Changing the industry through technological innovations, communication

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Print United Expowhich took place from October 19th to 21st in Las Vegas Convention Center, is one of the largest and most diverse marketplaces for printing technology and an incubator for new paths. If desired, the consumer-centric supply chain replaces the old process of seasonal development and makes lengthy time and campaign calendars redundant. Fast tracking, reading and responding to sales instantly, as well as the ability to produce garments based on orders are all now available with new digital and software developments.

“This week has been surreal seeing the industry coming together again after so long,” said Amanda Kliegl, the show’s vice president of public relations. “The direct-to-garment movement has brought many new customers to the show. Startups that originally started in their garages have grown and are now looking at what technology and equipment is available to buy and build for growth,” added Kliegl.

Mimaki demonstrated its micro factory together with strategic partners Tukatech, Greentex, beaver paper, Kieverik and Yuki. This new wave in production offers same-day designs as a solution for less waste, no minimum quantities and fast turnaround, solving many of the problems previously encountered in the production process. Its three-step approach to printing, finishing, and assembly makes ready-to-sell products in hours, not weeks or months. Victoria Nelson Harris, Senior Textile Specialist at Mimaki, said: “The micro factory gives full control of the supply chain with instant production, which is really cool. The complete solution.”

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Chris Walia, COO of Tukatech added, “Technology is so amazing it is still under-utilized in the apparel industry. We’re ready to help companies make the necessary transition by offering cutting-edge products.” One of his goals is to promote micro-factories in the US for rapid time to market.

at epson, Newly launched products included six-color printers and a color matching system that reads any physical pattern and produces the exact color at the touch of a button. Tim Check, Senior Product Manager for Textiles, said: “This is another new tool to help creatives bring their visions to life and communicate directly with the printer.”

X-Rite Pantone has made new advances in software and machines that measure specific colors for an exact match, eliminating the lengthy color approval process. Queenie Bhardwaj, Product Manager, said: “We can now ensure that color standards are accurate and can be given to our customers by improving the visual process.”

hps innovations in digital printing allow for the elimination and expense of screen firing for small jobs. Rolando Martinez, Global Head of Programs and Solutions, spoke about improvements in packaging: “The trend today is clearly towards shorter runs. Packaging for small industries just got easier. Low MOQs for testing, fast turnarounds and higher profitability are now achievable.”

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Roland showed his solution for full photo printing with digital dots. Direct-to-garment printers can print up to a dozen parts at a time. The new equipment includes a heat transfer machine for entry-level garment manufacturers. At $2,500 with a promotional price under $2,000, this is a solution for direct sellers like those with Etsy Stores that can now produce from home without major investments.

Come on Angeles clothing was at the show to reach both screen printers and wholesalers. Pat Honda, President of Wholesale, said, “We reach everyone who touches our product before the end consumer. We even saw some customers from Canada. It was great to be able to reconnect personally.” The company’s stock program of knitwear and accessories is available in custom colors with a minimum order quantity of 300 pieces in seven to ten days. Its 6½-oz. Garment dyed t-shirt is the bestseller at $6.50 in 25 different colors.

Gerber technology also showcased its on-demand and customization technologies at the show. Its photo printing capabilities reproduce true-to-life images on fabrics, including cotton, that have the appearance of denim.

Omniprint International presented daily panels to help companies scale and grow and address the importance of tick tock and other forms of social media. In a panel, influencers spoke about the challenges they faced in building their businesses and answered questions from the audience. Participant Chazz Owens, CEO of streetwear brands Twozzday and 222 sports, said, “When I heard about this show, I thought I’d see what’s new and what’s available to expand my brand. I want to expand my offer beyond online by working with licenses and need to be able to present collections and samples faster.”

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That Kornit digital conference took place at the end of the first day of the fair. Ronen Samuel, CEO of Kornit Digital, opened the seminar and spoke passionately about “wanting to be the long overdue change”. “After three long years, it’s a pleasure to be personal,” Samuel said. “We make fashion better, faster and more personal. Technology has changed so much in the last three years and we are here to change the industry. Fashion is one of the last industries to go digital.”

Samuel added that there is a need to address change through disruption. “There has been a major e-comm boom, especially during COVID, that has made social media so important to consumer response. The ability to produce what actually sells, never running out of best sellers and same-day repeat orders are just a few of the customer-focused changes,” explained Samuel. “Gen Z cares about sustainability and industry is the second biggest polluter right now. Kornit is committed to addressing this issue and is producing an Environmental Impact Report to track these improvements.”

Don Whaley, Vice President of Kornit Digital, spoke about the pixel-to-packet cycle, where products are rapidly approaching the actual market in newly introduced systems. Newly launched devices included the Max system, which can print directly onto fabric rather than just garments, Presto Max and Max Poly. Coming soon is the Apollo, where one person can produce 350-400 ready-made garments per hour.

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