Manchester Print Services (MPS) has chosen UFabrik Soft Backlit Textile, supplied by CMYUK, as its exclusive material of choice for printing backlit on its HP Stitch S1000 super-wide dye sublimation printer.

Situated in central Manchester, the business has been operating since 2010. It became the first UK company to install the HP Stitch, purchased in August 2019, to handle a major new account with a need for dye sublimated backlit tension frame graphics.  

Since installing the HP Stitch, the business has tested a number of backlit dye sublimation materials that were either of good quality but expensive, or at favourable price but with some performance compromises.

‘Initially when printing on the HP Stitch, it was difficult not to get ink stamping on the back of the fabric. We trialled several materials and ended up using one that gave great results but was expensive. Further down the line we went for a different material, it worked well enough but there was a slight problem of starring as light from the LED lightboxes was penetrating the fabric which was lighter and less dense,’ explained Lee Egan, director at MPS.

After extensively trialling UFabrik Soft Backlit Textile, MPS found it to be a suitable material. Profiling the material using the Ergosoft Pro RIP was carried out by RA Smart –  a straightforward process that yielded ‘impeccable’ results – so much so, that UFabrik has become MPS’ material of choice for all its backlit work.

UFabrik Soft Backlit Textile is a recyclable, dense 100% woven polyester textile. Its weaving process ensures no pin holes and no need for a top coating. It is foldable, crease and bruise-free with flame protection: B1, EN13501-1 and NFPA 701.

‘Once the UFabrik came in we tested it thoroughly, it’s really good quality, nice and dense with no starring. It’s also got a really nice 4-way stretch so we carried on from there. The colour reproduction is very good, sometimes you can struggle with dye sublimated backlit but the UFabrik gives us a really nice deep black and rich vibrant colours,’ said Mr Egan.

For finishing he added, ‘We sew it, attach the silicon bead and then we can just fold it and despatch it in boxes – as it doesn’t bruise, we don’t need to send it out on a roll.’

Mr Egan confirmed that the business is printing around 400 linear metres of UFabrik on the Stitch S1000 per month.