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11 Things We Saw at ISS Long Beach

Epson SureColor P800

February 8, 2016

The editorial team loves an ISS event! It is our opportunity to, like you, scour the show floor for new products and trends, as well as booth happenings. We decided that in case you missed some of it, we’d let you in on a few cool things we encountered during our travels around the show floor.

1. The prints at the ink booths were incredible! These displays more than caught the eye, showcasing the latest in plastisols, water-based, PVC-free, phthalate-free and an assortment of specialty inks. The suppliers were sure to display the best prints they could achieve with their inks and it certainly drew my eye into these booths to find out more.

2. The lightweight T-shirt craze continues and heathers and tri-blends are huge! The fashion apparel booths had some sort of tissue-thin, super-soft garment — most likely for the ladies’ market. Additionally, exhibitors were showing an endless array of tri blends and heathered garments that are ideal for any kind of apparel decoration.

3. Digital decorating shows no signs of slowing down. These uber-popular decorating techniques include direct-to-garment printing, sublimation and heat-applied graphics. The DTG market continues its market push, with dozens of suppliers now offering machines. And there are so many options in sublimation and heat-applied graphics that it can make one’s head spin. And also make those profits soar!

4. Great Dane Graphics debuts subscription plans. Decorators can get production-ready artwork files for various decorating processes, including digital, screen and inkjet/laser printing, vinyl cutting and more. In addition, production-friendly digitized designs also are offered in various file types. Customers also now can choose from three flexible monthly subscription plans for stock art, embroidery designs or stock and embroidery art combined. Prices range from $18.99 a month for stock art to $31.99 a month for stock and embroidery art. Each month includes 200 downloads and one file is considered a download. Yearly plans also are available.

5. Sublimation is now cotton-friendly. Vivid Chemical debuted a patent-pending transfer paper called Reveal-S that makes sublimation possible on white and light-colored cotton. It is self-weeding, free of formaldehyde, NMP and phthalates, and features Smartcoating technology, which enables simple print-and-press action with soft, durable images and no polymer window. It will be available beginning in March 2016 from Condé Systems.

6. Digital printing speeds tick upward. Nazdar SourceOne demonstrated the Aeoon KYO DTG printing system, which boasts printing speeds up to 33 dozen per hour. Designed for high-volume industrial production, it features a multi-platen design, up to 12 print heads in a scalable platform, touchscreen GUI, network connectivity, and a package of automated raster image processing (RIP) and order management.

7. Epson targets screen printers. After the past few years developing DTG and wide-format printing solutions, Epson debuted two new SureColor solutions for screen printers: the 17-inch P800 Screen Print Edition and the T3270 Screen Print Edition. While the former is a desktop photo printer, the latter is a large-format color printer. Both come with AccuRIP Black Pearl SE software and Epson screen positive film to produce film positives used to burn screens for the screen-printing process. They produce solid and halftone films up to 65 lines per inch (lpi) at speeds of up to 24 films per hour, according to the company.

8. Kornit demonstrates breadth of digital printing applications. Not only did Kornit Digital do printing demonstrations on its flagship Avalanche Hexa system using new NeoPigment Pure ink (launched this past January in North America), it printed the ink onto sportswear made from cationic-dyed polyester. Moreover, the company discussed its new Vulcan DTG platform that it says rivals screen printing for mid to long runs. According to Kornit, the Vulcan can reduce costs per print by up to 40%, while also enabling faster turnaround times, mass-customization capabilities, and reduced labor costs and space requirements.

9. Rick Roth’s induction into the Hanes Hall of Fame Hanes Branded Printwear inducted Rick Roth from Mirror Image, Pawtucket, R.I., into the Hanes Beefy-T T-shirt Hall of Fame with a ceremony at the Impressions booth. A crowd gathered around as Hanes shared Roth’s story from the design of the limited edition 40th anniversary Hanes Beefy-T T-shirt to his support of charitable organizations, including the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.

10. The 2015 Impressions Awards Winners The 2015 Impressions Awards Winners were a huge hit at ISS, with attendees and exhibitors stopping by to see the impressive designs in person. Don’t forget to look out for our call for submissions in late spring — we can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

11. “Athleisure” Yes, it was everywhere, with unisex raglans, jogger pants and French terry loungewear on display in apparel booths all over the show floor. The retail-inspired trend is still going strong and, according to exhibitors, it is here to stay for 2016!