A fledgling t-shirt printing business that expanded its service after buying a direct-to-garment printer has seen business boom after introducing a while-you-wait service for bespoke shirts.
Since the Epson SureColor SC-F2000 direct-to-garment printer went into the base at SixTeeSix six months ago, the company has boosted production and profits, said owner Mark Rhone.
“I started the business last August and in the six months I've had the machine I have run off 10,000 printed items. I hope to double my £62,000 turnover in a year with this machine,” he said.
Rhone, who runs the t-shirt printing company alone, paid £20,000 for the inkjet machine and may take on an extra member of staff in Fleet, Hampshire. Before buying the Espon he printed everything on vinyl.
He originally ran the online t-shirt printing business from home but opened a retail premises this January to give his business a more visible presence and offer a more personalised experience.
“I had been looking at direct-to-garment printing for around three years and could see the benefits to my customers and my business.
“I decided on the SureColor SC-F2000, which is fairly new to the market, but I’ve worked with Epson printers before and they have a great reputation for quality and reliability. I like that the whole system – from chassis to printhead to ink – is built by Epson.”
The five-colour (CMYK plus white) SureColor SC-F2000 sits alongside a Schulze pre-treatment machine, Graphtec CE-6000-40 cutting plotter and two Stahl heat presses. Rhone also runs an HP Designjet 130 for canvas and banners.
Epson reseller Adelco supplied and installed the SureColor SC-F2000 and Rhone said back-up and service was “second to none”.
He added: “I’ve had absolutely no problems with the SureColor printer and can happily print one-offs or multiple orders – I’ve recently fulfilled an order for 100 hoodies for local school leavers.
“My retail customers like it too as they can bring in their own design or photo and have their t-shirt printed while-they-wait. I also print my own branded cotton tote bags on the SC-F2000.
Rhone said he wanted hold "print parties" on the premises for customers to create and bring their own designs for printing onto customised t-shirts.
Garment Creator software by Epson comes as standard with the SureColor SC-F2000 and enables designers to produce customised designs on t-shirts, caps and bags up to 25mm thick.
Garment Creator also includes a cost calculation function enabling businesses to estimate the print cost by calculating the amount and cost of the ink used for each print job.
The SureColor SC-F2000, with new TFP printhead technology, offers a resolution of 1440dpi.
Epson said its UltraChrome DG inks are hard wearing and crack resistant but feel soft against the skin and the SureColor SC-F2000 can print a single white t-shirt in 27 seconds in dual-colour mode.
Adelco sales manger Luke Smith said: “The Epson SureColor SC-F2000 delivers on performance, cost and reliability, it also opens up new revenue streams for customers.
“The SureColor SC-F2000 is a perfect example of how Epson technology is assisting users to develop their creative ideas to expand their businesses further.”