Explore the world of Garment & Promotional Printing
Garment and promotional product printing is a growing market and we continue to see manufacturers adding products to their portfolio to enables customers to enhance what they can offer to their customers.
Garment printing can be done in a number of ways using different ink technologies or just cutting solutions if you are starting out on your garment printing journey.
Some of the ink technologies are Sublimation, Direct to Garment (DTG), Direct to Film (DTF) or using an Eco-Solvent System. Of all the technologies, we tend to find that eco-solvent is a very popular choice as it enables customers to offer a wider range of products in addition to garment printing, such as banners, labels, point-of-sale and much much more. These machines are typically print and cut, making them incredibly versatile and save having multiple machines (printers and cutters), perfect for smaller premises and spaces. Eco-solvent printing for garments is a process where eco-solvent ink is printed onto a heat-transfer media, this is then heat pressed onto the garment using a heat press.
Roland have even developed an eco-solvent printer that is primarily for garment printing & customisation but can also print onto other solvent compatible media. The models are the Roland BN-20 and BN-20A, which are able to print up to 500mm Its the only desktop eco-solvent printer on the market.
Mimaki offer the CJV150-75, which is a 760mm/30” print and cut machine at a very competitive price. The 30” width of it enable it to handle standard media sizes of 760mm that are commonly stocked and supplied by media suppliers. This machine is able to print using orange inks, which enhances the colours it produces.
Cutter/plotters are a popular solution for customers looking to produce single colour graphics onto garments. It’s a very cost-effective way of getting into it and can be as little as £300+vat. They are loaded with a coloured/patterned heat transfer vinyl and the graphic/design is then cut out using a pin blade. The design is then heat pressed onto the garment.
Customisation of promotional products is a booming industry and can be achieved using a number of technologies.
Laser cutters/engravers are great starting points and enable production of products onto almost any organic materials. Wood, slate, glass, rubber, fabric, leather, food… Lasers are proving very popular in the production of sustainable products such as bamboo gifts, promotional products and wooden medals. Models like the Lightblade from Thinklaser are cost effective way of getting into laser cutting, whereas brands such as Epilog are a premium system that compliment UV machines, by using a CCD camera for reading registration marks to support print and cutting.
UV printers are by far the most popular printing technology for promotional products, its cost effective per print and the ink can be jetted onto almost anything! Printing golf balls, keyrings, plaques, pens, boxes, you name it and a UV printer will have a good chance of printing onto it.
They are full colour printing solutions and usually fitted with white ink and also spot gloss. White ink enables printing onto coloured and clear products. Whilst the gloss can be used as either a spot gloss, or used to create textures and raised prints.
Roland has a range of UV printers from desktop machine at A4 print area by 100mm max media thickness, through to larger models at 1.6m x 3.5m print area. Roland machines have a reputation for being incredibly reliable and easy to use.
Mimaki are quite a bigger player in UV and their solution start with an A3 printing area. Mimaki UV machines have a reputation for speed, the density of their white ink and the control that you have within the software to create some impressive results.
Get in touch with our experts to discuss garment and promotional printing hardware and media solutions that can help your business to grow.