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How Digital Garment Printing Answers the Call for Customization

Digital garment printing, allowing for customization and speed in order fulfillment, is gaining traction in fashion.

Epson this week introduced its first industrial direct-to-garment printer–the SureColor F3070, designed to provide low total cost of ownership and reliability for high-production print shop environments. The SureColor F3070 is its first direct-to-garment printer to leverage dual printhead technology and a bulk ink pack system, Epson said, providing low ink cost and minimized waste compared to its cartridge systems.

It includes new automatic garment height adjustment and easy user maintenance features to increase production and reduce downtime for garment print shops creating custom apparel.

“The printed textile market is seeing tremendous growth, complemented by new printing technology innovation,” Tim Check, senior product manager of professional imaging at Epson America Inc. “We are committed to driving the digital textile market and excited to expand Epson’s award-winning product line to deliver our first industrial direct-to-garment printer for high-production print shops.”

The SureColor F3070, designed to serve mid-size and large garment printers that need budget-friendly, high-production equipment, can execute hundreds of shirts daily, Clark added.

It’s capable of digitally printing custom garments on a range of fabric types, including cotton, linen and rayon, and is designed to meet the increasing market demand for specialized clothing driven by America’s large millennial population.

The printer leverages a new dual 2.6-inch PrecisionCore printhead for high-quality output at production speeds with true one-pass printing for both color and white ink. Combined with the first bulk ink system integrated into an Epson direct-to-garment printer, it is capable of housing 1.5 liters per color and three liters of white ink for less frequent refilling, lower operating costs and reduced waste.

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The automatic printhead height adjustment is set based on garment thickness and texture for optimal print quality without user interference, and easily switches between thin T-shirts and thick sweatshirts with less downtime between garments.

The SureColor F3070 has and estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $49,995 and will be available in July.

Kornit Digital last month announced that Gear for Sports, a division of Hanesbrands Inc., has installed a Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro system to supplement previously implemented Kornit Digital direct-to-garment print systems within the company’s Lenexa, Kan., production facility.

Gear for Sports sells its products to sportswear brands such as Under Armour, Champion, Alternative Apparel and Hanes. Installing Avalanche Poly Pro will enable the firm to custom-print polyester-rich garments on demand.

Gear for Sports has implemented three Kornit direct-to-garment print systems in the past two years.

“We’ve been inviting key customers to our facility to demonstrate what the Poly Pro equipment can do, as we expand our digital printing capability throughout our facility,” Cindy Olivarez, director of operations for customs and logistics with Gear for Sports, said.

“Digital printing is an ever-growing business and is key to our business initiatives,” Olivarez added. “Having the ability to print polyester T-shirts one unit at a time will allow us to gain consumers who want poly-rich garments, and Kornit’s Poly Pro system offers the best possible quality to allow Gear for Sports to expand our direct-to-garment business.”

Also last month, Kornit Digital announced that Textil del Valle South America, a vertically integrated garment manufacturing company based in Peru, has chosen to implement its digital direct-to-garment printing technology at its 1.1 million-square-foot facility.

“Our market has been veering away from stocking shelves with inventory that may or may not sell and the Kornit solution helps our business and customers eliminate that uncertainty and risk,” Juan Jose Cordova, general manager at Textil del Valle, said. “We are the most sustainable textile plant in the world and Kornit enables us to continue answering market demands in an efficient, responsible manner.”