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www.images-magazine.com 04 images NOVEMBER 2023 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: email@example.com Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: email@example.com | Images is free of charge to UK subscribers 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 Tony Palmer also turns his attention to ‘the squidgy things’ (aka staff), and new hires in particular, in his monthly ‘Ask Tony’ column (page 70). He agrees that it is ‘easier to make a new printer than to buy one’, and has ‘eagerness to learn’ at the top of his list of ingredients for future ink-slinging demons. But what if you eventually find this eager beaver who is keen to master the skills of commercial screen printing or embroidery and then, once you’ve invested heavily in their recruitment and training, they up and leave? Or even worse, they up and leave to join a competitor? This is a surprisingly common concern that we hear being voiced in print and embroidery shops. Henry Ford, who knew a thing or two about building a successful business, gave a notably pithy response when asked this same question: “Worse is not training them and they stay!” A successful recruitment strategy has contributed to the rapid growth of Westcoast Workwear since owner Tom Mills acquired the Southport-based company in 2020 (turn to page 32 for Westcoast’s decorator profile). Relocating next to a Screwfix store (to grab small, local orders from passing tradespeople to fit around the company’s traditional longer runs), investing in DTF to speed up production (“What would take us a day to produce in prints now takes an hour”) and moving into on-demand order fulfilment with dropshipping were all smart moves that have helped to drive the company’s success. However, it is the expansion of its senior team, including the appointment of general manager Kev Rea, assistant manager Katie Hedley and embroidery manager James Hughes-Alty that has been key, freeing up Tom to focus on sales and business development (sales are up 35% over three years). So, how is your staff recruitment going? If it is a struggle, what are the main obstacles you are facing in your local area and in your business? Or have you recently recruited a dream new machinery operator or production manager and, if so, how and where did you find them? Are there any essential lessons you have learnt and could share from recruiting and training your own staff? We’re all ears. Jonathan Vince 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 NOVEMBER 2023 VOL.32 NO.11 IMAGES DIGITAL STATS 1 Sep-30 Sep, 2023 Users: 18,521 Impressions: 4,172 Reach: 2,656 Reach: 2,408 If you are struggling with hiring new employees, forget prioritising experience and focus on applicants’ ‘soft skills’, general aptitude and eagerness to learn, then commit to developing their task-based knowledge on the job, advise Erich Campbell and Tony Palmer Desperately seeking staff What is your business’s single biggest challenge at the moment? If you’re anything like the majority of garment decoration business owners we speak to every month, your answer will be immediate and succinct: “Staffing.” Has it ever been more difficult to find and recruit good employees? Whether this is down to European workers leaving on account of Brexit, middle-aged workers opting for early retirement during the pandemic, workers generally looking for higher paid jobs to offset the crippling cost-of-living crisis (or a combination of all three), good people are increasingly hard to find. But never fear, Erich Campbell is here with some timely advice on how to find the perfect new employee for your business. The take-away: stop looking for experience and focus on the ‘soft skills’ and general aptitude of potential new hires. As Erich points out, “experience alone can’t predict success” and task-based knowledge and experience can be developed. Check out ‘No experience required’ (page 64) for more pointers. Users: 490 / Page views: 29,325 digital edition
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 06 images NOVEMBER 2023 Vastex announces new print head All V-1000 manual screen printing presses are now equipped as standard with a new print head that Vastex says “allows easier and more accurate screen pitch adjustment”. The equipment manufacturer’s president, Mark Vasilantone, explained: “The new adjustment system better isolates front-to-rear movement of the print head with no effect on other adjustments, and moves the adjustment point from the central colour hub to the print head itself for operator convenience.” Other print head adjustments move screens left/right, forward/back and up/down, and tilt left to right, enabling the operator to control all positional aspects of the screen with precision repeatability. The modular print head can replace existing V-1000 print heads or be added to existing V-1000 presses, which can accommodate up to eight print heads and eight stations. imagesmag.uk/Vastex-V1000 MHM Direct GB introduces DTF printer Officially launched in August, the new DTF Neo direct-to-film (DTF) printer from MHM Direct GB has already been “a huge hit amongst customers within the industry”, said the company. Featuring two, three and four print head configurations for optimised speed and efficiency, it promises an output of up to 40 linear metres per hour on a 60cm width roll. “Powered by the Epson i3200 print heads, this machine is built for precision and accuracy,” reported MHM. It is paired with MHM’s Epson Gold Certified and Oeko-Tex-approved DTF ink that is available in convenient onelitre bottles. “You can trust in the reliability and excellence of our product, knowing that it meets the highest industry standards. Not only do we offer Epson optimised ink, but we also offer 60cm x 100m DTF hot peel film and DTF hot melt powder in 1kg bags.” Readers can contact the company to arrange to see the machine in action at MHM’s showroom. imagesmag.uk/MHM-Neo-DTF Follow the links to the news stories online www.images-magazine.com Kingly introduces upcycled denim products Manufacturer Kingly has launched a new collection of products made from discarded denim. The aprons, bags, hats, earrings, tables cloths and more can all be impregnated with Polygiene Stays Fresh technology, allowing them to stay fresh and odour-free for longer, meaning they can be washed less frequently. imagesmag.uk/Kingly-denim Products made from discarded denim are now available from Kingly The new V-1000 print head isolates front-to-rear pitch movement and relocates the adjustment point closer to the operator The new DTF Neo is available now from MHM Direct GB
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 10 images NOVEMBER 2023 Kornit announces partnership with Adobe Alongside showcasing its Max technology, Kornit Digital used its appearance at Printing United Expo in the US last month to announce its new partnership with Adobe. The collaboration will provide the foundation for the next generation of Kornit’s Raster Image Processing (K-RIP) software. “Fuelled by the Adobe PDF Print Engine, K-RIP is engineered to help brands and producers deliver repeatable, reliable images for the highest quality in digital garment decoration,” said the company. The manufacturer of digital printing technologies, which is headquartered in Israel, also assured customers that the company does not expect the current conflict in the country to affect its supplies. “Kornit is committed to the uninterrupted success of our business, customers, and community – and we do not expect customers to encounter any disruptions,” said chief executive officer Ronen Samuel. “Our operations, including R&D and production facilities, are fully functional and we’re dedicated to maintaining business continuity and prompt service. We have strong reserves across all operating regions to meet demand throughout the upcoming peak season and beyond.” imagesmag.uk/Kornit-Adobe CHANGING FACES View daily news updates at: www.images-magazine.com Peter Spivey This eye-catching logo was embroidered by Peter Spivey in Hemel Hempstead for Barnet Bulldogs Basketball Club. imagesmag.uk/PS-Bulldogs DECORATOR REPORT Brother launches new embroidery machine for start-ups Brother has introduced a new singlehead embroidery machine. Designed with the small business in mind, the PR1 has been built with a 300mm by 200mm embroidery area and promises fast speeds of 1,000 stitches per minute. It also has a handy colour-sorting function. “Whether you want to launch a range of custom bags or hit the road with colourful festivalwear, this innovative single-needle machine is the perfect match for you,” stated Brother. “Crosshair laser and two-point positioning ensures perfect alignment every time, while the lower tension mechanism guarantees consistent thread tension for flawless results.” The PR1 is compatible with “an extensive” frame and accessories range from the manufacturer. imagesmag.uk/Brother-PR1 The new PR1 single-head embroidery machine from Brother The Kornit Max Poly DTG printer is able to emulate effects such as HD vinyl and embroidery Rebrand for Target Transfers Target Transfers has rebranded as Stahls’ UK in a strategic move to reinforce its identity as part of the Stahls’ group and to align its business with the Stahls’ global network. Specialising in heat transfer graphics and technology, Stahls’ UK has been part of the Stahls’ group for more than 20 years. According to managing director Martin Borley, the rebrand will further solidify Stahls’ commitment to its UK, European, and international partners and customers. “We are excited to embark on this new chapter as Stahls’ UK,” said Martin. “This rebranding reflects our dedication to providing unparalleled service support and groundbreaking product innovation on a global scale.” imagesmag.uk/TT-to-Stahls Martin Borley, managing director of Stahls’ UK
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 12 images NOVEMBER 2023 Fiery announces latest release of Digital Factory RIP Software developer Fiery has released an updated version of its award-winning Digital Factory RIP software. Designed for use with direct-tofilm (DTF), direct-to-garment (DTG), sublimation, UV, toner transfer, and wide format print-and-cut devices, Digital Factory v11.1 features a more intuitive user interface, redesigned layouts, enhanced workflow automation, and true shape nesting. “The new capabilities streamline print operations, save hours in production time, and increase profitability by reducing costly material waste,” Fiery noted. “Collaborating with our extensive customer base, we developed a next-generation interface with the user in mind. With this latest update to Digital Factory, businesses of all sizes can quickly find the right tools and dial in the perfect settings to achieve efficient, high-volume production with the highest possible quality,” said John Henze, vice-president for sales and marketing. imagesmag.uk/DF111 Scott Wrigley on track to complete 20 epic challenges Scott Wrigley has just three gruelling events left to complete the 20 challenges he has set himself to celebrate 20 years of the Children’s Bereavement Centre (CBC). So far the managing director of Wrigleprint has taken part in a wide range of challenges from Man vs Mountain to a 70-mile ultramarathon. Scott is hoping to raise £20,000, with the final race taking place on 2 December 2023. He’s raising money for CBC because his best friend was run over and killed when he was a child, an event he says he didn’t deal with “properly” until he was an adult, in part because the kind of help the CBC offers children now was not available to him then. Scott and his company’s fundraising hasn’t gone unnoticed, with him recently winning the Business Commitment to the Community Award at the Radio Newark Community Awards. Readers can donate money to Scott’s epic fundraising challenge here: imagesmag.uk/Scott-20-donate. imagesmag.uk/Scott-Epic Scott took part in the challenging Man vs Mountain event Bethany King, embroiderer and owner of Plains of Imagination in North Wales, says her favourite product to decorate is the AWDis Sweat (JH030) from Just Hoods by AWDis. Bethany creates hand and machineembroidered pieces for children’s and adults’ clothing, as well as interiors, which are all inspired by animals and nature. Her customers range from individuals who want her designs for themselves or as gifts, to mothers wanting matching sweaters for themselves and their children, she explains. The JH030 is available in 58 colours. “I’ve been using the AWDis sweaters as I love the vast colour options,” Bethany adds. “I especially love the bottle green, and how well the gold thread stands out on it!” Bethany’s top tip for embroidering the sweaters: “It’s essential to use high quality threads!” imagesmag.uk/Nov23-RC www.plainsofimagination.co.uk READERS’ CHOICE 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 Of the 58 colours available in the JH030, bottle green is Bethany’s favourite! Blade Embroidery & Print This brilliant logo was printed by Blade Embroidery & Print in Reading for The Happy Bee. imagesmag.uk/Blade-Bee DECORATOR REPORT Digital Factory v11.1 is available now Read our full-length Decorator Reports online: www.images-magazine.com
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 18 images NOVEMBER 2023 Stay in the picture with our Instagram feed: @imagesmaguk Vote for the next generation of Trutex blazers At the Schoolwear Show earlier this month, Trutex displayed a range of ‘concept blazers’ with the aim of innovating the market and providing more practicality to the traditional school blazer. Three ‘next generation’ blazers were on show: The Button Up, which has a high button-up lapel design; The Insert, which has a removable insert that features a hood to help keep out the cold and rain; and The Padded, which offers added warmth thanks to feature padding. At the show, Trutex asked visitors to vote for their favourite. Add your vote by following this link: imagesmag.uk/ Trutex-Vote. See page 26 for our review of The Schoolwear Show. imagesmag.uk/concept-blazers Vote now for your favourite ‘next generation’ blazer from Trutex This month our chosen product is in fact a collection of charity T-shirts, all of which we’d happily frame and put up on our office wall. Created for Off The Fence, the Team Hope collection of T-shirts have been designed by artists and designers such as The Postman and Sam Bailey. £10 from the sale of each limited edition T-shirt goes to the charity, which works to restore the lives and hopes of people experiencing homelessness, women in difficulty, and vulnerable school children. “Team Hope is more than a brand; it’s a movement aimed at levelling the playing field for those who have been dealt an unfair hand,” says Roy Stannard, Team Hope’s CEO. “We exist to ensure the vulnerable in our cities are seen, heard, and understood. It’s about literally wearing our hearts on our sleeves, demonstrating our commitment to fostering empathy, inclusivity, and compassion. With every purchase, our customers become a part of this remarkable journey, a journey that gives extra time, attention, and care to those whom society has unfortunately overlooked.” Jim Cunliffe, operations consultant at garment decoration business Jamroll, explains the team chose Stanley/Stella as its staple garment brand because it offers “a consistent, high-quality shirt”. Customers currently have a choice between the 155gsm raw-edged Imaginer, called Raw on Team Hope’s website, and the heavier, classic cut 220gsm Sparker, which they are calling Original. “We hope to be adding Blaster to the style choice, which we’ll launch as Jumbo for a more over-sized and relaxed fit,” he reports. “The garments are printed direct-to-garment using the Kornit Atlas Max. The ability to custom print/ individually number each garment along with an accompanying certificate of limited edition authentication was key to Team Hope’s exclusivity.” More batches using designs from different artists are planned once the initial six designs have sold out, adds Roy. T-shirts can be bought at www.teamhope.life. www.offthefence.org.uk www.jamroll.co.uk DECORATED PRODUCT OF THE MONTH Heartless by Design by Sam Bailey of Sam Bailey Designs, 23 Seagull by The Postman, and Not broken by Rip Gill of RG Web Design
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 20 images NOVEMBER 2023 Holiauma UK opens Irish office Despite only launching in April last year, Holiauma UK has now opened an office and showroom in Ireland. Headed up by Gilmore Crowe, the Coleraine office in County Londonderry is the third for the embroidery machine supplier, with the other two offices based in Waltham Abbey in Essex, and in Barnsley in South Yorkshire. The Coleraine office is off to a good start, reported Holiauma UK. “We would like to congratulate Gilmore Crowe on the success of his first sale and install. With the showroom ready for visitors and stock on its way, anyone wanting a demo [can] drop us an email and he will be in touch.” The company will be unveiling its new Black Series of embroidery machines in spring next year. imagesmag.uk/Holiauma-Irish Find our digital editions online: imagesmag.uk/digital-issues Print & Stitch welcomes busy return for autumn/winter shows The Print & Stitch 2023 shows returned with a bang in September. High turnouts were recorded for the roadshow in Norwich on 19 September as well as at Haydock on 21 September. “Norwich and Haydock saw a great attendance,” said organiser Emilia Hepple. “It’s the first time we have been to Norwich and the reception was very welcoming! We also returned to Haydock Park Racecourse, where we haven’t been to since the shows first started in 2016!” The summer shows made for a great start for Print & Stitch’s busiest year yet, with more exhibitors, more shows and bigger venues, reported Emilia. Now back for the autumn/winter shows, the Print & Stitch organisers expect even more record-breaking numbers of visitors. The next show is on 7 November in Bristol then on 9 November it moves to Plymouth. Visit www.printandstitch.org/shows to pre-register to attend your local show. imagesmag.uk/PS-AW-busy Measures announced to tackle late payments The government has announced new measures to tackle the issue of late payments to small businesses. The new measures include: ■ Extending the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017. ■ Providing greater advice to small businesses on negotiating payment terms that better suit them. ■ Broadening the powers of the Small Business Commissioner so they can undertake investigations and publish reports where necessary on the basis of anonymous information and intelligence. Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Small businesses form a crucial part of large companies’ supply chains. Without them, they couldn’t do business. It’s only right that they should be paid promptly for their services. “SMEs that are paid on time can do more business, scale up and make more profits, delivering growth for the economy.” imagesmag.uk/Late-Pay-Gov ICC re-releases Paramount White due to demand International Coatings Company (ICC) has reintroduced its Paramount White 7041 screen printing ink “in response to overwhelming demand”. Production of the ultra low-bleed ink was suspended during the Covid pandemic due to material supply chain disruptions, the manufacturer explained. “Specially engineered to provide exceptional results on 50/50 fabric blends and 100% polyester substrates, it is a part of our Flex Cure line of inks that allow printers to select a cure temperature between 275°F (135°C) and 325°F (163°C).” Its “innovative formula” allows it to remain vibrant and true to colour, said ICC, and as it can be cured at lower temperatures, it is ideal for printing on heat-sensitive and dyemigrating fabrics.. imagesmag.uk/ICC-Paramount Paramount White has been specially engineered to cure at low temperatures The Print & Stitch Show took place in Haydock in September [L-R] Gilmore Crowe with his father at the new showroom It is only right that SMEs get paid promptly, stated Minster Kevin Hollinrake [Credit: UK Parliament]
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INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 22 images NOVEMBER 2023 New workwear catalogue from James & Nicholson Daiber has unveiled its latest workwear catalogue under its James & Nicholson brand, including new products from this year’s collection and further colourways for existing garments in 2024. Among the new releases is the Signal Workwear Jacket in neonorange, which is made from a durable four-way stretch fabric for optimum comfort and is wind and water-repellent. Matching slimline trousers are also available. The brochure itself is made from 100% recycled paper. “From using sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton to the production of our catalogues, we holistically advocate for more sustainability,” said managing director Kai Gminder. imagesmag.uk/daiber-cat24 CorelDraw reveals new updates for Graphics Suite Subscribers to CorelDraw Graphics Suite now have access to new tools and enhancements that the software developer says will “make it simpler for designers to achieve their unique creative vision”. “Thanks to the latest updates, designers can enjoy creating more in less time,” said senior product manager Klaus Vossen. “We want to accelerate designers’ success by enabling them to unleash their creative potential and bring their artistic visions to life, whether they’re at the office, home, or on the go.” There are a number of new features and updates available to CorelDraw Graphics Suite subscribers and maintenance customers, such as the new Focus Mode, which allows users to bring a single object or a group of objects into focus, and edit components of artwork in isolation without the risk of losing a selection with a stray click. imagesmag.uk/CD-Focus Parently Group set to relocate in 2024 The Parently Group is moving to a new three-acre site in Bredbury, Stockport in spring 2024. The childrenswear manufacturer is making the move after 40 years in Manchester city centre. Work has already started at the newly named Parently Park to transform the 60,000 sq ft warehouse space and offices. Managing director Mark Woolgar, who is leading the project of consolidating business operations to drive efficiency across the new site, explained: “Parently Park is going to bring a step-change in our operation and service offering. The exceptional height of the building means that our warehouse storage capacity will increase by 50% whilst providing more space to expand our garment decoration abilities.” In addition, the conference facilities and meeting rooms in the new space will allow the company to run events for its customers. imagesmag.uk/Parently-Park The new Parently Park will open in spring 2024 The new James & Nicholson workwear catalogue from Daiber The new Focus mode is available now for all CorelDraw Graphics Suite subscribers and maintenance customers Last Chance Larry This vibrant logo was embroidered onto a denim jacket by Last Chance Larry in Milton Keynes for Evie Alice Designs. imagesmag.uk/Last-Larry DECORATOR REPORT Follow us on X @imagesmaguk
INDUSTRY NEWS www.images-magazine.com 24 images NOVEMBER 2023 Follow us on Threads: @imagesmaguk Schoolwear Association campaigns to abolish VAT from schoolwear The Schoolwear Association promoted its continuing campaign to abolish VAT on all school uniform at the Schoolwear Show earlier this month. Visitors were invited to add their signature to one of the walls of the stand, and Caeryn Collins from schoolwear shop Impressions, who had recently been to parliament to discuss the issue with MPs, was on hand to talk to visitors. While the petition launched earlier this year did not gain enough signatures to get it discussed in parliament, there are hopes it may soon be revived and given a greater push. imagesmag.uk/SA-VAT-Oct23 Ricoh has launched two new Pro DTF systems Caeryn Collins of Impressions is pushing the campaign to abolish VAT on school uniforms Atlantic launches 1-litre eco solvent degassed bag bulk system for Mimaki systems Atlantic Tech Services has announced the introduction of its new NuTec 1 Litre Eco Solvent Bulk Ink System for all Mimaki JV and CJV printers. The company has also introduced the new Premium NuTec Diamond D10-GF-MS21 CMYK Degassed Eco-Solvent Inks in 1 Litre Bags, which were developed to be chemically, performance and colour matched to the Mimaki OEM SS21 inks, and are GLB-free (gamma butyrolactone). “The easy-to-use NuTec Bulk System and the D10 MS21 Inks are supplied competitively priced as a back-to-back replacement for OEM SS21 inks and generally there is no need for flushing or profiling required,” said Atlantic Tech Services. imagesmag.uk/NuTec-One-Litre The new Premium NuTec Diamond inks are matched to the Mimaki OEM SS21 inks Ricoh unveils new Pro DTF printers Ricoh has introduced two new Ricoh Pro DTF (direct-to-film) systems. The machine manufacturer announced that the Ricoh Pro DTF 10 and Ricoh Pro DTF 8 “achieve outstanding results on classic cotton and mixed materials as well as polyester, nylon, and water-repellent materials such as leather and even wood”. It continued: “High-colour brilliance is assured by the Pro DTF 8’s eight ink channels and the Pro DTF 10’s expanded colour gamut capabilities [are] made possible by its ten ink channels including neon pink, neon red, neon yellow, and neon green. “Fully automated, the roll-fed systems combine water-based piezo inkjet printing with integrated hotmelt adhesive and heating in a single step.” Available now in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex-certified solutions, powered by Colorgate’s Productionserver, are the latest additions to Ricoh’s portfolio of industrial printing systems. imagesmag.uk/Ricoh-Pro-DTF
www.images-magazine.com NOVEMBER 2023 images 25 INDUSTRY NEWS NH Mirical promises sun safety for hi-vis garments Mirical Emblems has created a patch that it says will alert people to when their hi-vis garments are no longer compliant. The Sun-Safe Indicator is a heat-applied patch that incorporates inks that fade at a similar rate to the hi-vis fabric, whether it is yellow, orange or red, indicating when it’s time to replace the garment. “The indicator cleverly reads “un-Safe” when it’s time for a new garment,” explained Mirical. “Don’t take our word for it, it has been fully tested at an independent laboratory in the UK.” The Sun-Safe Indicator is patent-pending worldwide and is available exclusively from Mirical Emblems. imagesmag.uk/Mirical-Sun-Safe Daiber unveils revamped corporate identity The corporate fashion manufacturer behind James & Nicholson has undergone a brand overhaul. Daiber’s new strategy, highlighted in the new campaign called ‘Lifetime Partner’, includes an subtly updated logo and fresh corporate colours. The company’s current ads draw attention to the name Daiber, as well as showing people, such as Max and Anna, on their journey through life, from education to retirement, in clothes that are optimal for each situation. imagesmag.uk/Daiber-refresh Keep a check on hi-vis fade with Mirical’s Sun-Safe Indicator Daiber has refreshed its identity and launched a new advertising campaign Coloreel enters million-dollar partnership with Asian manufacturer Textile brand Coloreel has entered into a $2 million deal with an Asian manufacturer, which will supply on-demand digital thread-dying units to the Swedish company. Coloreel’s technology enables high-quality colouring of textile thread on demand, meaning manufacturers can instantly dye white thread into an unlimited spectrum of colours. “We are thrilled about this partnership and eagerly anticipate collaborating to produce high-quality products utilising our patented technology,” said Coloreel CEO Torbjörn Bäck. “This agreement serves as evidence that our offering can play a crucial role in making mass production in the fashion industry more sustainable, while also providing tremendous opportunities for design and creativity.” Delivery of the on-demand digital thread-dying units begins in October, with the majority due for shipment next year. imagesmag.uk/Coloreel-2M Coloreel announces $2 million deal with Asian manufacturer Logobear These bold T-shirts were DTF-printed by Logobear in Newcastle upon Tyne for the Newcastle School of Drums. imagesmag.uk/LB-drums DECORATOR REPORT
www.images-magazine.com 26 images NOVEMBER 2023 Mark Woolgar, MD of The Parently Group, which includes the David Luke and Juco brands, was on hand to discuss the company’s imminent move to a threeacre site in Bredbury, Stockport in spring 2024. Other topics included the in-house application of DTF on Juco sports styles, allowing team kits to ordered from stock, as well as David Luke’s ‘circular’ Eco blazers, which are selling strongly – the ‘circular’ tag denotes that the styles can be returned to a special facility at the end of their useful life and then recycled into new fabric. Looking for a neat labelling solution to offer your customers? Stamp ‘N Stick offers a clever product that can be used to print names directly onto garments, stickers (for water bottles, for example), or iron-onfleece. The personalised text can be changed whenever the user wants; starter and refill kits are both available. Brush up on the latest styles and trends that were achieving top marks at The Schoolwear Show The Schoolwear Show 2023: Review Pride of place on the Trutex stand were three blazer concepts – one with a button-in hoodie, one quilted for warmth, and one that with a flick of the collar turns into a jacket. Visitors voted for their favourite style, with the hoodie in the lead at the time Images was on the stand. Next year, Trutex will be further along with the blazer development, and we look forward to seeing what innovations they add to this evolution of the schoolwear classic. Other styles getting attention included the new Modern Fit Blazer plus the improved fit on the Sturdy Trousers. It was Martin Smith and Scott Annetts’ first time exhibiting at the show. As well as selling Holiauma embroidery machines, the pair have their own schoolwear businesses, along with an in-depth knowledge of the needs of schoolwear suppliers. Holiauma UK will be introducing an all-new Black Series range of embroidery machines in 2024 (see page 55 for further details). Images was given a sneak peek at the new machines, which not only look striking in their new livery but also introduce a number of new features, details of which will be announced in the new year. Last month, schoolwear retailers and garment decorators from across the country made their way to The Schoolwear Show. We joined them at the annual exhibition in Solihull to discover the latest trends and new products for the education market. INDUSTRY EVENT Zuleka Jones and Barry Chaytow were on hand at this well-stocked stand to discuss the latest products, as well as Barry’s time working with The Beatles [as revealed in last year’s Q&A with Barry: imagesmag.uk/ jan22-barry-chaytow]. New for 2023 were the hair scrunchies, which are made in the same material as the ties, as well as elasticated ties that now come with a clip. The big news on the Charles Kirk stand, said Kam Loyal, was its 100% recycled polyester sweat range (crew-neck, V-neck, cardigan and jogging bottoms) that has taken two years to develop. Notably, these recycled styles are cheaper than the company’s existing traditional sweats line. This price difference is down to the use of a single yarn rather than the usual acrylic/ polyester/cotton yarn. Keeping costs down was a key talking point at the show, so interest in this line was understandably high. In fact, Kam revealed that demand at the show for the new line had resulted in the company doubling its initial order quantity. As always, the One + All stand stood out with its pictures of characterful kids modelling the brand’s latest styles against bold and colourful backgrounds. The employee-owned company continues to build on its B Corp status and aim of offering “schoolwear with a difference”. The big talking points amongst visitors this year were the brand’s blazers and ties, confirmed marketing lead Caroline Hopley. Also proving popular was The Making Of range of coats, polos, sweatshirts, hoodies and T-shirts, which launched last year and is aimed at sectors beyond schoolwear, plus the brand’s two-day embroidery service pledge and new DTF printing facility.
www.images-magazine.com NOVEMBER 2023 images 27 INDUSTRY EVENT On the Madeira UK stand, MD Andrew Maylor was showcasing the brand’s threads and accessories, including the newly launched Ezee Needle [see this issue’s news pages]. Andrew explained that Madeira UK’s recently opened headquarters has allowed the company to offer training days on-site. Also on the stand was Bryan Yeates of Dublin-based printing supplies company and Madeira agent Serigraf, which offers screen-printed transfers that use paper, not film, through its Complete Transfers line, plus the dual-platen Galaxy Production Press Auto 40x50cm heat transfer press in the company’s own hot pink colourway; the press is made in Portugal and built to withstand high-volume usage. Huw Arthurs on the Chadwick Textiles stand powered through the company’s long list of new products. The star of the stand was the new Kinetic range, which incorporates eight styles from the Tapered Jog Pant to the Hoodie. Also on show were styles from Chadwick’s stock Core line, such as the Premium Stretch Midlayer. William Turner is relocating its warehouse to Trowbridge before Christmas, a move that will see its size double, director John Turner shared at the show. Attracting particular attention at this year’s event was the new, lightweight microfibre headwear line, which includes a baseball cap, legionnaire hat and sun hat, all of which offer increased UV protection, as well as a new bookbag with a covered name label for added security. Banner had a huge number of new styles on its stand, from two-in-one shorts in its Aptus range, a new range of trousers (with the names all simplified to styles, such as Regular Fit, Relaxed Fit and Slim Fit), and new skirts made from a lighter weight fabric for a lower price point. The big draw, however, was the new ‘room to grow’ hem, available on all new boys’ trousers and bound to be popular with money-conscious parents who want to make their children’s garments last that bit longer. Textile company Behrens had a selection of sportswear on show, including its premium I-Tex line. Neil Latimer explained how the plain colour garments can easily be decorated using DTF prints in school colours, with each of the styles carefully designed to maximise the decoration area. A standout garment was the two-in-one shorts, offering an alternative to the skort. The brand’s core sportswear was also on show, along with an attentiongrabbing Thermal Robe in a modern camo colourway. Long-established schoolwear group Beezer had its own stand at The Schoolwear Show for the first time. The big display demonstrated the depths of its range, including the brand-new Prime 50:50 range, all manufactured by the company’s own factory. Sales manager Abdul Bholat promises that the polycotton line, which comprises a V-neck, crew-neck, cardigan, zoodie and hoodie, is set to cause a stir with its competitive pricing and range of 10 colours. Jamie Hood (an occasional Images columnist) was manning the busy David Sharp stand, answering all questions to do with digitising, as well as showing off the seamless blend of colours that is possible with a Coloreel instant-thread-colouring unit.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT www.images-magazine.com 28 images NOVEMBER 2023 I’m about to take on my first employee, how do I create an employment contract for them? In law, a verbal offer of employment becomes a contract once accepted. Unfortunately, this spoken contract doesn’t ensure both parties clearly understand the terms and conditions of employment, and it won’t be very useful when it comes to settling any disputes over those terms. That’s why you need it written down. Workers have a legal right to a ‘written Statement of Particulars of employment’ anyway, so you may as well kill two birds with one stone. Most UK employers have fewer than 50 staff, and many have no in-house HR. So, how do you draw up an employment contract for your workers? Beware of boilerplate You might be tempted to download an employment contract template from the internet. It may be cheap, but there are some disadvantages: ■ The quality and accuracy of the contract terms may not be good. ■ The template may contain clauses you don’t need, and may miss some that you do. It might also be out of date with current legislation. ■ Contracts for a part-time, flexible or zero-hours worker usually differ, and the template probably doesn’t account for that. ■ Many templates contain unnecessary legalise and archaic pronominal adverbs such as hereto, hereby, therein, wherefore art thou Romeo and so on. I recommend against using downloadable boilerplate. Instead, get a contract drafted that properly reflects your requirements and the employment relationship. There are HR consultants and other providers who can generate reasonable contracts quite affordably. However, if you want to do this yourself, here’s what you need to know. The bare necessities There are some things an employment contract must contain, especially if it is also serving as the legally required ‘Statement of Particulars’: ■ The parties to the contract: the name and address of both the employer and employee. ■ A short summary describing the work, or a job title with a job description available separately. ■ When the engagement starts and, if it’s for a fixed term, when it ends. ■ The hours of work, specifying which days and whether it includes weekends, night shifts or overtime. ■ Where they will do the work, eg at a specified business address, at home, or somewhere else. ■ How much and how often the employee will get paid. ■ What the pension arrangements are. ■ Whether there is a probationary period and, if so, how long does it last and what its conditions are. ■ The employee’s holiday entitlement. ■ What benefits they receive (eg bonus, childcare vouchers, etc). ■ Whether any obligatory training is required and who pays for it. ■ What the grievance and disciplinary procedures are, or where to find them. ■ Whether any ‘collective agreements’ from trade unions or staff associations apply. As you can see, it’s quite a list. You will need to know the statutory entitlements for things like holiday, but these can be looked up on gov.uk. If the individual is likely to be working more than 48 hours per week on average over any 17-week period, you should also point this out and state that they will be invited to sign a Working Time Regulations ‘opt-out’ to give consent to working longer hours. There are other clauses you might need, for which you should seek advice. For example, a ‘flexibility’ clause, as a contract cannot be changed without the employee’s agreement. ‘Zero-hours’ contracts The principle of mutual obligation is fundamental to an employment contract. The employer is obliged to provide work, and the employee is obliged to do work. Employers with varying workloads can’t commit to a set number of weekly hours, and this resulted in the concept of a flexible ‘zero-hours’ contract. A ‘zero-hours’ contract is one without any concept of mutual obligation. The employer is not obliged to offer work, and you are not obliged to accept work if offered. There are, therefore, zero guaranteed hours, hence the name. These contracts have a mixed reputation, as workers cannot predict their work and income. However, some workers like the flexibility. Self-employed freelancers and contractors Some employers engage ‘selfemployed contractors’ rather than employees to avoid incurring income tax, National Insurance, pension and paid holiday costs. But beware! Being ‘self-employed’ as far as HMRC is concerned has nothing to do with employment status under Section 230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Someone who works under your control, for your customers, may be considered a ‘worker’ entitled to pension and paid holiday irrespective of any self-employed contract. If so, then you could be liable for repaying these if a claim is made against you. Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company Q&A Jim Moore is an employee relations expert at Hamilton Nash, an HR consultancy that specialises in employee relations and loves helping businesses solve their ‘people problems’. www.hnis.co.uk
www.images-magazine.com NOVEMBER 2023 images 29 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT To help you maximise your organic visibility on the Google results page, here are some SEO best practices every website owner should be both familiar with and know how to use. ■ Match the search intent It’s important to understand the purpose behind a search term so you know what kind of content the searcher is looking for. For example, if you look at the query ‘buy children’s sweaters’, the top results on Google are product listing pages. To rank for this keyword you have to match that search intent, as Google rewards pages that pass the search intent test. ■ Make the most of your meta tags The most important meta tags on any web page are always the title tag and the meta description. The title tag is one of the first things a searcher will see and should persuade them to choose your page over all the rest. A successful meta title will be unique, include the primary keyword, and match the search intent. Limit your page titles to 60 characters or less. The meta description expands on what the title tag says about your page. Be persuasive but concise, and make sure it includes the primary keyword again. 150 characters or less is a good length. ■ Optimise your images Did you know that optimising images can contribute to how well you rank for a keyword? This can include adding alt text (a ‘name’ for the image that appears in the HTML code), compressing the image file (the smaller it is, the faster the page will load) and ‘lazy-loading’ (deferring the loading of less important elements on the page, such as images or videos). SEO best practices The festive clock is ticking, and the days are growing shorter – it’s time for small businesses to capitalise on the Christmas season. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is a few weeks away and this year it’s not just a gift-wrapping exercise, but a pivotal moment to help shape our future. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) released its Tinsel List this summer – which contains government asks in the run up to the festive season to bring a surge of fresh energy this winter. It’s a testament to the fact that in business, Santa’s sleigh is best prepped well in advance – and the last few years have been a maze of Covid-19 twists, energy price surges and unpredictable inflation and interest rates. ■ Tourism – the Winter Wonderland draw The UK’s historic appeal as a winter tourism hotspot remains strong, with people eager to buy gifts, explore festive markets and relish in holiday delicacies. Reintroducing tax-free shopping for international visitors could bolster GDP by £4bn, encompassing retail, tourism, secondary spending, and support for small-scale producers, clearly indicating the UK’s business readiness. ■ High streets: Where we’re going, we need roads Our high streets need to be user-friendly, offering ample parking and expanded park-and-ride services. Dependable, affordable, and interconnected local transport is vital, and equitable distribution of the Government’s Pothole Fund is nonnegotiable. ■ VAT: Time for a fresh look Lifting the VAT threshold to £100,000 could stimulate economic growth. Some firms cease trading toward the tax year’s end to sidestep the existing threshold of £85,000 and incurring additional costs. ■ More than relief The Small Business Rates Relief cap should rise to £25,000, Tinsel list exempting 250,000 small businesses from the rates system. Additionally, the 75% rates relief discount for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors should continue beyond the April deadline in England, offering targeted support to struggling small firms. Significant support could also be achieved by widening the tapering to cover a higher range of rateable values, creating a more generous ‘small business taper’. UK: Ready for business It’s important to recognise the strains on small businesses at the moment in order to mitigate business expenses. Our economy is yearning for momentum and small businesses are the key – now is the perfect time to provide backing and wrap up the year on a positive note. Tina McKenzie is the policy and advocacy chair at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. www.fsb.org.uk Joel Dear is from ETrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK. www.etraderwebsites.co.uk ■ Build internal links and backlinks Internally linking to different pages on your site will help Google to understand your content. Demonstrate your expertise and authority on a topic by creating a well thought-out linking structure within your website. Backlinks are links from other sites to yours. Relevant inbound links make your site look more trustworthy to Google, helping you to rank higher for your target keywords. ■ Create a good user experience (UX) Bad UX, leading to high ‘bounce’ rates, can negatively impact your SEO because Google will think your site isn’t what people are looking for and may show different results instead. The following may cause a high bounce rate: ● Slow loading speeds ● Misleading meta tag content ● Broken links ● Too many pop-ups A positive UX will improve user retention, and can help with SEO because user-friendly sites tend to receive more links.
TIPS & TECHNIQUES www.images-magazine.com 30 images NOVEMBER 2023 Industry experts provide insight and guidance in all areas of digital garment and textile printing Digital helpdesk Nicole Prazeller from the marketing department at industrial printer manufacturer Aeoon Technologies details the best route for decorators wanting to move from B2B to B2C are now attempting to change to B2C. But what does that mean for a company? How do you make that change a success? And which advantages and disadvantages does each business model hold? Model definitions In order to understand how to change your B2B business to B2C, we must first clarify what these terms actually mean. B2B is an abbreviation for ‘business to business’; in essence, B2B companies sell their products to other companies. B2C is short for ‘business to consumer’, meaning these businesses sell their products directly to the end customer. Another business model that has grown in popularity is dropshipping. Businesses that follow this model don’t have any products in stock. They act as an intermediary between The textile decoration market is constantly growing and evolving, with new business models continually emerging. Because of the tremendous changes in the market, decorators have a range of different business models that they can adopt. Because of these tremendous changes in the market, such as the fast-growing online sector, a lot of businesses that used to work in B2B, Nicole Prazeller a customer and a manufacturer: the customer orders certain products online, the dropshipping business places this order with a manufacturer and the manufacturer then sends the order directly to the customer. The first move So let’s take a look at how a garment decoration company can successfully make the switch from a B2B to a B2C business model. The world of textile printing is full of opportunities. One of them is DTG (direct-to-garment) printing. This printing technique – unlike, for example, screen printing – allows you to produce small runs and one-offs as it does not require any complicated or costly preparation and is already profitable for small quantities. In contrast to screen printing, the price of the print remains the same, no matter if you print one or DTG is perfect for those looking to move into the B2C sector, says Nicole