With its design, print and manufacturing located under one, solar panel-clad roof in Lincolnshire, Countryside Art has added to its in-house capabilities by investing in a Mimaki TR300-1850C textile coating machine.
Designed for pre- and post-treating textiles for printing with pigment inks, the TR300’s small footprint and on-demand operational benefits appealed to company director, Lawrence Chapman as he strived to optimise the performance of Countryside Art’s cotton printing. With customers ranging from schools and charities to globally renown retail clients and visitor attractions, Countryside Art’s portfolio of UK-made products holds universal appeal.
“We’re able to offer small minimum runs, short lead times, competitive pricing and superb quality,” states Chapman, as he discusses the company’s range of tea towels, cushion covers, tote bags and aprons; all printed on a bank of Mimaki Tx300-1800 textile inkjet printers. “We work with clients to turn their design ideas into reality across a multitude of products that represent our core ethos of delivering high quality, bespoke giftware with an expert, personal approach.”
Simple to use, the TR300 roll-to-roll unit applies a coating to the fabric to improve print results, and once inserted into the coater, the fabric passes through a padder, where it is saturated with the necessary chemicals before passing through squeeze rollers and a dryer, and finally being rewound onto a roll.
Countryside Art invested in the TR300 through authorised Mimaki partner, RA Smart (CAD & Machinery) and the company’s Magnus Mighall is confident of the opportunities the new machine presents. “The versatility of the Mimaki coating machine means Countryside Art can offer their customers the opportunity to use specific fabrics, which up until this point would not have been cost effective to coat using an external supplier.”
“From a technical perspective, it’s also possible to enhance the finished product with a range of treatments, be it pre or post print – aiding the wash and rub fastness and even adding fire retardant or waterproof coatings,” Mighall continues. “We’re proud to have Countryside Art as a long standing customer, with their first investment in a Mimaki textile printer some five years ago, and we continue to enjoy seeing the amazing work they produce.”
The new Mimaki TR300 has enabled Countryside Art to achieve higher colour yield and reduce its lead times, thanks to the improvements that printing to a pre-prepared fabric offers. “We are now able to coat textiles as and when we need them,” Chapman describes, “The ability to enhance our colour yield has made a significant difference to colour matching, which for our corporate customers is especially critical,” he continues.
Countryside Art sports substantial direct to textile printing capabilities, thanks to its five Mimaki TX300-1800 wide format printers, running Mimaki water-based pigment inks and printing direct to a variety of cotton base cloths, all woven specially for the company to ensure the highest quality and an ethical and sustainable supply chain. From design, through printing and onto machining and finishing, the company prides itself in offering a complete solution to its customer base.
Chapman is keen to ensure his recent investment serves the business well. “The Mimaki TR300 can be left coating with minimal supervision. It’s easy to clean and very well built, and I expect it to provide service for years to come,” he concludes.
The launch of the TR Series enables Mimaki to offer an end-to-end solution for textile printers, with pre-treatment, printing, steaming and washing all provided by the one supplier, delivering a powerful textile printing eco-system capable of meeting all the requirements for direct printing to almost any natural fabric.