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Printwear and Promotion Live Preview

Now celebrating its 30th year, Printwear and Promotion Live provides an annual platform for innovations, as well as showing sign-makers just how easy it is to expand. Summer Brooks looks ahead to the event

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The annual show takes place across two halls at the NEC in Birmingham, from January 20th until January 22nd

30 years of style

It is a sector that many printers and sign-makers have diversified into – and with worthy results. The rising trend of personalisation means that people want to print on anything and everything. This opens up invaluable opportunities for those who understand print and wide-format but have never ventured into garment printing before. Luckily enough, everything you could ever want and need to know about garment printing is housed across two halls at the NEC in January, and it is called Printwear and Promotion Live – the only garment decoration trade show in the UK. The show has benefited from moving its dates from February to January, when trade is a little quieter after the Christmas madness.

The show has become a platform for manufacturers to launch new textile printers

A piece of history

With 150 suppliers set to showcase the latest technology, equipment and garments, 2019’s edition of the show is set to be its biggest yet. Visitors are invited to come and celebrate 30 years of the exhibition, whilst discovering new innovations in garment printing.

Event director Tony Gardner says: “We are all looking forward to enjoying an event worthy of a 30th anniversary with thousands of industry professionals and I’m certain that all of our visitors – whether they be veterans of garment decoration or new to the sector – will find the tools and inspiration they need to help their business thrive.”

The popular fashion show segment of the event will be returning for 2019, with three shows taking place each day of the event. Sponsored by outdoor clothing brand Regatta Professional, the fashion show allows visitors a chance to see key styles and trends featured in the supplier catalogues.

Continuing its commitment to education, there will be two seminar suites at the show, the decoration advice suite and the knowledge centre, where a range of speakers will be providing inspiration and advice on every area of print wear production. The print clinic, hosted by Roland DG, will be encompassing all aspects of the garment printing industry.

Visitors are encouraged to register beforehand to ensure fast-track entry to the event

The screen print workshop will be running seminars and live demonstrations for seasoned screen printers and novices alike. The bag and headwear decoration advice stand is returning, sponsored by BagBase and Beechfield Original Headwear and new to the event this year is the addition of a skate ramp, where skateboarders and BMX riders will be performing stunts in the latest print wear styles from brands available through PAG Leisurewear.

Boost business in 2019

Diversification does not have to be expensive or difficult to achieve as there are many ways to enter the world of garment printing. Transfer printing is a great place to start – all you need is a printer, a heat press and basic supplies that will be available at the show.


O Factoid: A total of 5,918 visitors attended Printwear and Promotion Live in 2018. O


Target Transfers will be demonstrating a range of new heat transfer vinyl products, including the Stahls Hotronix Dual Air Fusion IQ Heat Press, which, as the name suggests, benefits from two workstations that work in sync or completely separately, allowing more freedom with production. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own pre-cut designs to have a go at using the machine for themselves.

Gardner adds: “If you want to be able to produce garments that stand out from the crowd then you’ll want to source a variety of films that allow you to do so.” Dae Ha UK will be exhibiting over 200 variations of film from its 41-colour range of hot peel PU Max, the silicone flex range, stretch metallics and the world’s first stretch glitter.

For those looking to produce novelty items with ease, the Ghost Sublime toner might be an interesting solution to pursue in sublimation printing. By replacing the CMYK toner cartridges with the Sublime toner, designs can be printed on to copy paper and then transferred directly onto polyester garments or polymer-coated substrates, such as phone cases or coffee mugs.

The rise of direct-to-garment

Direct-to-garment printing has soared in popularity in recent years as the capabilities of printing on materials has expanded exponentially. This can be partly attributed to the rise in personalisation and the ability to create more bespoke products for clients and their customers. DTG has allowed printers to increase their offering and with such a vast range of machines available, Printwear and Promotion Live will have plenty on offer for those already garment printing and for those looking to tap into this sector.

Many printers and sign-makers are looking for ways to venture into the world of garment decoration

“If you have already invested in a garment decoration add-on for your business and are ready to take the next step by upgrading your existing set up, then Printwear and Promotion Live has plenty for you too,” adds Gardner. “Direct-to-garment printing is a great way to increase your offering and with a number of game-changing DTG printers set for launch at the show, it’s the place to source what’s right for you and your business.”

Resolute DTG will be exhibiting the Ricoh Ri 1000 at the show, which boasts many of the same features as the more expensive Ri 6000 at a fraction of the price, making it an ideal choice for those just starting out with DTG.

The Ricoh Ri 1000 is capable of printing full-colour 10? x 8? graphics up to 1,200 x1,200 dpi

For small to medium-sized DTG businesses looking to improve on cost per print, the Kornit Storm HD6 industrial printer will certainly turn a few heads. The latest to Kornit’s mid-range of DTG printers, the Storm HD6 is capable of keeping costs down for printers even with short-runs. Visitors can find out more about its capabilities at the Amaya Sales stand as well as Adelco.

Screen Print World will be demonstrating the capabilities of M&R’s Diamondback E, an automatic textile screen printing press that the firm says is suited to both start-ups as well as established printers. Using electric printheads, the printer provides smooth and consistent carriage movement as well as a quick set up that will reduce costs.

Your Embroidery Services will be on hand to answer visitor questions about the DTG-QM8 – a high-speed industrial textile printer from DTG Digital. The press offers cost-effective management, requires little maintenance and has what the firm says is the lowest ink, consumable and service cost on the market.

Wide-format technologies


“For those in the sign and display market that are looking to upgrade their existing wide-format printers, the show will be a great place to see live demonstrations of the latest technologies, source new additions for their business and get expert advice,” says Gardner.


For those in the sign and display market that are looking to upgrade their existing wide-format printers, the show will be a great place to see live demonstrations of the latest technologies

Roland DG is returning to the 2019 show following a period of absence, with the Texart RT-640M – the new digital dye-sublimation printer capable of printing directly onto polyester-based fabrics as well as rigid objects which makes it an ideal solution for those looking to print promotional products alongside garments.

The manufacturer will also be demonstrating its wide range of machinery, including the GS-24 vinyl cutter, the LEF-12i UV LED printer, the Metaza MPX-95 engraver and the new LD-80 laser foil decorator to show visitors the possibilities of garment printing. Further favourites from Roland will be available on the Xpres stand and its team of experts, which will also host live demonstrations of products from Epson, Mimaki and Sawgrass.

Whether you are a seasoned garment printer looking for the latest developments in tech, or a sign-maker looking to add another income stream to your business, this show encompasses all you would ever need to know about tapping into this sector.

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