14 September 2019 Print Companies

Manchester leads with UK's first HP Stitch

Manchester Print Services is running the first HP Stitch dye sublimation printer in the UK with output on display at the Print Show this week.

Manchester Print Services has installed the UK’s first HP Stitch 1000 dye sublimation printer and has used it to produce the graphics for the HP stand at the Print Show this week.

The printer is a replacement for a Mimaki JV5, the company’s first foray into dye sublimation printing. “We have been printing high quality back lost fabrics on the JV5, but is was too slow,” says director Lee Egan. “Because it might need 12-16 passes under the heads, the output might be down to 30m2/hr The Stitch runs at 1302/hr.”

The company has been able to print fabrics on its Vutek GS UV printer, but without the benefits of the dye sublimation process. The EFI FabriVu was a possibility, but beyond the company’s financial reach. “We have also got a couple of HP Latex 360 printers and in five years we have only had the engineer out once,” he says.

Egan also likes some of the features of the Stitch 1000 for delivering print consistency on the printer enabling it to run unattended.

The company produces a lot of backlit prints for tension fabric systems where the dye sublimation process is better suited to these materials than using UV to print direct to fabric. It saw the new machine at Fespa, ran tests in the HP headquarters in Barcelona and checked performance with one of the first US users. And in the first two weeks of use, the new printer has lived up to expectations.

“We have been testing different fabrics to check which performs best,” he says. “We have never seen any banding in the print. In fact it is pretty straightforward and pretty usr friendly. The heat press the most difficult having to understand the shrinkage in the fabric.

“We are now testing a new fabric that is reasonably priced and once printed can be folded up into a delivery bag.”

The printer was supplied by RA Smart, Macclesfield which has an example of the machine in its showroom, providing a comfort factor for Egan. If necessary he says, the supplier can use this as a back up. The acquisition of the printer follows investment in a Blackman & White laser cutting table 18 months ago where the laser is essential for materials that are subject to fraying.

By Gareth Ward

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laser cutting suits fabrics

laser cutting suits fabrics

Manchester Print Services added a Blackman & White cutter to improve finishing of inkjet printed fabrics around 18 months ago. Now it has become the first in the country to install the HP Stitch 1000 dye sublimation printer to boost productivity in textile printing.

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