T King Associates, specialists in branded clothing and other merchandise, has expanded its offering by investing in direct-to-film (DTF) printing.
The Buckingham-based business customises clothing through screen printing, transfer printing and dye sublimation but has now added two R-Jet Pro DTF V4 machines from Resolute.
This wide-format printer creates water-based heat seal film transfers, combining direct-to-garment (DTG), print and cut, screen printing and white toner in one.
The transfers produce soft vibrant images with no requirement for pre-treatment or weeding, no matter what colour the fabric is. With dual-printhead technology, it produces a full-colour transfer including white ink in a single pass.
John King, managing director of T King Associates, said: “We decided to invest in DTF initially to replace the labour-intensive transfer side. We had considered DTG, and we wanted to buy into the tech, but could never get it to fit our processes or expectations over the years.
“We did initially think DTF could completely replace screen print for our work type but I think it’s fair to say they complement each other.
“The DTF will take a lot of work away from screen without question. What’s hard to tell is if it will ever take over 100%. With such an extreme few years under all our belts, 2023 is probably going to be just as volatile so it’s hard to gauge.
“What I believe is DTF has genuinely added a big feather to our hat. It’s certainly a genuine advance for the industry, and an interesting step forward for us all.”
He said that T King Associates decided to work with Resolute because of the “amazing” support from managing director Colin Marsh and his team. “They also have a good understanding of the kit and technology. Anyone can sell you a machine, but if you don’t have the support and tech back-up, you will struggle.
“DTF is a new process: it’s not been all plain sailing but we now have a lot of knowledge under our belts with the first machine, and it will certainly be a huge part of our business moving forward.
“Given we now have two of the new V4 machines shows our commitment to the technology and Resolute.”