The UK’s only dedicated event for garment decoration via digital and analogue technologies returns for 2024, opening on Sunday 25 February in Hall 1 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Here’s an outline of events and exhibits to help you plan your time.

Described by its organisers as ‘a vibrant, dynamic and interactive event that showcases all that is new in garment decoration’, Printwear & Promotion Live! aims to provide inspiration and advice to the 5000-plus visitors that attend each year. This year’s show will feature over 120 suppliers on its own floor in the NEC’s Hall 1, while registration for it also grants access to the co-located Sign & Digital UK (see preview on p35) for the first time, enabling you to explore the two shows and to discover what’s new from over 180 exhibitors.

Visitors should expect to see new equipment launches including multi-head embroidery machines, heat presses and direct-to-film (DtF) print equipment, as well as new season styles from an array of garment suppliers.

As well as returning exhibitors, there will be new players. One such is Diablo DTF, whose Mat Henderson says, ‘As a company at the forefront of DTF technology, we are eagerly anticipating the chance to connect with fellow industry professionals and enthusiasts. The show is an ideal platform for us to demonstrate our commitment to innovation and quality. We chose to exhibit at P&P Live! because it aligns with our mission to be at the heart of the printing community, sharing knowledge and driving the industry forward.’ Diablo will present its DTF-40 printer which it says offers increased speed and efficiency.

The show is complemented by a seminar programme. These are split across The Decoration Advice Suite and The Knowledge Centre and aim to provide a ‘first class’ source of free information and advice delivered by experts from all parts of the garment decoration industry and beyond.

Preview – Printwear & Promotion Live! 2024

The Decoration Advice Suite and The Knowledge Centre will provide free advice

The Decoration Advice Suite will feature Colin Marsh of Resolute DTF on developments in the direct-to-film print market, while the experts from Madeira UK also return with a session on sustainable solutions for embroidery. New to the line-up is Dave Conner from Stahls’ and Transfer Express.

The Knowledge Centre sees the return of Instagram expert Estelle Keeber, on Instagram marketing and tips and tricks to succeed on the social media platform. Also sharing marketing know-how is Molly Harmon from Stahls’ UK, sharing how businesses can build an effective marketing strategy and content calendar. New this year is Colin Sinclair McDermott, ‘The Online Print Coach’, who will be hosting two sessions. Sessions run throughout each day of the exhibition.

Exhibitor highlights include InkTec, which will be showcasing the DtF and UV DtF printing systems introduced in 2023 but also now focusing on its established SubliNova dye sublimation ink range. These are claimed to produce high intensity colours with stable printing abilities due to the nano dispersion technology plus continuous assessment of ink durability, colour vibrancy, light fastness and washing fastness. The SubliNova range also sports eco-credentials in the form of the Oeko-Tex Eco passport and are RoHS compliant. Available in a variety of sizes, the SubliNova Smart range works in direct-to-garment printing or for use with transfer papers  and can be supplied in 1l bottles or 100ml refill bottles ideal for use with Epson Eco Tank printers.

UK-made DtF inks will be shown by Indie Ink, in the form of its DTF Ultra range, which will be complemented by DtG and dye sublimation varieties; all of them have the Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certification.

Preview – Printwear & Promotion Live! 2024

Mimaki’s TxF300-75 DtF printer will be on display on the Xpres stand

Reseller Xpres will feature a range of DtF and DtG machines, highlighting the Mimaki TxF150-75 and TxF300-75 direct-to-film machines, offering a choice of production speeds, with the TxF300-75 upgraded to offer a 300% productivity increase. These will be complemented by DtG/DtF combination options from Epson, including the new entry SC-F1000 which can handle both DtG and DtF output, as well as the SC-F2200 and SC-F3000 printers. Xpres will also show Roland DG printers, tunnel dryers, print-and-cut machines and sublimation printers.

Roland is also taking its own stands at both co-located shows. At Printwear & Promotion it will unveil the newly-launched VersaStudio BD-8, which marks the debut of a flatbed UV printer in the VersaStudio series, and the BY-20 DtF printer, also announced in January 2024. The BY-20 is aimed at new DtF users and is suitable for decorating T-shirts, sportswear, and ‘more’. Designs are transferred via separate adhesive powder/shaker unit and heat press onto various fabrics, including cotton, polyester, denim, nylon and rayon, suiting a wide range of garment types.

From visiting in 2023, Kit Builder is returning as an exhibitor in 2024, showing its advanced on-demand 3D visualisation and garment customisation SaaS (software as a service) platform, that helps printers all over the globe capitalise on the trend for individualisation in sportswear and related clothing and accessories.

A returning exhibitor is Adelco, which is showcasing a top-of-the-range four printhead DtF printer and DtF cutter, while Amaya will feature garment and fabric printing technology from established marques Kornit Digital with the industrial strength Atlas Max DtG system, Polyprint’s NG DtG/DtF printer, plus printers and print-and-cut machines from Roland DG, Oki’s A3 printer and a ‘surprise’ DtF printer/dryer that will make its public debut at the event.

DtF stalwart Resolute DTF will be on hand with its own range of machines, including the multifunctional R-Jet Pro DTF V4i, the 28m/hrV81i and hard product transfer printing UVi. These will be joined by the new R-Jet Pro DTF Mini.

Sabur Digital will show its range of Sabtex DtF printers, together with the iEcho PK4 automated cutter. The Sabtex SD70-4 is claimed to be a true production DtF printer, with four staggered printheads for high throughput, driven by the Ergosoft Rip software with DtF-specific features. Sabur will also show fluorescent DtF print samples, another way for garment decorators to add choice, value and margin.

Desktop ribbon printing machines will be presented by Ribbon Writer, whose devices range from 200 to 600dpi in resolution, on ribbons from 7 to 100mm wide in 27 colour combinations. The units can also print onto clear self-adhesive materials, lanyards and name tags.

As in 2023, MHM Direct will feature Brother digital printers, including the GTX600 industrial DtG printer that was shown there last year as a prototype before its official launch at Fespa 2023 in Munich.

Another long-time textile printing specialist, TheMagicTouch, will also be exhibiting, with a strong focus on DtF printing and cutting, plus new inks and eco-printable transfer media. A desktop system based on Oki’s A3 printer with SpaceControl colour management software and white toner will also be shown. This is complemented by improved and cheaper versions of TMT’s white toner transfer paper, plus a wide variety of textured and ‘effects’ transfer materials and printable vinyls for use with (eco) solvent and latex printers, and the Sawgrass range of dye-sublimation printers.