright colour, like gold or red, will catch the eye of others.” imagesmag.uk/jul22-readers-choice www.avmworkwear.co.uk Watch AVMWorkwear discussing the GD008 READERS’ CHOICE Gildan’s Premium Cotton T-shirt offers a great canvas for both embroidery and print, says Elizabeth ‘Plan for further price rises’, warns BPMA Suppliers of branded clothing and other promotional products have been warned to prepare for further rises in the costs of raw materials and the impact of inflation. Carey Trevill, CEO of the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), has issued the warning to the organisation’s members, advising businesses to “manage expectations carefully”. Carey welcomed reports of rising orders in the promotional merchandise industry due to increased demand from end users, but added that companies were finding it “challenging” to deliver because of the various challenges. The BPMA urged companies to communicate clearly with customers, warning them not to assume previous lead times and availability apply and that prices may not stay the same between now and the end of the year. imagesmag.uk/bpma-inflation Printful reports revenue growth after UK expansion Printful, the specialist in ondemand garment printing, has reported a 39% increase in annual revenue after expanding globally, including a new base in the UK. It announced last month that revenue rose from $208 million (£167 million) in 2020 to more than $289 million (£232 million) in 2021, confirming that the business is on course to tap into “significant potential” in this sector. Printful also revealed that it invested $32.4 million (£26 million) in printing equipment and technology last year alone, with its total investment adding up to $83.8 million (£67.3 million) to date. In October, it completed its new fulfilment centre in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, which officially opened in March this year. imagesmag.uk/printful2021 Companies must manage customer expectations, warns the BPMA [Image: Tumisu/Pixabay] Printful’s fulfilment centre in Wolverhampton

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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 18 images JULY 2022 View daily news updates at: www.images-magazine.com Threadz Embroidery This vibrant logo was embroidered by Threadz Embroidery in Tredegar onto workwear for DP Brickwork & Landscaping. imagesmag.uk/Threadz-DP-Brickwork Polyprint launches two new TexJet DTG printers Printer manufacturer Polyprint unveiled its latest technological advances at Fespa Global Print Expo, including new TexJet directto-garment (DTG) machines. It presented the TexJet NG120, with two industrial print heads and a maximum print area of 40cm by 50cm, and the TexJet NG130, with three industrial print heads and a bigger print area of 50cm by 70cm. The DTG printers, which are designed, developed and manufactured in-house at Polyprint, were exhibited at Fespa Global Print Expo in Berlin last month. They will be officially launched in the second half of 2022, available in the UK through Amaya Sales UK. Polyprint is also launching new inks specifically created for all TexJet DTG printers. These bulk inks come with an enriched colour gamut for “lavish” designs and quick fixation times for faster production. imagesmag.uk/texjet-fespa Polyprint’s new TexJet NG120 at Fespa Global Print Expo 2022 in Berlin Coloreel gains new financing due to sustainability benefits Coloreel Group has secured new funding to support plans to grow its on-demand thread colouring technology in markets across the world including the UK. It has signed a loan agreement with Nefco the Nordic Green Bank, which specialises in financing the initial scaleup of green solutions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on global markets. Coloreel’s technology, which colours a single recycled polyester thread on demand, brings positive environmental effects within the textile industry by minimising thread waste and the use of chemicals and wastewater. imagesmag.uk/coloreel-nefco Coloreel’s on-demand thread colouring technology in use with Barudan machines

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www.images-magazine.com 20 images JULY 2022 INDUSTRY NEWS Stay in the picture with our Instagram feed: @imagesmaguk This clever decoration owes its existence to the talented team at Ohm Clothing. The customer – performance marketing events organiser Affiliate Summit – asked Ohm Clothing to create a leatherlook embroidery of its logo. “We suggested making it leather appliqué in self colour, so it gave a stylish finish for their event clothing,” reveals managing director Anthony Brown. “We did three or four tests for the customer and the puff appliqué was without doubt the most stylish.” It took the company’s most skilled and experienced embroiderer to achieve this look, Anthony says. “Anyone who knows how to do it will know that it’s incredibly intricate and takes both time and real concentration to do. It’s worth it though as it produces a really highend finish.” Ohm Clothing has now got the puff embroidery technique “down to a perfect art”, although Anthony says when they started doing it “there were lots of naughty words in the workshop!”. He adds: “The material has been tricky – we found it easier to cut out the shape of the letters before doing the appliqué. So rather than putting a square sheet of fabric, doing the understitch and then removing the excess, we found it easier to cut out the shape of the letters, stick them on the foam and then do the appliqué. It’s given it a much neater finish, as the fauxleather material can fray.” The Kariban sweatshirts were embroidered on the company’s Tajima TEMX-C1512 12-head machine; more than 70 have been produced so far for Affiliate Summit’s employees all over the world. “They absolutely love them,” confirms Anthony. www.ohmclothing.co.uk www.affiliatesummit.com Juergen Hagedorn, the founder of TheMagicTouch and industry pioneer of the digital image transfer business, has died at the age of 72 after a short illness. Recognised as the original creator of coated image transfer papers, he formed TheMagicTouch in Germany in 1989 and saw it grow to become a global business in more than 50 countries. Born in Frankfurt, he spent the early years of his career working for leading advertising agencies before creating, inventing and marketing the revolutionary new digital transfer process that had emerged after the arrival of the first colour copier technology. TheMagicTouch is now a worldleading supplier of image transfer papers, heat presses, laser printers, plotter/cutters, materials and equipment. The UK business, headed by managing director Jim Nicol, was set up in 1993. Juergen, who died on 16 April 2022, was devoted to his family and is survived by his wife Monique and his children Peter and Vivian. He was a massive fan of country music as well as the music of Jimmy Buffett and all things related to Hawaii, his favourite place on Earth. Jim, who was a founding director of TheMagicTouch GB, said: “He will be greatly missed by all connected with the transfer and personalisation business.” imagesmag.uk/hagedorn DECORATED PRODUCT OF THE MONTH OBITUARY: JUERGEN HAGEDORN The leather-look puff embroidery was created by Ohm Clothing for Affiliate Summit Ruddy Duck Printshop This bold logo was printed onto all-in-ones by Ruddy Duck Printshop in Nottinghamshire for local dance school Zebra Studios. imagesmag.uk/Ruddy-Duck-Zebra Juergen Hagedorn

www.images-magazine.com JULY 2022 images 21 INDUSTRY NEWS M&R adds Copperhead Intel press for mass production M&R Global has unveiled its newest automatic screen printing press, the Copperhead Intel, which is designed for mass production. Introduced to the European market at Fespa Global Print Expo 2022, the new press is expandable from 20 to 64 stations. It follows the launch of M&R’s first Copperhead press in August 2020. Key features of the Copperhead Intel include automatic tensioning and a centralised pallet-locking system for precise registration. Using patented technology, it features an advanced pneumatic squeegee pressure equaliser system, which provides consistent print pressure across the whole print area. imagesmag,uk/copperhead-intel M&R Global’s Copperhead Intel at Fespa Global Print Expo Soyang Europe acquires printer supplier Josero Josero, the UK-based supplier of wideformat and direct-to-garment (DTG) printers, has been acquired by Soyang Europe, a manufacturer and distributor of wide and grand format printable materials. The deal is said to create a partnership that will lead to expanded sales, distribution, technical and service support for both Soyang and Josero customers. Josero, founded in 2003 and based in Cambridgeshire, sells hardware including printers from Ricoh, Mimaki and Agfa such as Mimaki’s CJV series of printer/ cutters and the Ricoh Ri 100 DTG printer. The deal was completed on 27 May. The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed. imagesmag.uk/josero-soyang Chris Camm has been appointed to the role of regional account manager at Madeira UK, the specialist in embroidery supplies for garment and textile decoration. In his new role, Chris is managing accounts in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, drawing on his eight years of business-to-business sales experience in the tool and workwear industry. He will work closely with customers in his region to continue offering Madeira UK’s high levels of service and support. imagesmag.uk/camm-madeira CHANGING FACES Chris Camm Promotion & Branding Shows return “with a great turnout” The Promotion & Branding Shows have returned with a strong turnout as the touring exhibition looks ahead to its next events in September. Organisers from host GS UK have reported that the Promotion & Branding Shows were “very busy with a great turnout” when they took place in Portsmouth on 24 May, Bristol on 26 May and Manchester on 7 June. After a summer break, the shows will restart in September with visits to Chester and Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and then move to Belfast and Dublin in October. The final show will be at the DoubleTree Hilton Strathclyde in Glasgow on 27 October. New exhibitors at the 2022 shows include PenCarrie, Ralawise, Stanley/ Stella, Mantis World and Kustom Kit. imagesmag.uk/pbs22 The Promotion & Branding Show in Portsmouth

INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 22 images JULY 2022 Find our digital editions online: imagesmag.uk/digital-issues Roland DG appoints Papergraphics to its UK dealer channel Roland DG has announced that Papergraphics has been appointed to its exclusive dealer channel to supply machines such as the TrueVis and VersaStudio ranges. It will initially start by selling the new third generation of TrueVis printer/ cutters, including the VG3-640/540 and the SG3-540/300 that were launched in March this year. It will also sell the VersaStudio BN20 range of desktop inkjet printers, including the latest model, the BN-20A. Papergraphics specialises in supplying large-format inkjet print media, printers and services, and is the sole UK distributor for B-Flex heat-transfer vinyl for garment decoration. It provides application and equipment demonstrations at its customer experience centre in Crawley, West Sussex, near Gatwick Airport. imagesmag.uk/papergraphicsroland Clothes2order backs on-demand startup Fabryx Fabryx, which offers printing and embroidering of clothing on demand, has announced an investment from garment decoration company Clothes2order to support its plans to scale up. The London-based company has received £500,000, which will allow it to “scale and position itself as an emerging leader in the growing on-demand print space for quality custom clothing and fulfilment”. Aimed at fashion and retail brands, Fabryx is a “technology platform” offering branding and packaging on demand from printing and embroidery through to woven labels and tags, tissue wrap, stickers, bags, flyers and custom mailers and boxes. Clothes2order is partnering with Fabryx for manufacturing and will provide advisory services during the growth phase process. imagesmag.uk/fabryx-funding Sheer Custom’s new plug-in for WooCommerce enables embroidery customisation Alistair Travis from Papergraphics and Rob Goleniowski from Roland DG at Papergraphics’ customer experience centre New software offers custom embroidery via ecommerce A new digital platform has been developed for garment decorators and retailers to give their customers the option to personalise clothing with embroidery on WooCommerce. Sheer Custom’s new customiser plug-in can be installed in any WooCommerce shop, allowing store owners to completely tailor the customiser experience on each product page with an easy-to-use admin. Customers receive a snapshot preview of submitted designs to check ahead of production, and store owners receive production-ready files. It has been developed over the past two years by Sheer Custom, a London-based software company. The embroidery customiser was launched in the US in June 2022 and is available to garment decorators and other online clothing retailers in the UK. Pricing has not been publicised yet although a free trial will be available. Anyone interested can request a demonstration via get.sheercustom.com. imagesmag.uk/sheer-woo Clothes2Order has invested £500,000 in Fabryx

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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 24 images JULY 2022 Epson launches portable device for colour matching Epson Europe has introduced a new, portable, more affordable device for the garment and textile sector that allows for instant identification of colours. The SD-10 spectrophotometer uses a large-aperture lens with a wide spectral range to take spot readings and match colours to a pre-set library, including any Pantone colours. It is battery-powered and very simple to operate, measuring 35mm wide by 80mm deep by 80mm high. It can link to an app on an iOS or Android device. The full SD-10 package, including a portable stand, is still in development, but the spectrophotometer itself is already available in the UK. The spectrophotometer was among the latest direct-to-garment (DTG) and direct-to-film (DTF) technology for the textile print industry demonstrated by Epson Europe at Fespa Global Print Expo 2022. imagesmag.uk/epson-colour Ricoh champions sustainability and job fulfilment Ricoh Group declared June to be ‘Global SDGs Action Month’, encouraging its employees to consider their contributions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), take part in environmental and social activities, and establish a sense of fulfilment through work. Ricoh shared case studies about employees’ efforts to solve issues around sustainability, aiming to deepen mutual understanding of, and praise for, each other’s efforts and help them feel fulfilled at work. imagesmag.uk/ricohfulfilment Grahame Gardner unveils scrubs made of 100% recycled material Uniform specialist Grahame Gardner has announced a new range of sustainable scrubs made from 100% recycled materials. The new Eco collection, exclusive to the company, uses eco-friendly, softtouch fabric that has been made from plastic bottles. Even the garment zips are made from reused materials. The style is described as “modern” with an “athleisure twist” on the shape of the trouser, which also has an elasticated drawstring waist and two zip pockets on the rear. The garments are available in five colourways: navy, graphite, bottle green, steel grey and royal blue. imagesmag.uk/scrubs-recycled Grahame Gardner’s scrub top, in graphite, made of 100% recycled materials Epson’s SD-10 spectrophotometer at Fespa Global Print Expo in Berlin The Crazy Kids This stylish commemorative T-shirt design was created by The Crazy Kids in Durham for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. imagesmag.uk/Crazy-Kids-Jubilee

www.images-magazine.com JULY 2022 images 25 INDUSTRY NEWS Visitors and confidence up at Fespa Global Print Expo Organisers of Fespa Global Print Expo have reported an “atmosphere of overwhelming positivity” as visitor numbers recover after the end of Covid-19 restrictions. The print industry event in Berlin, which also included European Sign Expo, attracted 11,647 unique visitors, a 48% increase on last year’s smaller exhibition in Amsterdam in October. Running from 31 May-3 June, the show featured 375 exhibitors across eight halls. In 2023, Fespa Global Print Expo and the co-located European Sign Expo will take place from 23-26 May at Messe Munich. The following year the exhibitions will be at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam, from 19-22 March 2024. The 2024 event will also incorporate Sportswear Pro, a dedicated event for sports and leisure garment production and decoration. Turn to page 34 for our highlights from Fespa Global Print Expo 2022. imagesmag.uk/fespa22-visitors James & Nicholson and Myrtle Beach inspire with new lookbook Gustav Daiber has unveiled a new lookbook for its clothing brands James & Nicholson and Myrtle Beach to inspire customers with “trendy outfit combinations”. Covering both workwear and leisurewear, the lookbook features new imagery of the two fashion brands. It is available in English as well as German, and both in print and as a digital download with video. imagesmag.uk/daiber-lookbook The new lookbook for James & Nicholson and Myrtle Beach Bag and garment supplier Direct Textiles and Bags (DTB) has appointed Angelika Krygiel to the newly created role of European account executive. Based in DTB’s Lincoln offices, she will be managing European production and fulfilment solutions for all of the company’s UK customers. She will be part of the growing DTB EU team that has its base in Poland. Angelika has been with the company for more than eight years, gaining experience from working in many areas of the business, giving her a broad knowledge of how the company operates. Clive Allcott, commercial director at DTB, said: “Angelika’s appointment will allow us to build on our European solutions for our distributor partners.” imagesmag.uk/dtb-angelika CHANGING FACES Angelika Krygiel E: [email protected] T: +44(0)1724 334 411 W: www.eddisonscjm.com Catalogues, bidding and FAQs are available through our website Instructed by a leading finance house reCreative Apparel Ltd Garment PrintingMachinery, Garment Folding and PackingMachines AuctionClosing from 1300BST, Thursday 7th July 2022 PrintingMachinery: 2020 Brother GTX4Direct to Garment Printer with Schulze Pretreatmaker IV automated Retreatment machine; 2020Chiossi ECavazzuti Dido Pro DTG6Drawer Dryer; 2020 Innotex InnoprinterMK I Semi-Automatic Transfer Press; 2020 Ecotex Stainless Steel SqueegeeWasher Folding &Packing: 2019Dekken T-Apparel-LSMark III Garment FoldingMachine (ideal for teeshirts); 2018 Beck Automaten Serienpacker S2550SJ Garment Bagging Machine Location: Eddisons, The Auction Centre, DunlopWay, Scunthorpe, DN16 3RN Viewing: Wednesday 6th July 2022, by appointment with the auctioneer by calling +44 (0) 1724 334411 Fespa Global Print Expo 2022 at Messe Berlin

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT www.images-magazine.com 26 images JULY 2022 I’m never quite sure what to do about staff appraisals – are they worth it, and how do they work? Many small business owners aren’t too excited by the idea of conducting staff appraisals. There’s often a preconception that delivering a staff appraisal is a process to be dreaded, and one that takes up valuable working time. However, appraisals are an essential tool for managing staff performance and – when delivered in a planned and constructive way – bring a whole host of commercial benefits to a business. Appraisals centre on delivering both positive and constructive feedback to employees, as well as providing the opportunity for employees to talk about their own performance and to explore how and where they would like to develop in their role. Appraisals also provide the perfect opportunity for employers to let individual team members know how they are performing, and what’s expected of them going forward. Objective setting is also a large part of the appraisal process, and the simple act of spending one-to-one time with an employee to share wants, needs, aims and objectives can lead to improved motivation and employee engagement. When deciding how often to conduct staff appraisals, there are no hard and fast rules, but a minimum of once a year – in conjunction with regular, more informal meetings with team members – is a good place to start. The regularity of communication and dialogue is important and means there shouldn’t be any surprises at the annual appraisal. Don’t wait for the formal appraisal to give feedback; sharing feedback regularly outside of appraisals means employees are receiving recognition for their work, which goes a long way to improving staff motivation and engagement. Plus, giving timely developmental feedback regularly can nip potential issues in the bud and ensure employees head in the right direction. Taking some time to properly prepare for an appraisal will help everything go to plan and enable you to get the best results from the meeting. Ahead of the appraisal, give the staff member plenty of notice that you’re inviting them to their appraisal meeting. Allow time to look back at the entire time frame being reviewed, trying not to focus simply on the employee’s recent performance. Gathering a well-rounded review of each person’s performance over time is key. Note down plenty of examples of both positive and developmental feedback to share and discuss during the meeting. Ideas for potential feedback include, “Customer x was really pleased with the service you gave them” or “We’ve talked about what happened when we caught up last month. Have you had a chance to think about what you could do differently? What have you learnt from what happened?”. Also, note down future business plans, aims and objectives – and share these with the employee during the appraisal. Discuss what the employee needs to focus on to help the business meet those goals. Asking the employee to prepare for their appraisal is also key to the process. Their preparation doesn’t have to be anything formal, although resources such as the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) website do have free downloadable templates that are useful and will help them. Ask them to think about – and bring to their appraisal – examples of what they feel has gone well, where they could have done something differently, what they have enjoyed, and what has stood in their way. Also, ask them to think about suggestions for the coming year, and any support they feel they will need. Creating an appraisal document or template to follow in the meeting will help keep things on track and provide you both with a record of the conversation. ACAS is a great place to start for free downloadable appraisal templates, or you can create your own appraisal form. Think about what sections you want to cover and allow space to write comments next to each. It’s important to include a section to review the previous period; if objectives were set for the employee, have these been achieved? If objectives weren’t set, ensure you include space to review what has gone well and where things could have been done differently for the period being reviewed. Make sure you capture employee comments, and then discuss and set three or four SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) objectives for the coming period – and use a simple table to set out who needs to do what and when by. Also, list any support and/or training required for the employee, and finish by agreeing a date for review. Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company Q&A Cath Crane is HR growth partner at Howarths, a consultancy that offers HR employment law and health and safety advice for SMEs across the UK. www.howarths-uk.com

www.images-magazine.com JULY 2022 images 27 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT to follow when keyword planning: first, brainstorm keywords based on your page content and what you think customers are searching for. Next, do some research using SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner to expand your list of keywords. You should also enter terms into search engines to check out the competition – what keywords are your competitors using? Finally, refine your keyword shortlist until you’re left with, say, two to six phrases that you think will be most successful. ■ Can I use the same keywords for all of my pages? Every page of your website should have totally unique content, and it’s best for keywords to reflect that. If you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords, you may unwittingly be engaging in keyword cannibalisation – that is, your pages are competing against each other for the same query. Keep your keywords as unique as possible from one page to the next. ■ One final piece of advice SEO isn’t something you do once and then you’re finished. Just because you’re ranking on page one today doesn’t mean you’ll still be there in a month’s time. Keyword research needs to be conducted regularly, and it’s best to track your progress and keep an eye on your rankings. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the best ways to get your website noticed by customers. One crucial aspect of SEO is keywords – knowing what keywords are and how to use them is one of the essential pillars of a successful SEO strategy. Search engines like Google have progressed way past the point of falling for old tricks like keyword stuffing; they’re now able to recognise the meaning and intent behind words. Here are some tips to help you pick the right keywords for each page of your website and boost your website’s organic visibility. ■ Use tools and common sense Using tools like Google Keyword Planner can be a good way to get started, especially if you’re new to SEO. These tools can give you a rough idea of a keyword’s popularity, and even suggest additional keywords on the same topic. That said, it’s important to find the balance between tools and your own initiative. Your common sense is more powerful than any piece of software; an SEO app may tell you that a certain term is very popular, but do you think that term is something your customers will actually search for? ■ Think like your customer There’s not much value in ranking on the first page of Google results for a term that’s not really relevant to your business – even if that term is extremely popular. SEO is only effective if it’s helping you to reach your target audience. Before you select any keywords, take some time to put yourself in the shoes of your average customer. You could even conduct some customer research: for example, you could ask website visitors how they found you, to get a better idea of the journey they took. ■ Brainstorm, expand and prioritise Here’s a good routine How to pick the right keywords for every page of your website I have had a few conversations with other studio owners who have appeared on our podcast. I have noticed that quite a few people are getting their customers from ‘word of mouth’. Having a good reputation is very useful, but are you in control of who you are attracting to work with you? I do get a lot of referral work offered, especially amongst the small business owner crowd, but I won’t leave attracting new customers up to chance anymore. If you aren’t doing any marketing, you aren’t specifying who you want as customers and the types of work you want to do. You are leaving it to fate and hoping that your customers’ mates (who you might feel obliged to take on) will want what you are offering. Taking this route led my business into a stale and mediocre slump where the jobs were all minimum orders and maximum faff. It was only when I started to pinpoint my ideal and most profitable customers that I started enjoying the work again. I now have very few customers, but they are all ‘whales’. A ‘whale’ for our business is a cash-rich, no nonsense business person who wants quality, is prepared to wait, and only wants the best garments. I have hyper-specific niches for these customers and I individually target them for the jobs I Word of mouth is old news want. If I didn’t guide the business like this I would just be sitting on my hands and leaving it up to the stars to tell me what work I will do next week. The ‘word of mouth’ approach is useful if you need more cashflow and need to keep busy, however, there is a difference between being busy and being productive. I urge you to shortlist three ideal customers and make them love what you are offering. Chessie Rosier-Parker is director and studio manager of Squeegee & Ink, a screen printing and embroidery studio that also provides pre-exposed screens and film to garment printers along with social media workshops. www.squeegeeandink.co.uk/ learn-to-screen-print Joel Dear is from ETrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK. www.etraderwebsites.co.uk

www.images-magazine.com 28 images JULY 2022 Industry experts provide insight and guidance in all areas of digital garment and textile printing Digital helpdesk Powderless printing is the latest development in the direct-to-film sector. Colin Marsh of Resolute DTG guides you through this new technology Colin Marsh contact with itself. As it basically melts back into a liquid automatically, print heads are safe unless they are run dry, which can damage any piezo print head. The ink and film used are unique to the powderless process. The coating on the film has to be ready to accept the liquid adhesive without ink for when it is being used with spot fluorescent colours or metallic foil. As a result, a ‘normal’ DTF film will not work as the adhesive will not be able to separate from the carrier film. Just when you think things cannot get better in the textile decoration industry, another leap in technology rears its head and shakes things up again (in a good way): powderless direct-to-film (DTF) printing promises to take the quality of waterbased transfer to another level. Until recently, all DTF transfers used a powder that attaches itself to the wet ink and is then melted into a liquid at the same time as the ink is cured. This gives a tough yet soft transfer with only the ink and adhesive transferred to the garment – no cutting, no weeding and no pretreatment are required. The powderless DTF method follows a similar principle, but it uses a dedicated print head to jet a water-based liquid adhesive immediately onto the ink as it is printed instead of powder being added to the ink after the design has been printed in full on to the substrate. This opens up massive opportunities for DTF prints that are not only softer but are of a higher quality. Also, powderless printers have the ability to print only adhesive on a portion of an image so that it can then bond to hot foil. This means high-quality retail brands can now have an on-demand production service for full-colour, white and any of the many hot foil metallic films available. Sticky question The first question I am asked from people looking at adding or upgrading to a powderless system is, what about the glue in the print head, does it clog? This was the first question I raised myself at a development meeting last year. The simple answer is, there is less chance of the liquid adhesive clogging up a print head than the ink. This is because the adhesive has a property called ‘self-solvent reaction’. This means any part-dried adhesive will quickly turn back to a liquid when it comes into The Resolute R-Jet Pro DTF NP has a slightly higher price tag than the powder system, but promises lower running costs Powderless DTF printers create tough yet soft transfers

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