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Focus on Transfer Printing & Dye Sub

Opening our annual focus on transfer printing and dye sublimation is Hybrid Services and Nopinz. Nopinz utilises Mimaki printing technology to create cutting-edge cycle wear and there is no reason why you can’t too by following this how-to guide.

HYBRID SERVICES A how-to guide to cycle wear T

he UK and Irish Mimaki distributor, Hybrid Services has got plenty to offer when it comes to dye sublimation hardware. The companyʼs stand at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! in February incorporated some sleek looking samples of cycle wear produced on a Mimaki TS300P-1800 dye sublimation

Our business was created in order to resolve the issue of using pins to stick on race numbers to cycle wear. Buying cycle wear is an investment for any cyclist and

itʼs not cheap to kit yourself out with effective gear, so the last thing you want is to have to damage the material by sticking pins into it for each race. Weʼve created a catalogue of aerodynamically efficient cycling sportswear to reduce drag and improve performance and a key part of that is the SpeedPocket, which enables a cyclist to securely attach their race number without damaging their suit and without impacting on their speed. An important aspect of the finished skin suits we create is the print that goes onto them. We invested in a Mimaki TS300P- 1800 dye sublimation printer in July last year through authorised Mimaki reseller, Xpres. The designs that are printed onto our cycle wear serve a practical function in terms of branding, but also in terms of styling and looking streamlined. Utilising dye sublimation is crucial in this because of the vibrancy of the colours and the washfastness of the finished item. Dye sublimation is really the only way to print to such stretchy, high-performance materials with a defined print quality. But the actual creation starts a long way before the printing process.

printer by one of its customers, Nopinz.

Blake Pond, MD at Nopinz provides a how-to guide to creating its seamless cycle wear and talks about the importance of dye sublimation in achieving the finished product.

A seamstress at work

tunnel or on the velodrome with our partner company Aerocoach. Nopinz products are known for their performance so this is an essential step for us.

The prototypes are refined based on the results from testing and then the final patterns are locked in. Artwork is added for collection items in Illustrator and we will produce a small run to check everything is as it should be before making the product available to the customer.

Blake Pond with the Mimaki TS300P

The production of our cycling sportswear starts months before the item comes to market. The first job is to identify which materials we are going to use to optimise that particular garment for its intended use. Materials are making leaps and bounds in their technology so this is something we revisit every time we make a new design.

The second part of the process is to design the patterns, which is quite a time consuming process. We start on squared paper, but may refine the design many times before we finally digitise the pattern for use. Once the patterns are digitised we set about adding the physical artwork to samples and prototypes, which we do through Adobe Illustrator. Sometimes we print a miniature version of a suit or jersey to check colours are correct. If we find that Pantones are not quite correct, we will make a spot colour using the colour match tool in TX Link Software that comes as standard with the Mimaki TS300P. Our TS300P printer is set up with fluorescent inks and we often mix our own spot colours to achieve more vivid colours.

Prototypes are made and tested. For us this will mean real world testing and also aerodynamic testing either in the wind

| 26 | May 2017

In order to capture intricate logos or designs, we print in a high- resolution setting, which gives us about 20sq m/hr, so on larger runs we leave the TX300P unattended to run through the night, which is made possible with added features like the Mimaki Bulk Ink System (MBIS3) and Nozzle Check Unit for reliable continuous print operation. Once the items are printed to the sublimation paper we sublimate the fabric using an Adkins press. Once the fabric parts are printed they are grouped ready for cutting. The cutting process is currently completed by hand, allowing us to apply specialist silicones and finishing products before the items are sewn together. Our seamstresses put together the complete item which makes for a higher quality finish and once completed, the item passes through quality control and is then packed ready for shipping to the customer. Weʼre really pleased with the impact the Mimaki TS300P has made to our finished products. We get a super quality print, great colours with the fluorescents and the productivity is over and above what our seamstresses and finishing team can keep up with it!

– Blake Pond, managing director at Nopinz

The finished product

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