From hybrid printing to dye sublimation and direct-to-garment prints on dark polyesters, we bring you up to speed on today’s choice of digital textile printing solutions
Brother: GTX Series
The Brother GTX Series of direct-to-garment printers — the GTX, GTXpro and GTXpro Bulk — can now print in high resolution onto dark polyester fabrics and leather, in addition to cotton, without having to change inks in between.
GTX Series users only require the use of pretreatments specially tailored to the new applications, and new software for creating the print data — the new software/firmware package is available free of charge.
Depending on user preferences, there are two kinds of fixation (matt and glossy) as well as one pretreatment available.
“The printing of leather can be done on the raw material in order to produce finished shoes, bags or other items in the next step, but also finished articles, such as backpacks and belts, can be refined with photo-realistic, four-colour prints,” explains Brother.
“From unique single pieces and clothing for sports clubs to workwear with company or employee names in four-colour printing, all is possible even in small to medium-sized print runs, without any problems and at no high additional costs.”
GTX Series users can receive information about the new printing options directly from Brother’s UK distributor MHM Direct GB.
Hybrid Services: Mimaki TS100-1600
The brand-new TS100-1600 textile printer is the latest addition to Mimaki’s ‘100 series’, and is ideal for printers looking to add their first digital sublimation printing solution or expand their production capacity.
“The opportunity for printers to adopt dye sublimation printing is significant,” explains Brett Newman, managing director of Hybrid Services.
“With an increase in demand for personalisation, bespoke prints and custom décor, the new TS100-1600 offers companies a low-cost route into this proven technology.”
The TS100-1600 has a print width of 1,600mm and speed of 70sqm/hr in its fastest mode. In addition, the use of one-litre ink bottles helps reduce the running cost as well as enabling stable, continuous operation due to the reduced need for ink replacement.
It’s also equipped with a variety of Mimaki technologies, including a nozzle check unit, nozzle recovery system and a dot adjustment system, which automates dot position correction and feeding amount correction, reducing the need for operator intervention.
While Mimaki’s RasterLink 7 RIP software is supplied as standard, printers who are purchasing the TS100-1600 can also choose to add TxLink4, an alternative Mimaki original RIP software platform.
Kornit Digital: Kornit Konnect
In today’s Industry 4.0 environment, decorators who harness data will win the marketplace, according to Kornit Digital.
“Our capabilities for digital production on-demand empower printers to make only what they sell, simplify the production cycle and establish more sustainable production – print any image on many different fabrics, in any quantity, with superior retail quality.
“Kornit Konnect extends these benefits by providing a cloud-based platform to monitor and control operations at all times, from any location down to the impression level. It’s also built-in with the experience of operating all current Kornit models, and free of charge.
“Our Custom Gateway workflow software increases this efficiency by offering an end-to-end solution for fulfilment,” adds Kornit, “seamlessly connecting the front end (online or storefront) to the most suitable back end (on-demand production and logistics operation).”
Screen Print World: M&R DS-4000 Digital Squeegee
The M&R DS-4000 Digital Squeegee hybrid printer offers production rates of 400+ prints per hour, bridging the gap between direct-to-garment printing and screen printing.
“Since the Digital Squeegee prints on top of a screen-printed underbase, a wide array of fabrics – including synthetic and performance blends – can now be printed digitally, opening the door to new market trends and cost-effective high-end digital textile imaging, explains UK distributor Screen Print World (SPW).
“Using a screen printed underbase eliminates the need for time-consuming pretreatment and expensive digital white underbase inks–M&R’s hybrid printing process reduces the time, labour and cost required by digitally printing alone, making small and mid-size print runs cost-effective.
“Hybrid prints can also be embellished with speciality printing effects before or after the digital print, expanding creative possibilities by blending the best attributes of screen printing with the ease and detail of digital imaging,” adds SPW.
“With some creative planning, a common screen printed white underbase can be used with varying digital print data to produce completely different images in the same print run.”
Digital Squeegee inks can be cured in conventional gas dryers, such as the Sprint 3000, Sprint 3000 D and Sprint 3000 DHZ.
Xpres: Epson SureColor SC-F3000
The Epson SureColor SC-F3000 offers a production-level, direct-to-garment (DTG) printer that is able to speedily deliver up to 60 full-platen dark T-shirt prints per hour.
The SC-F3000 comes with a nine-litre capacity bulk ink system with 1.5-litre ink pouches, offering ink costs of less than 9p per millilitre on both colour and white inks, says Xpres.
The Epson SureColor SC-F2100 is also available from Xpres, along with a variety of DTG-specific heat presses and pretreatment machines, as well as printable clothing.
For print-and-cut machines, the Mimaki CJV150-160 delivers high-quality printing and sharp, accurate cutting for hundreds of different applications, adds Xpres.
“The multiple functions of the CJV150 series ensure high-quality printing and high-accuracy cutting, enabling the production of labels, stickers and vehicle wraps with ease.
“You can also take your business into the future with the Roland GS 24, a reliable and versatile desktop vinyl cutter. Thanks to a completely redesigned cutting carriage and blade holder, the GS 24 offers greater stability and a 40% increase in downforce, meaning you can cut even on thick, dense substrates.”
Amaya Sales UK: Texart XT 640S and TexJet Echo2
Amaya Sales UK says it now offers the largest selection of direct-to-garment (DTG) printers in the UK, giving decorators the perfect opportunity to find the best fit for their business.
This includes the new Roland Texart XT 640S DTG printer together with the Polyprint TexJet Echo2 DTG printer and Kornit Digital’s range of DTG printers.
“The amount you want to print now and in the near future will determine the most appropriate printer,” says the supplier.
“An advantage of working with Amaya is that when you outgrow the one you have decided on, then we will give the best possible part-exchange price to upgrade.”
Amaya also stocks a range of Roland DG’s print-and-cut machines, as well as Roland UV printers, and the Oki white toner printer range – an ideal entry-level option for full-colour printing onto light and dark textiles, and hard substrates.