After three years, Sign & Digital UK returned to the NEC in Birmingham this week for its first outing since Covid-19. Despite concerns about attendance because of the pandemic, the event was busy across the three days from Tuesday to Thursday, with many exhibitors in the digital garment print sector reporting strong leads and orders. Although the show is dominated by signage and wide-format printing, plenty of exhibitors presented technology for garment printing, especially direct-to-film (DTF).

Sign & Digital TheMagicTouch

TheMagicTouch (TMT) showcased its full range of products, from transfer papers to heat presses, but the star of its stand was its new R-Jet Pro DTF digital inkjet system developed with Resolute DTG. “The response has been fantastic,” said TMT GB’s managing director, Jim Nicol. “People are looking for more photographic quality and with this, nothing touches it.”

Sign & Digital Axzyra

Axzyra, which supplies equipment such as UV flatbed printers and laser cutter engravers, provided a preview of its two new DTF printers for garment transfers, demonstrating the DTF300 model.

RA Smart DTF

RA Smart also focused on DTF technology on its stand (pictured above), showing visitors how to create stunning images on film with the digital DTF printer it has begun distributing in the UK and Ireland.

Sign & Digital YES

Another first came from YES Group, which demonstrated DTG Digital’s new Q1 Hybrid print system. It is one of three models along with the Q2 and the bigger Q4, which is capable of printing up to 200 dark garments per hour. Several visitors to the show placed orders for the DTG printers on the stand. YES Group also demonstrated a single-head SWF embroidery machine.

Sign & Digital Mimaki

Eight new Mimaki machines had their UK show debut on the stand of UK distributor Hybrid, including the wide-format CJV 330-160. For garment print shops, new products included the CG-60AR cutting plotter, which offers increased cutting speed and cut pressure and the option of cardboard cutting for customised package and marketing materials. Hybrid also presented the bigger CG-130AR, a 1.3-metre cutting plotter which also offers increased cutting speed and cut pressure.

Amaya Sign & Digital

Amaya Sales UK was back at Sign & Digital, showing off a selection of its portfolio including a Melco single-head embroidery machine, the TexJet Echo2 PolyPrint DTG printer, the Roland Versa UV LEF-12i flatbed printer and the Roland TrueVis SG2-300 printer/cutter. However, its own modular DTF system, developed by Mutoh Europe and STS Europe, was not on display as it will make its debut at Printwear & Promotion Live! in April.

Sign & Digital Roland

Among printers on the Roland stand was the Roland VersaStudio SignMaker BN-20A desktop inkjet printer/cutter – a newer entry-level version of the popular BN-20 which can be set up more cheaply as no white ink channel is needed.

Sign & Digital YPS

Supplier YPS (Your Print Specialists) had two stands: one dedicated to wide-format such as the Roland TrueVis VG2-540 printer/cutter and the Mimaki CJV150-75 printer/cutter, and the other dedicated to textile and garment printing. Colourful garment and textile prints, with designs from Beth Travers’ interiors brand Bobo1325, were all printed on polyester using the Epson SureColor F6300 dye-sublimation printer shown on the stand. It also featured the smaller Epson SC-F500.

Epson itself focused on its wide-format and signage solutions at the show.

Sign & Digital Zund

For wide-format printing, Zünd demonstrated its G3 L3200 digital cutter and its G3 3XL-3200 flatbed cutter.

Graphtec GB, distributor of WidInnovations laser cutting and engraving systems, showcased several machines including the Graphtec Cutting Pro FC9000 cutting plotter.

Sign & Digital Trotec

The team at laser machine developer and manufacturer Trotec were at Sign & Digital UK as part of a series of roadshows touring the UK and Ireland presenting its laser engravers and cutters.

Sign & Digital Grafityp

Sue Kirkwood, Grafityp’s sales manager for garment decoration products, ran a hub of T-shirt printing on Grafityp’s stand, demonstrating Siser’s heat transfer vinyls, using Siser’s TS One manual heat press. It focused on S-Print, the water-based heat transfer vinyl for printing on cotton, polyester, elastic fabrics and polycotton blends, launched by Siser last year.

In terms of consumables, DuPont showcased its Artistri range of pigment inks, offering more durable prints on garments, alongside its broader portfolio including the Roland Texart RT-640 dye-sublimation printer.