Machine: Vastex EconoRed II 30

Supplied by: Dalesway Print Technology

Mikee Parker – Owner

Tell us a bit about your business
Vinosangre was first born as a tiny DIY bedroom operation with basic homemade gear doing small runs of around 20 shirts and the odd few tote bags, gradually expanding through the years into a fully fledged commercial unit with upgraded and legitimate equipment. We print for bands, record labels, artists and illustrators, tattooists, skate companies, schools, local businesses and independent clothing companies. We don’t have any automated presses and use environmentally-friendly ink and chemicals, so are still keeping with our strong DIY and environmentally-friendly ethic.

What is the latest dryer that you have bought, and when did you buy it?
In January 2017 I bought a Vastex Econored II 30 from Dalesway. It replaced my existing little Vastex D1000 to keep up with our increasing workload and the increasing amount of discharge printing that we are doing now.

Did you look at other machines before buying this one?
I did a fair amount of research as for me it was a big purchase so I had to get it right. I spoke to a lot of people, both printers and suppliers, and looked into the M&R dryers and Panther dryers, but decided to continue with Vastex as they have always been really helpful and the machines have been reliable.

Why did you choose the EconoRed II?
After a long conversation on the phone to Andy at Dalesway, this model seemed to just suit our requirements overall, with regard to workloads, capability, size etcetera. For me it’s not too big so it doesn’t take up too much space in the studio, and it’s not on three-phase as well so it was a simple installation. As with most Vastex dryers you can also upgrade and add more heat chambers and lengthen the belt if you want to in the future. This was a good selling point for me as the business is growing pretty rapidly so I didn’t want to spend all that money on something that would need to be replaced in a year.

Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade?
Just a wider belt. That would have meant choosing the next model up for me, which was over our budget, although I believe that Vastex has just brought out a new version of the dryer which has a wider belt.

What’s it like to use?
It’s incredibly easy to use. The controls are all digital, so we have way more control over belt speed and temperature compared to our old D1000. We have three general settings that we stick fairly closely to for water-based, plastisol and discharge. Another advantage is the ability to quickly lift the heaters up and down depending on what garment and ink type we are using. Such a simple thing like that has been very convenient.

What’s it used for?
We’re predominantly doing discharge ink these days, and probably doing around 300-500 shirts a day, which it has no problems in keeping up with.

What would be your advice to others thinking of buying a dryer?
Do lots of research! There are a lot of awesome dryers out there, but it’s worthwhile doing your homework and finding the one that is suitable for your present needs and something you can grow into and not have to replace six months down the line.

As with most Vastex dryers you can also upgrade and add more heat chambers and lengthen the belt if you want to in the future